Union bargaining VII

Tuesday 2/5/2013, 8-12 AM, top o’ Lillis, room 450. Be there. Bring me some adderall. But, if not, no worries, I’ll live blog it anyway. Meanwhile here’s Dash Paulson in the ODE with the story from last week.

Live blog disclaimer: My interpretation of what people said, meant, meant to say, or what I wished they’d said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Prelude: UConn has a faculty union and is in the middle of a big push to be the next university to get into the AAU, including hiring of hundreds of tenure-track teaching and research faculty. UO hired a total of 17 new TTF last year (net) and our research plans are in total disarray, thanks to Interim Provost Jim Bean’s incompetence, lack of focus, and distraction by athletics.

Still no response to my public records request for info on who is writing, and vetting, the UO administration’s union matters blog. So I’m guessing it’s not really Barbara Altmann. And that Gottfredson’s probably paying them twice her salary.

And no response from Dave Hubin to my December request for an update on what we’re paying Sharon Rudnick. Dave, it’s February now.

And President Gottfredson, take a clue from UConn, the school that will likely replace UO in the AAU. Cut a quick deal with the union and spend what you save on your lawyers for science startups. That’s not what Ms Rudnick is telling you? You’re paying her $400 an hour for as long as she can drag this shit out. What do you expect her to say?

Characters: Mike Mauer of the AAUP is back. No Geller. No Gleason. No Altmann.

Act I:

Rudnick: We still don’t have much substantive, needs to be vetted. Maybe next meeting.

Successor agreement: Rudnick: Minor changes. Wants ratification quickly even over summer. Gleason arrives. Mauer: Keep old contract in force if no quick agreement, no strike, wants process to get agreement.

New Article, 41: Totality of the agreement.
Rudnick: Comes from PSU or other contract.

Faculty Handbook: Rudnick: Going to let Blandy handle this. Blandy: Allow us to have a rich resource interface with hyperlinks. Jesus Doug, just stop. Print the fucking thing out. But no, he’s going on and on…

Meanwhile, 2 seconds on Google, here’s the OSU Handbook – right there at the bottom, “click here for a printer-friendly version”.

Now he’s onto the hyperlinks, pointers, tubes and quantum valves. He will not print out the docs on the links – e.g. benefit rules. Huh? Green: Huh? Mauer: Huh? So policies, benefits, policies might be changed and no printed record.  Psaki: Huh? Rudnick: We can’t promise it will be up to date. Cecil: Huh? We’d just tell you to update it. What’s the problem again? Green: Huh? The archive will only be in the tubes? Blandy: We won’t print out the hyperlinks for the handbook archives. Blandy: The notice to the faculty will be emails to the Deans. (Does your Dean send you these regularly? Mine neither.) Mauer: Huh? Why not just notify the union. Rudnick: We don’t want to take on that task. Blandy: Printing it out and making sure the faculty are notified is too much work for “The University”. Psaki: Huh? The email Blandy sent out to Dean’s asking for suggestions about the website never even went to the faculty. The union could you help on this. Rudnick: We don’t want help from your kind of people. Green: This will help you, what’s the problem? Just cc the union on the emails. Green: Why don’t you guys call around to other universities and see what they do. This is getting frustrating. Why can’t the Provost just do their job? Rudnick: We’re working with you … (This is working with the faculty? Wait til we get to something important. We’re screwed.)

Rudnick: That’s all we’ve got. The others are close, Randy is sitting on them.

Release time: Rudnick: Your proposal will cost $480K-$1M. She is basing this on salaries, not replacement costs for course buyouts. Bullshit response, she should know better. Mauer: He gets it, she’s stammering. Mauer: Marginal cost equals the first derivative of total cost. Blandy and Gleason: They know better and they are sitting there saying nothing. Gleason: Speaks, but doesn’t get MC either. (Of course he knows the real cost is $6K for an adjunct to teach, he hires them all the time when faculty take admin assignments, but he wants to help Rudnick get that figure up to $1M to make it look scary.) Rudnick: Wants to turn off the sabbatical clock to punish the union president. Whoah lady! Johnson Hall sure didn’t do that for Provost Bean! She backs off, says she’s “just raising these questions”.

Act II: They’re back.

