Union Bargaining XIII: Money (with postscript)

Venue: Room 122 Knight Library, 8AM, Tuesday 3/19/13.

Postscript: (Raises to get to comparators here, what to cut here, Moffitt’s secret budget slides here.)

  • The union’s bargaining update, with a description of their salary plan, is here:

Yesterday, the United Academics Bargaining Team proposed a carefully considered, comprehensive and forward-looking salary package in response to the administration’s recent raise proposal. We proposed across-the-board raises for all research and instructional faculty; separate pools of money for merit and equity raises for Tenure-Track Faculty (TTF) and Non-Tenure-Track Faculty (NTTF); money to establish salary floors for NTTF; and uniform promotion raises. 

Our comprehensive proposal incorporates the University Administration’s proposal announced on March 4th. While we were encouraged that they agree with us that faculty need raises now, we are less pleased with both the relatively small size of their package and its incompleteness. 

The University Administration has stated several times that there is no higher priority for them than raising faculty salaries. We agree, and so we proposed the following package as a shared first step toward rectifying years of stagnant salaries …

  • Despite the $400 an hour we are paying Rudnick, and the unknown amounts her firm is charging us for other lawyers, and the many senior UO administrators involved (Bean, Geller, Gleason, Blandy, Altmann, Moffitt, Shelton) the administration seems completely unprepared at the bargaining table. They are unable to make even the simplest decisions. They don’t understand basic facts like how much a 1% raise will cost. They’re prone to strange and unprofessional rants and asides, and they just look confused, angry, and unhappy (going from left to right). They can’t even put out sensible explanations of their decisions. You can read their attempt to reply to the union proposal here. It’s like they went to a different meeting. Oh wait, Barbara Altmann writes the administration’s bargaining recaps without even showing show up for the sessions. How’s that for serious.
  • It’s past time for an adult to step in on the administration side. President Gottfredson is now almost 8 months into his job. We’ll find out Thursday if he is up to it.


  • In session XI Gottfredson made an ultimatum offer of 1.5% across the board retro to 1/1/2013, then 1.5% ATB for 2013-14, with another 2% for merit. The faculty haven’t had merit raises since 2007, were told in 2011 that real merit increases were coming, and were surprised that Gottfredson’s proposal simply ignored past promises to deal with external equity by moving UO faculty salaries to our AAU peers
  • In session XII Moffitt attempted to convince the faculty that the cupboard was bare. So bare she cut the meeting short when questioned, and then completely redacted the budget projections she’d shown OUS before she made them public. Moffitt’s lost all credibility – maybe they’ll try Brad Shelton next?
  • The administration quickly dropped their ultimatum threat, and the union will come to this meeting with a serious counterproposal. Rudnick, Blandy and Gleason won’t have authority to approve it, so they’ll caucus and text it to Gottfredson, who will then have to make a decision. Given all the administration’s talk about the need for speed, I’d expect some quick action. Be there.
Cast: Union is caucusing. At 8:30, the admin’s start to drift in: VP for Online Grade Inflation Doug Blandy, Dean of Journalism and Secrecy Tim Gleason, and “Virginia Slim” Sharon Rudnick.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion of what people said, were thinking, wanted to say, or will regret that they didn’t say, “maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life.” Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.


Act I: 

8:00: No admins, faculty leave to caucus. Back 8:30-9:00?

8:50: Faculty return.

Art 20: Economic Proposals from union.
Rudnick: UO will *not* implement their plan for raises for faculty until a complete economic agreement is reached. They will give they raises only to OAs and non BU faculty members. The dollars will stay in the bank though, and the university will not backtrack on that part of the proposal. They just won’t implement it. Huh? What’s the point of Gottfredson agreeing he will pay out the money and then not paying it out?

Mauer: Lets see where we are after today. Rudnick: OK. Mauer: We have followup questions from the Moffitt presentation. Want to understand the financing …

50 faculty and a dog file in to bargaining room. Tight fit.

Mauer: We have a comprehensive counterproposal. Context: Bunsis showed how far UO salaries are below AAU peers.

UO’s pay for fulls is last of the 9, same for assoc, assistants, middle of the pack for instructors. Dollar amounts we are behind averages: $27K, $11K, $5K, $11K.

Unfair, poor morale, retention problem, hiring problem in terms of money and faculty time needed to do the searches. Problem has gotten worse over the year, this is why union proposed a 3.5% increase in the fall. Gottfredson rejected it. We urge administration to implement retention and catchup raises – you haven’t.

