Faculty Union voting opens on contract ext / wage freeze

5/6/2020 update: 

If you’re a card-carrying member you should have received an email from UAUO with a link to an electronic ballot at 1:30 today.

Imagine that – the members of an organized faculty labor cartel voting on the terms of their contract with Johnson Hall’s hiring cartel. It must make our Board of Trustees’ already cold blood run even colder. I voted Yes, and yes of course I tried but you can only vote once. Voting closes Friday at 4. at 5PM. (extended by an hour because it started a little late.)

If you’re in the bargaining unit but not a member you can join here, although I imagine it’s too late to have a vote this time. If you’re not sure if you’re in the bargaining unit email info@uauoregon.org.

5/5/2020 update: Faculty Union to send wage freeze agreement to members for vote this Wed

A further message from the Faculty Union. Ballots go out tomorrow. I plan to vote Yes.

Dear Colleague,

We have been getting a couple of questions of a similar theme, and we thought it would be important to address them before we send electronic ballots tomorrow. There is also one clarification. Our original email, from Monday, May 4, 2020, providing a more complete synopsis of the agreement can be found here.

A “no” vote
A few people have asked us to clarify what the consequences are if the membership votes “No.”

The administration has told us that if there is not a deal in place on Friday, then they will issue all Career faculty up for renewal (who were not already being non-renewed for non-COVID reasons) 0.1 FTE contracts. In the next couple of weeks, bargaining would resume where we left off in March. We are guessing that the administration would make a proposal for a Progressive Pay Reduction Plan similar to the one they gave us last month. Bargaining over a PPR would happen in conjunction with bargaining over a raise package and all the other articles that were on the table when we left off. We anticipate those negotiations would last at least through Fall term.

In such a scenario, we would work hard to get FTE for 12-month faculty increased as soon as possible. We would also work hard to ensure that 9-month faculty had their FTE increased where we could in fall. We do not know what fall will look like – what classes will be in person, which will be remote, and how many students will come. This is why we thought it important that most Careers have contracts that guarantee them 0.5 and health insurance.

When we were finished with bargaining the full collective bargaining agreement, it would be sent to the membership for ratification.

Why different FTE?
There is some confusion why some faculty would receive 0.5 FTE and some would receive 0.55 FTE. The agreement is that for faculty who received actual annualized FTE (annualized FTE is the average of all three terms) of between 0.5 and 0.55 FTE, then they will receive a contract with at least a 0.5 FTE. For faculty who had contracts above 0.55, they will receive a contract with at least 0.55 FTE.

In the College of Arts and Sciences, almost all Career assignments are 9 courses of teaching at 0.1 FTE each, and 0.1 service. So, when service is pro rated, each course becomes a 0.11 assignment. A 0.55 FTE equals 5 courses and .05 for service. Not all colleges follow the CAS model, though, and some faculty are assigned 0.5 for a half-time job.

Is the FTE forever?
The contracts that faculty will be issued on Friday are not forever. Because of the uncertainty about what fall will look like as far as enrollment and how much our state subsidy will be cut, the administration will only issue conservative contracts. We fully expect that the FTE issued on Friday will go up for many of the Career faculty. We are very aware that the new contract year for 12-month Career faculty starts on July 1. On Monday, we will continue our effort to pressure the administration to increase FTE for 12-month faculty as soon as possible. We will also continue to push the administration to increase FTE as much as possible for all faculty.

PPR
Finally, some faculty want to know why we didn’t just take the original PPR proposal from the university and avoid all this mess. As we said in our initial message, the leadership of United Academics had several problems with the original proposal from the administration. We shared the proposal and our thinking and asked the membership for feedback. The feedback we heard told us that many faculty shared our concerns, and many had worries and objections that went further. The leadership of the University Senate recently expressed similar concerns.

As we have said, we hope to be able to find a PPR that works for the entire campus and addresses the objections that faculty, OAs, and classified staff have raised. In conjunction with those negotiations, we will continue to negotiate for a restoration of FTE for all Careers to at least the same FTE as they had last year. We will also try to fix our obviously broken Career contract system. Many of our Tenure-Track faculty have wondered why there is not a buyout system that might be able to free up some dollars and FTE; we want to negotiate that as well.

Clarification
Unfortunately, we were not as clear as we might have been in our messaging yesterday about who will qualify for health insurance next year.

Almost all faculty who had at least an annualized 0.5 FTE contract received health insurance through the university last year, either through PEBB or through the ACA. However, six faculty members had an annualized 0.5 FTE, but did not have insurance through the university throughout the entire year. These six faculty members will receive at least a 0.5 FTE contract, but will only have health insurance during the terms that qualify for PEBB. We regret any confusion we may have caused.  We are reaching out to those faculty to explain the situation.