Mauer: Release time response: We see work for the union as service. Cost of business to UO (Just like the $6.67 a minute Gottfredson is paying Rudnick.) This is standard stuff at other universities. Faculty doing union work will of course still be doing much of their normal work as a faculty member. Work with grad students, do other service work, do their research. But your questions about tenure clocks are reasonable, we will look into them and respond. We can’t respond to the merit pay question yet because we don’t know what you will agree to later about merit pay. … We will take a closer look at your cost estimates. We don’t question what you’ve said about the value of the work faculty do, decisions about filling in work, but for the purposes of costing out proposals, we don’t think your calculations are the applicable ones. In some cases the replacement cost will be far less than salary and benefits. Rudnick: Proposal allows 5 full FTE releases, university will have to assume any other work they do as professors would be voluntary. (It’s not like we are professionals) She’s getting loud again. The idea that “The University” would have to pay people to do union work! These numbers are the real cost! “That’s just the  economic analysis of what it costs!” (Yeah, sure. Take a micro principles class.) We would like the union to present a cheaper alternative, even though we’ve just exaggerated the costs. Gleason: Q: TT associate X gets elected, tells Dean. Dean says “you know, this is a bad idea if you want to go up for full. Too much time.” Can I say that? Mauer: No problem for you to say that about the time, improper to make it specifically about the union. Blandy: Given that UO gives little release time for service, why should union service get it? Mauer: Good question, we will look for analogies – e.g. Senate President. (Dept heads typically get all but 1-2 courses released.) Cecil: What % of total bargaining unit members FTE are we asking for? (I’m thinking less than 1%) Rudnick: We don’t disagree with the principle that union work is important or that we should grant release time for it, we just want to exaggerate the cost to make you look bad. But she does have a point that the union’s proposal makes this a right, probably does need to make clear it shouldn’t interfere w/ normal departmental functioning etc.

Mauer: The administrative side needs to pick up their pace. We’ve got 17 proposals on the table that you have not responded too – for a month, month and a half. We know you’ve got to run all this by many people, many of whom took a lot of time off for the Fiesta Bowl (right, Randy and Jamie?). Rudnick: We’re going to take the time it takes to get it right. We’re working diligently. (Why doesn’t the administration bring someone with some authority to the table, instead of Blandy and Gleason?) Rudnick: Loudly: I don’t appreciate your insinuations that we are not working very hard! I am billing UO $400 an hour for a lot of hours, just wait til Dave Hubin finally releases my latest bills!

Mauer: We’re doing our job, we will caucus and be back.

Act III: 

Art 33: Union proposal on Professional Development:
Mauer: Faculty get funds appropriate to rank, can include adjuncts, no dollar amount specified. Details to be handled by departments, but some sort of policy and transparency. Sec 3, if there are requirements regarding tenure and promotion than there need to be funds available to accomplish this. Sec 4., going to conferences is appropriate part of the job, details up to department. Rudnick: Who decides how much money into these funds? Mauer: Up to university and departments. Rudnick: Suppose there’s not enough money in fund to meet tenure requirements, you could file a grievance? Cecil: Yes. Rudnick: Squishy. They are getting into a tenure requirement you attend conferences… I’m confused. Gleason: Suppose it’s the sciences, where you are expected to get grant funding. (Good point Tim. This is actually a fairly productive discussion from the admin side, for once.) Rudnick: Would the Dean be able to over-rule the faculty? OK, this is getting derailed by her dis-understandings of how universities work. Cecil: Write a counterproposal. Rudnick: Cecil, answer my question! Gleason: If the faculty and Dean’s disagree, what happens? Who wins? Davidson: This is shared governance, we get these things done. Rudnick: The Dean’s are ultimately accountable, responsible (except while they’re at a bowl game) while you faculty are a bunch of lesser players and slackers. Mauer: Write a counter-proposal. Bramhall: We have a proposal on shared governance, read it. Rudnick: blah blah. Mauer: Write a counter-proposal. Rudnick: OK.

Art 35: Union proposal on health and safety: Basically, follow OSHA. I’m hoping this is quick, 5 min left on the game clock. Mauer: No faculty shall be subject to the sorts of repeated brain injuries that the AD subjects student-athletes to on the field. Administrators shall take frequent inspection trips to football games to ensure no faculty are on the field. No retaliation for faculty who refuse to serve as linebackers. Rudnick: OK.

See you on Thursday.