You initially proposed today as the day to start economic bargaining. Then two weeks ago you came up with a partial proposal. We welcome this, we think the sensible thing to do is for us to put forward a comprehensive proposal – as you asked us to do. Our proposal balances speed and thoroughness.

1) You call it COLA. It’s not matching cost of living increases, we call it ATB. Doesn’t address compression and equity problems, don’t conflate them. Union proposes 1.5% retro, 1.5% starting July 2013 year, 4% 2014.

2) Merit: 0% retro, 2% 2013, 4% 2014.

3) Compression Equity: 0% retro, 3% 2013, 1% 2014.

4) Floors: 3% pool, $36K minimum wage for full time NTTF, or ~$18 hour.

5) Promotion: 10% raise for tenure and promotion rather than current 8%.

Note that FY 13 means 2012-2013, etc.

Mauer: We used your proposal as the base. ATB is retroactive to beginning of teaching. All in all we are asking for 7% ATB, cost of living is up 8.9%. For merit, equity we create two pools separated into NTTF and TTF to keep things fair. Generally accept your language for distributing merit for this year, just get it done, but we insist criteria look at work since the last merit raise – 2007? Shorter reach back would hurt people who published a work just before evaluation period. Floors: Pool of 3% of NTTF salary for floors with ~$18 an hour goal. Establish a joint admin/union “Salary Distribution Committee” to hash out details of policies and procedures. 3 union, 3 admins. Tasked with equity, floors. Policies would be transparent and published on the web.

Rudnick: What’s your cost estimate for the 4% ATB? Huh? She doesn’t know that? Hire an economist. Mauer: We’ve seen how you allocate your resources, you need to change your priorities, which are harming the university. Rudnick: Lecture on reserves. This would go over better if she wasn’t hiding the projections:

But no, she keeps lecturing us. Mauer: Yes, you need recurring income, you have it. (But you won’t show us the projections). Equitable salaries are an investment in UO’s quality. You need to make that commitment. Gleason: Where do you think the money comes from and goes? I’m puzzled by your assertion of a lack of commitment. What do you think deans and administrators do if not try to raise faculty salaries. (Look at all the other things UO spent money on.) Now Gleason is blaming salaries on the freezes. This problem has gone on for years, many years with no freezes, money got siphoned off for other things. Regardless, UO has plenty of money now, there’s no freeze – so now’s the time Tim!

Now Gleason is asking the union what they think should be cut! I’ve got a few ideas…

Now Rudnick is back on the freezes. This is bizarre. There is no freeze. They have money. Now’s the time. Green: Lariviere had a plan for raises and had a plan to pay for them. Now the freeze is gone. Implement his plan, get salary up to where it should be. You say we all want to do this, it will be good for UO, let’s do it!

Blandy: Claims something nonsensical about retention – we’ve retained everyone except the people who got big offers. WTF? That’s the point Doug. We lost two neuro people and an economist. Now Blandy tries to drive a wedge between students and faculty. Then he asks a good question: are these raises your top economic priority? Rudnick: You didn’t look at any other other comparators besides “aspirational comparators”. Mauer: What are your comparators for UO? Not the OUS AAU peers? (Won’t matter, we’re behind so far this wouldn’t get us close to those.) Cecil: Data comes from UO website, and these have been used for the Senate 2000, 2008 whitepapers, etc. Rudnick: OK. (But she’s trying to hint that it’s soon going to be time for the faculty to give up on that AAU business.)

Rudnick: We’re did you pull out that 4% merit number for 2015? Mauer: Attempt to reward best faculty. You got a problem with that? Rudnick: Floors: All NTTF but only NTTF? Cecil: Includes adjuncts. 3% is an estimate of the cost of a floor of about $36K, but we recognize variation may be needed, particularly for grant funded positions, worked out by SDC. Mauer: Agreement on the SDC would speed this process up. Rudnick: Where’s final authority for SDC? Cecil: In the committee, which must agree in order get the money out. Rudnick: OK. Where do the specific equity decisions get made? Mauer: Committee develops procedures, departments implement. Gleason: Does this committee replace the provost? Cecil: University could assign the Provost to the committee. Pratt: Since UO has committed to addressing equity, this is a way of rationally managing the details, consulting. Blandy nods, Gleason glares. Pratt: Different from merit because that’s in the departments.  Rudnick: So it’s a typical joint management/union committee. Sets out procedures, then does revisions, or is this a one off? Mauer: likely it will need to be around for life of contract. Rudnick: Q about floors – they are adjusted with raises, not an additional raise? Cecil: Yes.

