Faculty union, administration negotiating for 2% raises for 1, 2 years

The current contract expires next summer, so bargaining would normally start in December. Faculty will get 0.75% across the board (ATB) and 2.25% merit pool raises in January 2018. This proposal is for a contract extension and 2% raises in 2019 and again in 2020. These would be part COLA or ATB, and part equity – which is a tough word to define.

During the last bargaining session the administration flip-flopped between raises for internal equity, external equity, and gender/racial equity. At one point they refused to talk about external equity. Then they refused to talk about gender/racial equity. Then they agreed to a working group on gender/racial equity, but not external equity. They’re currently in the process of hiring a consulting firm to study that.

Speaking of which – where are the bids? Three weeks and no reply to this simple public records request?

From: Bill Harbaugh <wtharbaugh@gmail.com>
Subject: PR request Salary Equity proposals
Date: June 18, 2017 at 10:25:52 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for a copy of all bids submitted in response to:

RFP to Conduct Salary Equity Study for the University of Oregon Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty Ranks,
UO General / Budget Control – 900100
UO Central Budget – 950001
PCS Administration – 431150

at https://pcs.uoregon.edu/content/business-opportunities

I ask for a fee-waiver on the basis of public interest.


Bill Harbaugh

Here’s today’s letter from UAUO Pres Michael Dreiling regarding the contract extension:

Possible Collective Bargaining Agreement Extension

As the Spring term was coming to a close, I had a conversation with President Schill about the possibility of extending our current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) by a year or two. The central idea was that we would come to an agreement about a new raise package for those years and leave the rest of the CBA in place until we could bargain a full Agreement.

I talked this idea over with our Executive Council and we all agreed it made sense to explore this idea with the UO administration. There were several factors that contributed to our thinking, but the main one concerned the unstable and uncertain budgeting future at the UO. We reasoned that locking in positive salary gains now, with no reductions to benefits, was something worth considering.

Dave Cecil and I have met with President Schill and VP Bill Brady twice now and we have the outlines of a proposal. Essentially, we’d be looking at a 2.0% raise in January 2019 and January 2020. In each year, the 2.0% would be divided between a COLA raise for all faculty and an equity raise for faculty who are entitled to one. We are still working out the details with the administration on how best to distribute equity money, but we are insisting on a mix of gender and diversity equity adjustments, adjustments based on our external comparators, and inversion/compression adjustments.

Agreeing to a two-year contract extension would delay bargaining for many needed non-salary improvements to the CBA. This concern weighs on our minds. The EC thought, however, that we will be in a better position to bargain with our new Provost after we have had a chance to build a relationship with him, and he has had a chance to acclimate himself to the university. We are confident that over the course of the next two years, he will learn that our concerns are shared by a great many people at UO, and he will want to work with us to solve them.

There is nothing final about any of our discussions, and I wanted to include you in the conversation as soon as was practicable. I welcome your feedback about this idea. Any agreement we reach with the UO will have to be ratified by the membership, so look for your opportunity to vote. We hope to have a proposal for you to vote on later in the summer.

In solidarity,
Michael Dreiling
UA President

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11 Responses to Faculty union, administration negotiating for 2% raises for 1, 2 years

  1. jackmccoy says:

    I guess I meant the biggest external equity adjustments would naturally arise due to uncompensated merit from previous years. We aren’t just closing gaps because they exist, or someone is woman that makes less than a man (regardless of what generated that difference be it discrimination or differential merit). We’re compensating a woman who makes less that her peers in her field. Or a man who makes less than the peers in his field. Fixing external equity seems the best way to address the social equity concerns, and the internal equity concerns. But this ties back to merit which has been uncompensated (or under compensated).

  2. hmm says:

    Equity raises are a joke. Traditional use is to award union-protected deadwoods. Looks like there’s now some momentum behind it to somehow address diversity-related goals. Why? Pay should be determined based on performance. The only equity raise I would support would be merit-equity (reduce gaps in faculty salaries for individuals within a department with similar records of achievement but different pay). Admittedly, that would be harder to administer.

    • Dog says:

      but in these days, can “performance” be evaluated objectively?

      • hmm says:

        Agreed regarding challenges in measuring academic performance, but hardly a reason to support equity raises.

        • UO Matters says:

          Fighting equity is like fighting diversity, or sustainability. Why fight against it, when it’s so much more productive to argue about how to define it?

          • Dog says:

            well internal equity is hard to define and probably pointless to try.

            External equity can be simple, but that simplicity requires arbitrariness.

            So lets say Full Professor at is at Institution X in dept Z
            Institution X believes their comparative is institution Y

            Suppose a Full Prof in a similar dept Z at institution Y makes
            12% more than the Full Prof in institution X – so there is
            an external equity quantitative number – if in the next pay raise
            at institution X attention to external equity is made at the 50% level then that prof would get a 6% raise (yes of course the prof at institution Y would also get raise so you haven’t quite made up 50% but this would be the general idea)

            I am not supporting this, just pointing this out and this is quite similar to the procedure adopted for the May 2011 raises in CAS.

            • Anonymous says:

              External equity is really similar to long term merit.

              Internal equity is a tax on merit raises.

              If our contracts become focused on equity and cola’s and fail to keep up with outside markets, those who can leave will. Our aspirational peer universities (those I’ve visited) giving raises almost exclusivity on merit. When its focused on small COLA’s and small equity raises, the best researchers will get larger (relative) outside offers, and the retention raises at UO will be smaller relative to those outside options.

            • Dog says:

              well I might agree to the internal equity comparison because I think the peer judgement of merit and internal equity are equally problematical.

              however, I don’t see external equity as the equivalent of long term
              merit – since I don’t even understand what long term merit means
              (how many merit raises, 3, 5, 37 ?)

  3. duckduckgo says:

    Will equity and inversion determinations include retirement benefits, allowing all the non-T1 employees to catch up a bit when talking about expected lifetime compensation?

  4. jackmccoy says:

    Killing merit raises will kill this university.

    “Hi, come work at UO. How’s the union? Ok if unless you’re highly meritous. In which case, then you get nothing”

    • solidcitizen says:

      How would going two years without merit raises be “killing merit raises”? The last contract had a 2.25% pool for last year Jan and a 2.25% pool for next Jan.

      Of all the raises the union has bargained, about half have been merit raises and half have been COLA/equity. How again is this killing merit?

      Before the union, the conversation would have looked like this, “Hi, come to work at UO. How are the raises? Ha, ha, ha, we don’t get raises, but we have the mountains and the coast.”

      And how is getting the same as everyone else “nothing”?

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