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Union Bargaining XII: Bunsis v. Moffitt

Postmortem: My take on the pity raise proposal:

  • Bunsis beats Moffitt with a TKO after his simple question got her so flustered she left the room.
  • Good faculty turnout, I got $30 on cover charges so far, thanks. 
  • Bunsis presentation slides are here, video soon. Takeaway? OUS says UO should have reserves between 5 and 15% of spending. UO’s are currently at 15.8%, even after accounting for the fact that the $80 million jock budget – more than 10% of UO – has zero stated reserves.
  • VPFA Jamie Moffitt thinks she is protecting the faculty from harsh and complex fiscal realities by making sure we only get pity raises.
  • Gottfredson has apparently abandoned Lariviere’s “job number one” plan to get UO salaries up to to AAU peers. Presumably this means he’s also given up on keeping us in the AAU. Now Moffitt can justify giving us community college pay rates, with $200 a year potential raises for research merit.
  • Of course the admin wants to raise our salaries, it’s just that it’s their lowest priority. Cops, guns, SUV’s, the Jock Box, Matt court parking, paying twice for Mac court, beamers, athletic overhead subsidies, sabbaticals for Bean, Jamie’s 15.8% reserve all come first.
  • Not yet clear if the union will accept Gottfredson’s proposal or counter. My read of faculty sentiment is that it is overwhelmingly in favor of rejecting it, and making a serious counter-proposal.

Prologue: On Tuesday Gottfredson dropped his 2% merit puddle ultimatum plan on the faculty without warning. Today the administrators are here in force to attempt to defend it. The union side is joined by AAUP forensic accountant Howard Bunsis. Still a few seats left at $5 per, come on down.

Venue: Room 122 Knight Library, 8AM, Thursday 3/7/13. First floor, towards the back on the RHS. $5 cover. I’ll take cash at the door or online:

Donate $5 to pay Dave Hubin’s public records fees


Handstamp needed for re-entry.


Cast: For the admin: Kelly Wolf, controller. Brad Shelton, budget plan guy. Jamie Moffitt, VPFA. (That would be the Moffitt who got hired after a failed search, and hides athletic subsidies from the Senate, not the Moffitt who hid the CnC program from his faculty and the NYTimes.) Rudnick, Gleason, stenographers, no Geller, Blandy, or Altmann.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion of what people said, were really thinking, or wanted to say but won’t until they save enough money from their administrative job to put their kids through college. Nothing is a quote unless in ” “.

Act I:

Rudnick: Memo from Dean on raises is not done but I will email it when ready. Start with financial context for the raise.

JMoffit will present: Unusual that we would make an offer in the middle of bargaining, but we are desperate to make some friends among the faculty and think we can buy a few of you cheap. We have so much uncertainty about resources, don’t know appropriation, fees, etc. Only thing we really know is that we are going to pay Bean $320K next year to do nothing, $2 million on the jock box, $467K for Mac Court, $2.6 million for Espy’s consultants, and $700,000 or so for Rudnick and her helper lawyers.

More seriously, PERS increases are needed to pay off Bellotti’s $500K a year. We want a more regularized program for raises, and this tiny program is the best we can do, because faculty pay is the least important and most flexible part of our budget, and because Gottfredson has completed abandoned Lariviere’s efforts to get us up to to AAU peers as “job number one.”

Cost of Gottfredson proposal. $11.4 million annualized – that includes admin raises, of course. $8.4m in salary, rest benefits. Faculty overall get %5.7 million in salary, BU members get about $4.5M (annualized).

Costs: We are going to need to start hiring new faculty (15 net per year – Berdahl claimed it would be 60.) Buildings, PERS ($14.5M) health care $3M, so there won’t by much left over for you faculty. And we have no plans to try and cut our out of control administrative spending and athletic subsidies. Debt, utilities, $5M in recurring costs. Add it up, $35 million in new costs. “I don’t mean to scare people”. Please Jamie, stop talking to the faculty this way.