Break time.

Act II: They’re back.

Rudnick: We’ll see you this, and raise you another 2% for merit for 2014. Whoops, guess not. Rudnick: No, we’ll go back to Gottfredson and get you an answer Th. Meanwhile, just to be jerks, we’ll have Bean send out a memo saying the other raises will only go to people outside the bargaining unit. The issue for us is 2015. (So, again, explain why are you not giving the 2013 raises now?) Mauer: We look forward to Thursday, perhaps you should bring someone with some knowledge and authority to the table? Rudnick: We’ll let you know about that. We are worried about 2015, need to make sure the university has money for sports subsidies and central administration. but we won’t show you the data:

Rudnick: Despite the fact we won’t show the projections, we want *you* to show us where the money for these raises should come from. We pay Moffitt $270K to hide the data from you and run out of the room when you ask tough questions, so good luck with that, suckas. Your cost estimates sound about right though, at a max this will cost 2.5% of the total UO budget – good detective work!

Mauer: Sorry, isn’t it the administration’s job to prioritize? Rudnick: We don’t have the money in a checking account for the raises Lariviere proposed. It’s a zero-sum game and I don’t understand the budget. (Then she says the problem is 2015, suggesting she’s OK with the union’s 2014 numbers.) Cecil: How long will it take you to do your homework? You knew it was due today.

Rudnick: $12-13 million for our 2013 and 2014 proposal. (I don’t think so, looks like about $6 million, total, including the benefits.) Now she’s blathering. My only point is … Gleason jumps in with “burn rates”. Man’s got a buzz word for everything. Just stop, Tim. Green: You’re going to “burn through” a lot of good faculty! Gleason: Where should the money come from?

Gleason has been sitting here at the table for four months and he hasn’t started looking into this yet? A worthy replacement for interim Provost Bean, for sure.

Cecil: Will you give us budget info? Rudnick: I don’t know. I’ll have to ask Gottfredson how much he wants to hide. Gleason starts pounding the table. Now it’s *not* a question of reprioritizing, it’s a question of what not to fund! (Man’s got a strange understanding of the english language.) Raising faculty salaries has always been a priority – we lose too many faculty, we all know that. (Not Blandy, who just said we weren’t losing any good faculty). Rudnick: You tell us where the money should come from!

She’s trying to set this up to blame tuition increases on the faculty.

Psaki: The Senate whitepaper is now moth-eaten. We are going to look at what the administration does, not what it says. Bramhall: Remember the NTTF’s have never been evaluated, had no raises in years.

Mauer: So, we look forward to talking more Thursday. Release time request – partial release time for one person on the BT. Rudnick: I asked Gottfredson, he said no. Nothing has changed. I get $400 an hour, you get nothing. But I’ll charge another $400 to ask again.

Summer term proposal from admins. They didn’t bring handouts for the press, sorry.

Rudnick: Summer teaching is voluntary, no requirement or retaliation, cancellation can happen. Compensation is agreed upon between dean and faculty. Green: So no compensation for a cancelled summer class? Rudnick: Intent is to pay people for supervising grad students over summer, or at least not prohibit this. Cool. Except they want the students to pay summer tuition. (Note: this is exactly the sort of bureaucratization of our grad student teaching that the anti-union people warned about. Except this is an *administration* proposal. WTF?

The End. See you Thursday.

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60 Responses to Union Bargaining XIII: Money (with postscript)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Why bother fighting amongst ourselves, when the University will simply tell us how it is in the end. Besides, whatever the union gets us, the University will take back in the form of insurance premium hikes and furlough days. Meanwhile the union will take it out the other end in dues. Cheers!

  2. Awesome0 says:

    Fact: Sharon Rudnick has referred to the AAU peer group as “your so-called peers” and “what you call your peers” and “your aspirational peers” and suggested that we use other peers “other public universities not in the AAU”.

    If the UO admin feels that the AAU peers are our peers, and Rudnick has repeatedly insulted all of us (and you) publicly over and over again saying that they aren’t our peer group for dozens of us to hear over and over again, then WHAT THE FUCK IS SHE DOING REPRESENTING THE UO at the bargaining table (I’m allowed one cuss word, and this is my first and probably last time using it).