Conclusion
We hope this has answered some of your questions and concerns about the deal in front of you.

The UA bargaining team recommends a “yes” vote. You will receive an e-ballot tomorrow. Voting will run through Thursday, closing at 4 PM.

In solidarity,
The United Academics Bargaining Team

5/4/2020:

One year wage freeze except promotions, ensures 0.5 FTE and health care for Careers/NTTFs up for renewal, extends contract to July 2021, bargaining restarts in Jan but negotiations for expectation of continued employment for Careers, a sensible alternative to the Administration’s brain-damaged Weakly Progressive Pay Reduction Plan, and a new and improved TRP/buyout plan start this July.

I plan to vote Yes.

The full proposal is here: http://uauoregon.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/MOU-re-CBA-extension-and-impacts-of-COVID-19-UA-5-4-20-very-final.pdf

UAUO message to members below and here: https://mailchi.mp/uauoregon/bargaining-agreement-reached-voting-information?e=b103ce406c:

After several exchanges of proposals, our bargaining team has reached an agreement with the administration. In order for our agreement to be finalized, it must be ratified by a vote of the membership. If you are receiving this email, our records indicate that you are a member of United Academics who is currently employed by the University of Oregon. If this information is incorrect, please let us know right away.

As a currently active member, you will receive an email at noon on Wednesday with a link so you can vote. Your vote will not be tabulated with your name, so your vote will be via secret ballot, as required by the UA bylaws. Polling will close at 4pm Thursday.

There is a summary of the agreement below. Many faculty have reached out to ask why we are not negotiating a wage cut agreement and/or fighting for full employment for Career faculty. Part of the agreement proposed below is a resumption of wage cut negotiations this summer. It is our hope that we will be able to find agreement on a wage cut proposal that can be approved by the faculty as quickly as possible, and that a restoration of full FTE for Career faculty be part of the deal. The agreement below is, hopefully, a stopgap measure to give us time to bargain a fair wage cut agreement. At the very worst, it will provide over 150 Career faculty with the guarantee of health insurance next academic year. In the absence of this agreement, the administration planned on issuing .1 FTE contracts for all 211 career faculty up for renewal.

Summary of the Agreement:

The current collective bargaining agreement will be extended by one year and expire on June 30, 2021.

The bargaining which began in January will be abandoned. Only the proposals that were tentatively agreed upon will be in effect for the next year.

Bargaining starts over in January 2021, with release time totaling 1.5 FTE per term for bargaining team members.

By July 15, the two parties will begin negotiations over a restoration of full Career contracts for AY 20-21, a Progressive Pay Reduction plan, an “expectation of continued employment” system for Career contracts, and a new Tenure Reduction Plan with a buyout option that could be put into effect as soon as possible.

A small number of Career faculty who are up for renewal will be non-renewed for performance reasons or for cuts planned pre-COVID. These faculty retain their rights to grieve their non-renewals.

Career faculty who are renewed on May 8 will receive one-year contracts.

All Career faculty who are renewed who did NOT have an annualized FTE of at least 0.5 FTE in AY 19-20 will have either a 0.1 or 0.11 contract renewal for AY 20-21.

All Career faculty who are renewed and had an annualized FTE at or above 0.5 FTE in AY 19-20 will have either a 0.5 or 0.55 FTE contract renewal for AY 20-21. This contract will also provide these faculty with health insurance benefits for the entire AY 20-21.

There will be no merit, COLA, or across-the-board wage increase during AY 20-21, but all eligible faculty can earn promotion and post-tenure review raises.

The administration will develop criteria for evaluating when FTE can be increased and how available FTE will be distributed. Criteria must be objective. Criteria will be reviewed by the union before the criteria are enacted.

Whenever possible, faculty in their highest rank will be given preference for FTE increases over faculty not in their highest rank. Similarly, whenever possible, faculty in the second highest rank will be given preference for FTE increases over faculty who have not achieved promotion.

The bargaining team recommends a “YES” vote on this agreement. It is not an agreement we would have bargained for in the absence of COVID-19, but it provides most of our Career faculty up for renewal at least a 0.5 FTE job with health insurance benefits in exchange for no regular wage increase. Given the uncertainties our community and the academy face, we believe this is a good deal. Even better, we will have the opportunity to try to make it better by finding a comprehensive and fair package that restores FTE, fixes our broken Career contract system, and improves our tenure-track retirement system.

Please look for the email with a link to your ballot on Wednesday. Please vote.