Revenue: $9-$12M in new tuition. We’ve been bringing this in and pumping this into fund balances, as Bunsis has discovered. We project to add $14M to these balances next year. So $24M in new revenue, plus a bit more if UO Matters finds the other hidden jock subsidies.

But expenses will rise long term, and we want to spend that money on cops and so on, not invest in you faculty.

Mauer: Thanks for the info, we appreciate the fact that you have reconsidered your previous rejection of our proposal for interim raises:

Bunsis: Why do you call 1.5% a COLA? Moffitt: I’m no economist, we just thought is sounded better than “Across the Board”. Bunsis: Have you looked at comparable AAU universities, like Lariviere did. Moffitt: No. We spend that money already. Bunsis: No plan: Gleason: We had a plan, Lariviere was fired, and we are going to use that as an excuse to keep your salaries as low as we can. Mauer: Do you still have the intent of getting faculty to AAU averages? Rudnick: snippy and evasive. Bunsis: Will this increase in your analysis move salaries toward AAU? Rudnick: I’m not going to tell you. I just want you to accept this, or not. Mauer: Let me explain. You have a 2 part proposal, that allows external equity negotiations. So it’s legitimate to ask if you care about if it effects external equity. Rudnick: Move salaries up to “what you define as your AAU comparators”.

Me: This is big news, Rudnick admits UO is giving up on AAU, hence giving up on Lariviere raise plan.

Bunsis: How did you calculate benefits? 35%! Rudnick says PERS, but she doesn’t understand it. Health costs are fixed, not a function of pay.

For new hires PERS is 12.5%, add in 7.51% FICA for the portion under the $~110K SocSec ceiling. 1.5% for the part above. Call it 19%.

For pre 1996 hires, PERS is 22.5% plus FICA = 30% max, call it 28%.

Overall, call benefits 25% of raises, not 35%.

Moffitt now tries to confuse people by combining the 2 years of costs and saying it will cost 5%. Actually, 1% this year, 5.15% or so in future years.

Bunsis: What sort of reserves do you really need? Moffitt: “Can I take a break?” She then walks out. One of the weirder responses to a simple question that I’ve ever seen.

Rudnick: We are not here to debate, we’re here to answer questions! (Bunsis just asked a question, Jamie response was to try and leave.)

Mauer and Rudnick: Back and forth while Rudnick tries to weasel out of having Jamie answer a straight question. “Never mind… ” “Break time….”

Act II: 

Moffitt’s back.

Mauer: Clarification: If we accept proposal, what is still subject to negoations? Rudnick: 13 is closed. 14 is anything except ATB and Merit and internal equity adjustments. Floors and external equity are still open along with things like leaves, sabbaticals. FY 15 everything is on the table.

Moffitt: Things are different here in Oregon. We have carry-forward balances in schools and departments. Includes ASA, etc. Policy is that we need a fund balance of between 5-15% of operating revenue. (Jamie never made athletics do this, of course.) We are just above the maximum at 15.8% Huh? So Bunsis is right, UO is sitting on $70M. Where is it – not in my ASA!

Bunsis: Some accounting stuff on unrestricted net assets. What’s the standard? Moffitt: that’s all on OUS. Mauer: We appreciate the information. Rudnick: Can Jamie leave? Bunsis: How do you deal with the swap gain on new hires? You’re calling new hires a cost, but you’re overstating the cost. Gleason: You’re numbers are drastically exaggerated! Moffitt: I haven’t calculated this, but I could. Green: Gender salary differences? Gleason: We do track that, will get it do us. Green: What about the rest of the data you’ve been promising to get for us? Rudnick: We took that job over from Randy because he wan’t doing anything, so call us and we’ll charge you $400 and hour to do his job.

Rudnick: Yes, address all future information requests to us, because Randy has completely lost it.