    • Anonymous says:

      UOM the “economist” has been fact checked and found wanting.

    • UO Matters says:

      That site has been up since 2/28, you’re the second person to notice it. I was going to respond to it, but of course Altmann – or whoever writes it – doesn’t allow faculty to post comments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Administrator spin, it seems. I prefer UOM’s spin, actually. I love that UOM is (again) forcing admins to be more transparent. (Just wait, though. They will take credit for this transparency in short order.)

    • Anonymous says:

      My favorite spin… “At a time of dramatic enrollment increases, there have been slight changes in class sizes.” These people are arrogant bastards. (Tell me why we dropped the right to strike?)

    • Anonymous says:

      Believe me, a lot of people have noticed it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I need an economist!

    here is a way to pay. the 6.8 or 6.9 % tuition increase is a done deal and tuition is about $350,000,000 of the total budget so there is about $24 MILLION DOLLARS. Just use all of that for Faculty this year. Or just state, all tuition revenue over $350 million goes to faculty, and no it is not because of faculty that the tuition is going up as we said faculty salaries have been flat or negative for years. It is up to admin to decide where to cut from admin, perhaps, see how much it costs OSU to hire State Troopers.

    While we are at it here are some articles to codify:
    At a minimum 75% of all tuition increases must go to faculty compensation.
    Or All expenditures must be transparent and open including outside dollars (foundation) and legal. Nothing is exempt for expenditure reporting.

  4. Maybe it’s time to fire the bargaining team? Strikes were taken off the table immediately = loss of bargaining power (Of course no one wants a strike, but you don’t take it off the table).

    2% raises? That’s just gross and offensive. How does that make up for being paid 20% less than comparators?

    With the lack of spines on this bargaining team, admin seems to have faculty where they want them. As soon as bargaining is over, do Cecil and Mauer still get paid? I suppose the longer they draw this out, the better it is for them.

    • Anonymous says:

      I share your reservations about taking strikes off the table at the outset. I fail to see the strategic value in doing so. Can someone explain to me why this was done?

    • Anonymous says:

      How do you take a statutory right that must be clearly and unmistakable waived in a collective bargaining agreement off the table in negotiations? There can be no waiver until there is an agreement that contains it.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s right. Strikes are not off the table until an agreement is in place. Before that, anything legal is an option.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dog says

    its actually worse than faculty aren’t valued here – yes dogs like me are interchangeable parts but that’s no true for everyone.

    Worse still is the loss of PIs with labs and active research and the like. Because now you have to come up with startup funds (at least 500K) for their replacement. Its much cheaper to retain them. Period.

    • Anonymous says:

      Total start-up is closer to $1M these days if including renovation, etc. You hope the new faculty member will get a grant in 3 years, maybe a second later on, bring $100k-$200k in indirect a year back. So it takes 10-15 years just to pay back the start-up, then you can start putting that hire’s money to operations. With the new model of sharing costs with CAS, the VPR can do it in 8-10 years. So losing someone throws the whole business model off.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yes, work on the CV!

    If you get an offer, you get an equity raise. True story! If enough people leave, it will reveal the true nature of the administration.

    Faculty aren’t valued here. End of story.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Not sure I like the idea of a “Salary Distribution Committee” for the equity raises. A lot of faculty in my area (music) are curious, and rightly so, about how this contract is going to address the problem of us being paid $15-25,000 less than the average salaries of our peers. I was hoping to give them some specific percentage numbers; i.e. 6% for those furthest below the average, 4% for those less far below, etc. Now all I can tell them is “I don’t know; but hopefully a committee’s going to be appointed to figure it out.”

    Sounds like salary equity is slipping out of our grasp once again. Maybe it’s time to get to work on the CV.

    • UO Matters says:

      The clear and stated intent of the equity raise proposal is to move department averages by rank to our peers. Music is indeed way behind, they should expect to get a big chunk of this money.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good luck with that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dog says

      and yes, this was the exact implementation of the CAS procedure of May 2011 that generated a lot of outcry. In my department (I think I have one, but never too sure) the average assistant professor salary was already above the comparator average so no raises were given for that rank but this simple detail was not adequately communicated. I also think that we need more than just the first moment of the salary distribution to do these kinds of equity adjustments in a fairer and more defensible way. For instance, the removal of one assistant professor in our department from the calculation, would have granted raises
      to that rank ….