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31 Responses to Faculty Union voting opens on contract ext / wage freeze

  1. AnonNTTF says:

    Must be nice to be able to pay your bills on a 0.5 FTE, with only a weak assurance that they might be able to negotiate more later.

    I’m not seeing the upside here.

  2. CSN says:

    Seems like this is mostly UO and UA walking back from the cliff, and pushing the more serious and difficult negotiations and choices until a time when we have a better idea of what next year is actually going to look like. No across-the-board increase is sad, but then again I expect either 0 CPI growth with high probability or 2000% CPI growth with low probability, in which case we’ll have bigger problems to worry about.

  3. ck says:

    I think I agree with AnonNTTF. As I read this thing, the union is basically offering significant concessions for very little guaranteed upside and in the process is basically giving away most of what it could otherwise use to effectively bargain with in July (and January). Rather than opposing the University’s unequal expenditures in the first place (e.g., Altman and Cristobal salaries, and their bloated staff of assistant coaches who make far more than almost all faculty on campus — or, e.g., the exorbitant salaries of the finance staff who didn’t sufficiently plan a financial runway in the event of economic downturn), is the union just accepting management’s claim that such items are non-negotiable? Why have a union if they’re going to roll over when management just insists that this is how things have to run? But maybe that’s just me, and I’ve been wrong lots of times before, so it’s a very good thing that this thing goes to a vote rather than having just me decide. That is a definite plus of the union. (Oh, and thanks Bill, for providing a forum for people to post feedback — but shouldn’t the union have a blog on their website after however many years? Without it the union can feel, at times, pretty ‘top-down’ too…)

    • uomatters says:

      Let me attempt to unpack this and respond, as UOM:

      CK: I think I agree with AnonNTTF. As I read this thing, the union is basically offering significant concessions for very little guaranteed upside and in the process is basically giving away most of what it could otherwise use to effectively bargain with in July (and January).

      UOM: The administration’s threat point is 0.1 FTE and no health insurance for ~200 longtime Career faculty, starting in mid September. This agreement postpones that threat for a year. I don’t understand what bargaining power we give up by voting for this. A strike in the middle of a pandemic?

      CK: Rather than opposing the University’s unequal expenditures in the first place (e.g., Altman and Cristobal salaries, and their bloated staff of assistant coaches who make far more than almost all faculty on campus — or, e.g., the exorbitant salaries of the finance staff who didn’t sufficiently plan a financial runway in the event of economic downturn), is the union just accepting management’s claim that such items are non-negotiable?

      UOM: The union has done what it can to argue against these sorts of expenditures. Our power to do this is limited. Under law, we have little power to bargain over much besides the pay and working conditions of our bargaining unit members. We can make hay about other expenditures, and we can try to embarrass the Administration for being the servile and well-compensated lackeys of Phil Knight, but it’s not “a mandatory subject for bargaining”.

      CK: Why have a union if they’re going to roll over when management just insists that this is how things have to run?

      UOM: This agreement gets us a wage freeze and continued employment for at-risk employees for a year. Meanwhile we bargain. I don’t see how that’s “rolling-over”. Unless you believe faculty are ready to strike, now. Which would be illegal, because the contract is in force until July.

      CK: But maybe that’s just me, and I’ve been wrong lots of times before, so it’s a very good thing that this thing goes to a vote rather than having just me decide. That is a definite plus of the union.

      UOM: Agreed. Voting is good.

      CK: (Oh, and thanks Bill, for providing a forum for people to post feedback — but shouldn’t the union have a blog on their website after however many years? Without it the union can feel, at times, pretty ‘top-down’ too…)

      UOM: You’re welcome, I think. There’s a reason every functional society delegates the responsibility for feedback, commentary, and fact-gathering to some sort of independent fourth estate. At moment, for UO, this blog seems to be it. May god have mercy on us all.

  4. Heraclitus says:

    It would be good to see actual numbers before voting. 211 up for renewal. “At the worst” health insurance for over 150 (=151?). So sixty or so will not be renewed? Health insurance but no real job for many of the others? What *exactly* are we voting for? The admin’s escape clause is significant (“cuts planned pre-covid”), as any NTTF who has ever waited on contract renewal until mid or late summer knows.

  5. NTTF FTE says:

    Here’s another question: I’ve looked through the CBA numerous times, but I can’t find anything that guarantees any NTTF any level of FTE, even mid-contract. There’s one provision in which the admin agrees that .5 FTE is the goal, but it’s not binding language. Can the admin significantly lower an NTTF’s FTE in the middle of a multi-year contract?