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26 Responses to Union bargaining VII

  1. Cat says:

    That Blandy: what a fucking idiot. So glad we fired Tomlin for this… (and I’m not even pro-union)

  2. Three-Toed Sloth says:

    Why mince words here? The underlying logic of Rudnick’s contention that union service would cost $1M is to disqualify union service as a form of university service; in other words, it reinforces the notion that service in the faculty union is not university service, but something alien, from the outside. Another example: administration proposes that we should consider turning off the sabbatical clock for the duration of union service. That’ll stop anyone from standing for election! Great proposal, huh?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Union service is no more university service than an attorney negotiating with the university on behalf of an individual faculty member is university service. The union is something alien from the outside. It is a third-party representative of certain employees of the university that have – by operation of law – chosen it as their bargaining representative. That’s a fact, Jack.

    • Three-Toed Sloth says:

      UA does not negotiate on behalf of individual faculty members, who are free to negotiate in their own behalf, within the parameters of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. United Academics is by, of, and for the faculty.

    • Anonymous says:

      United Academics is paid for by, of, and for the faculty.

    • Anonymous says:

      by, of, and for the faculty*

      *Where faculty includes postdocs and research technicians… and doesn’t include 25% of TTF (science faculty).

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh come on, for goodness sake. U.A. will have a great big pot of money from the tax they’ll be levying on supporters & non-supporters alike. They should pay their officers a stipend out of that pot. The university and departments should NOT be responsible for assuming the cost of this effort, an effort which defines the university and departments as “management” and hence as the opposition. As I often tell my toddlers, you can’t have it both ways.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why isn’t time off for union service paid for by union dues?

  5. Anonymous says:

    “within the parameters of the Collective Bargaining Agreement” means anyone locked into the union cannot negotiate anything outside the framework of the union (which is the CBA). In addition, joining the union is not a choice. FYI-look at the fiasco the GTFs in science have with their union….

    • Anonymous says:

      which is why over 70% of science GTFs join the union as full members. what a nightmare!

    • Anonymous says:

      Brilliant logic. It basically costs them the same no matter how far they get bent over; so they might as well get to vote. Recruiting grad students into a union situation where they are underpaid, have pitiful resources and a union that fights to maintain the status quo of underachievement is a nightmare!

    • Anonymous says:

      A great example is how our department can no longer pay undergrads to do grading because of the GTF. Terrible!

  6. Anonymous says:

    What a cluster, folk.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dog wonders

    how can we comment on the blogging about the negotiations if we
    are limited to just one Cuss word? Can we start a pool when the CBA
    will be ratified? My Pick, July 17, 2017 …. until then, I will just sputter around, raiseless and dickless, until the random squabbling and incoherent babbling converges to a point of lowest common good …

    • Anonymous says:

      And by the time it’s ratified, we’ll be out of the AAU as the word spreads about the path we’re on. As someone at another AAU university innocently asked when hearing about unionization here, “has the UO decided no longer to play the R1 game?” — and he didn’t even know about the composition of the bargaining class.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dog says

      We have been out of the “R1 Game” since 2000 when our graduate participation rate dropped below 20%. Starting a very years ago the Carnegie Research Rating system was dropped and there
      are no more R1 Universities. I guess the UO was just anticipating this ….

    • Anonymous says:

      You just did it, Dog.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Unions rarely inspire the best and always protect the worst.

    • UO Matters says:

      So join the union and work to prevent this from happening here.

    • Anonymous says:

      At least under the machine bureaucracy of collective bargaining, there will now be an effective mechanism for dealing with faculty incompetence and irresponsibility through discipline. Of course, it won’t apply to administrators.

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously, someone should have unionized the administrators–since that would give us the bureaucratic mechanism to weed out the incompetent and irresponsible ones. That would, alas, leave a financial crisis–since there’d be nobody left to pay dues.

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting definition of financial crisis.

    • Anonymous says:

      Show me a union that weeds out incompetent and irresponsible employees? I’ve never seen one that does that.

      Usually they defend the incompetent and irresponsible just as much as they do the competent and responsible.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sharon Rudnik should be fired/replaced by Scott Coltrane, or someone who understands the University and IS faculty, so actually understands what the faculty is asking for in these proposals.
    The University will be much stronger the sooner there is a good contract in place. Stalling undermines Gottfredson’s ability to move forward and get this place moving in the right direction.
    The Deans say they want to give faculty a raise–they should work toward getting a contract expeditiously so they can give that raise they so desperately want to give.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sorry but you can’t rush this. There is going to be a lot more in that contract than just some raises. There are complexities that you can’t even imagine until the thing gets implemented and starts moving. If you’re not careful now you may end up with a lot you don’t like.