    • Anonymous says:

      What WAS the CAS procedure? How WAS it implemented? How WERE decisions about individual faculty members ultimately made? I have never managed to get a good story about any of this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dog says

      this has been posted several times before on this blog.
      Short version:

      1. Decisions on individuals WERE NOT made by this process (but may have been made after the initial process)

      2. If department X had an average salary at some rank that was Z% lower than the comparators then everyone in that rank got a raise of %Z/3 $

      Example: Suppose full professors in the Department of Incremental Knowledge had an average salary of 18% below
      their comparators (however those where chosen) then each
      full professor would have received a raise of 1/3*18% = 6%.

  8. Awesome0 says:

    Its even better, we don’t need a provost…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Did I hear “replace the provost?” I got excited for a minute, there.

  10. Awesome0 says:

    Evidently Rudnick doesn’t know a salary floor is.

  11. Awesome0 says:

    Wait I meant Gleason, I can’t keep them apart.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I think you’ve almost convinced them.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Academic workers unite! Occupy!

  14. Awesome0 says:

    Sorry I meant Blandy..

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow! We’re virtually in agreement!

  16. Awesome0 says:

    My response to Gleason,

    Weak axiom of revealed preferences.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Rudnick: Thank you for making my job so much easier (and rewarding). I was afraid you’d accept our offer with a reopener.

  18. roo says:

    Nice to see the split TTF/NTTF pools and the reasonable salary floor.

    • Anonymous says:

      So much for hiring technicians right out of undergrad. I can get someone with much more experience for 36k.

    • Anonymous says:

      The demand response to the NTTF generosity will come back to bite them.

    • Anonymous says:

      NTTF salary floor of 36k is lose/lose. The cost of research is already high at UO and this will just make it worse.

    • roo says:

      So, how much are these people getting paid now?

    • Anonymous says:

      About 10k (+OPE) less than that for someone straight out of undergrad.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would like to point out that NTTF also include skilled, hard-working research assistants and research associates many of whom have worked for the university for 10, 20, 30 years and still don’t earn the “minimum” 36K that was proposed. NTTF’s, just like teaching faculty, deserve to earn a living wage and comparable wage.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s an argument for merit and equity, not for a floor.

  19. Anonymous says:

    ‘Tight fit.’ Brilliant move. Bet they’ll roll right over.

    • Anonymous says:

      Should we interpret this as further evidence that admin are opposed to faculty making a living? I can’t understand your attitude.

    • Anonymous says:

      That sounds like our dear Provost. He always has our back.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Humiliation is man’s greatest weapon. It causes pain greater than physical pain, which usually goes away in time, because it is re-experienced as if it is happening again every time it is remembered. In fact, the memory is reconstructed each time to become selectively more traumatic. If you want an enemy for life, humiliate her. If you want a deal, drop the sarcasm and treat your targets as you would be treated. – Ishmael

    • Anonymous says:

      You haven’t recognized the structure of the game. While there are repeated interactions, turnover in admin posts suggests that selection into admin posts can be shaped, short versus long tradeoffs matter, etc. Among other factors, that faculty outlast admins suggests that humiliation a valid strategy. I hear ridicule also works, or self-ridicule as in the case of Beangram v James Bean.

    • UO Matters says:

      The administration has taken away all the faculty’s other levers.

    • Anonymous says:

      How’s that working for you?

    • Anonymous says:

      Pretty good, we’ve chased off some seriously bad admins.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t offer an alternative, or support that your way is working?

    • Anonymous says:

      Ask Old Man.

    • daffy duck says:

      Among humans, the evolutionary standard for leadership that attracts and inspires followers appears to include at least the following: bold actions that clearly put the interests of the group above the leader’s narrow self interest; demonstration of talent and skill in doing so; and a willingness to listen, admit fallibility and an ocasional mistake. However, It would be naive to deny that on very rare occasions stubborn ruthlessness sometimes works too. We have had disastrous examples of the latter in our recent history on campus, but precious little of the former. what is the best strategy for us? Some chose unionization, others public humiliation. Philosophically, I am with the Old Man on shared governance, but the way back to that path seems blocked by too many obstacles now, or am I too cynical?

    • Anonymous says:

      The best hope for shared governance is in Salem this week.

  21. Anonymous says:

    No, there will be no texting or agreement today.

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