Exit: Wolf, Moffitt, Shelton.

Act III:

Mauer: How will we do merit for NTTF’s? Rudnick: Dept’s must submit memo on merit policies by end of March. Need to include NTTF stuff. Gleason: Trust us, we will require a justifiable rational process. “We will account for the rhythm of academic life.”  “We are trying to figure out how to raise faculty salaries. It is extremely frustrating to hear you challenge our intent!” Mauer: Thanks, that’s refreshing.

Of course they want to raise our salaries, it’s just that it is not our administration’s top priority. Siphoning tuition money off for the Jock Box, Matt court parking, Mac court, athletic overhead subsidies, sabbaticals for Bean, maintaining Jamie’s 15.8% reserve, etc., all come first.

Cecil: We proposed 3.5% raises months ago. Rudnick: We had to wait til now because we had to pay off all our other costs first – you guys get what’s leftover. So, you gonna take it? Cecil: You say you are trying to be collegial, so why won’t you talk with us about the terms?

Rudnick: We are sorry we sprung this on you. The possibility of raises came up suddenly after Bean got fired. If you can get Geller and me fired too, maybe you’ll get more. Gleason: “This is urgent, we have to start the process now” because we stonewalled for so long.

Rudnick: We hope we give you a memo today, maybe we can then have a secret conference call to talk through any issues.

Quick break. We’re not going to get a resolution on the puddle raises today.

Mauer: Union counter on grievance proposal. I’m snoozing.

Art 6: Union counter on dues deductions: Admin doesn’t want to be responsible for deducting the proportion of dues that go to union politicking, e.g. lobbying Salem for more higher ed money, claiming that’s too complicated for HR to do. Nope, it’s simpler for HR to do it. (Not to say it’s the right thing, just that it’s simpler.) Rudnick: Suppose a faculty member with a religious objection sues us for deductions. Cecil and Rudnick. More back and forth. Union’s lawyers are cheaper than your $400 an hour, we are not going to pay you. Drop dead. Rudnick: I’ll think about that. Mauer: standard language. Rudnick: I understand you don’t want to write a blank check, I get it, will consider.

Art 8: Union counter on non-discrimination. Snoozer.

Art 5: Union counter on Union Rights: Union is giving up right to make a presentation to new employees? Why? I sure wish someone had explained what the hell is going on with our administration back when I got hired. Instead I got a lecture from Lorraine Davis.

The End.


  1. Anonymous 03/07/2013

    Cry “Havoc!” and let loose the dogs of war.

  2. Anonymous 03/07/2013

    You know those emails you get from the dear wife of the recently departed Nigerian prince that wants you to assist in getting her money out of the country so she can do good things with it? She can help you, just respond to her email.

  3. Anonymous 03/07/2013

    What’s this AAU thing people keep talking about and how would I know if I worked at an institution that was part of it?

    • Anonymous 03/07/2013

      AAU = Association of American Universities. Google that to find what it is and whether your university is a member.

    • Awesome0 03/07/2013

      At the UO, given how the faculty are treated, you wouldn’t know we are part of it.

  4. Anonymous 03/07/2013

    I agree with UOM on Jamie’s “I don’t mean to scare people” line. I think it’s time for Oregon to grow up a bit more generally.

  5. Awesome0 03/07/2013

    Our salaries are going to be higher than the AAU averages.



    • Three-Toed Sloth 03/07/2013


    • Anonymous 03/08/2013

      Dog on numerology

      I think three-toed meant 2507

  6. Awesome0 03/07/2013

    Here’s my big question.

    Given this is supposed to address internal equity.
    Given that we are so far behind external equities, then any meaningful external equity adjustment are going to wipe out any internal equity/merit increases these proposed raises.

  7. kangasupial 03/07/2013

    Merit for Research NTTF should look like the SEIU IT merit stuff.

    Rating chosen on yearly review maps to a percentage increase.

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