  6. Hold says:

    This plan seems to include both a wage freeze plus a PPR (negotiated this summer). So they’re taking the financial costs of COVID out on the faculty. The union can do better. The only way you make admin make cuts elsewhere is by holding the line on faculty compensation and calling the bluff about firing NTTF.

    • uomatters says:

      Without this agreement, the current contract expires Jun 30th 2020. While there are some labor rules that might slow them down, the administration could then impose wage cuts, layoffs, willy-nilly. This agreement buys us a year to negotiate those. The administration will have to open its books, to some extent, during those negotiations.

  7. AnNTTF says:

    Wait? What? I thought we were supposed to be “in this together”. Wasn’t that the point of the PPR? Does this mean the OAs and SEIU members are also not agreeing to PPR? Or is everyone else except faculty (at least those not up for renewal) in this together?

    All UO employees were supposed to take pay cuts, not 50-80% pay cuts for 200+ NTTF up for renewal this year. I don’t care if the bargaining will be reopened and the PPR will eventually be negotiated. It stinks to be one of those people who should be up for a 3 year 1.0 FTE contract only to learn that it’s likely to only be 1 year at 0.5 FTE (especially during a term when I’m working more than normal in response to remote teaching demands in a pandemic). This is especially crummy based on the UA letter that it doesn’t seem that the rest of the faculty in union will be immediately impacted.

    And what if I vote no and say this is not a reasonably negotiated solution and that the union should be protecting ALL faculty equally. If it doesn’t pass, will all 200 of us NTTF be laid off? The union is supposed to protect us, not throw NTTF under the bus. Perhaps in solidarity all other faculty should agree to take a 50% pay cut for next academic year too. It sure seems that this negotiation sends a clear message that NTTF are disposable and not really important faculty after all. Perhaps there’s an alternative scenario and reasoning here, but based on what I read in the UA letter, I’m not seeing it.

    • cdsinclair says:

      With some likelihood, we will be in the midst of a depression and continuing pandemic next academic year (perhaps longer). Even if the economy is more resilient than predicted, the state budget is going to be in poor shape for the next several legislative sessions.

      My personal priority during this round of negotiations was to ensure health insurance for as many members as possible for as long as possible.

      As for the PPR, there is some misconception that what was being offered were ‘normal’ 3-year contracts for career faculty in exchange for a wage cut for all faculty. That was never the offer. The now defunct PPR deal was for up to four years of wage cuts for all faculty in exchange for 1.0 FTE contracts for only one year (and 0.1 FTE contracts after that).

      In that scenario, one year from today, almost all career faculty would either be up for renewal, or have 0.1FTE contracts for the upcoming fall. At that point, all faculty would be one year into potentially four years of wage cuts. What leverage would we have then to demand contracts (and health insurance) for all career faculty? In this alternate future, we already agreed to fill the hole in the university’s budget with our salary reductions without oversight or the guarantee that the recouped money would go to save faculty positions.

      Part of the deal to be voted on this week will be a return to the table to hammer out a potential PPR plan. But in that scenario we will be part of crafting that plan, including the triggers, the progressivity of the cuts, oversight as to how recouped money may be spent, how the plan will ultimately be wound down, and salary increases after it is wound down to remunerate affected faculty over time. We will either solve the problem of next year’s NTT contract renewals during the same conversation, or we will ensure that any PPR we may agree to leaves us with sufficient leverage to protect career faculty up for renewal next year.

      In the end, the result for faculty up for renewal is far from ideal. However, the administration was never offering anything that remotely approached ideal. This is the best offer we could craft given the circumstances. It has the feature of protecting health care for as many people as possible for as long as possible during a pandemic and potential depression.

      I urge you to vote for it.

      • CareernotNTT says:

        This message needs to be made broadly and loudly. Why were these not the talking points of the UA emails? My FTE hangs in the balance (as does the drop from 3 yr contract to 1). All along I’ve asked why UA has not made clear what is at stake for the 1500 members who are not at immediate risk of non-renewal? Why vote yes? UO runs on an ethos of scarcity, not of sticking necks out for each other. I fear many of the 1500 may not be feeling charitable about bonuses and therefore vote ‘no.’ What’s 211 career faculty to them in a system that regularly and readily devalues them? UA, I fear, has failed to communicate how a yes is in the best interest of ALL faculty.

      • ck says:

        CDS & UOMatters:
        You both obviously make good points but part of your replies get to some of the structural issues that concern some people. In short: what is the union for?

        CDS: “the administration was never offering anything that remotely approached ideal”. This is certainly true, but that doesn’t mean the union should be accepting the framing of this thing imposed by the administration. The admins need to be cutting expenses other than salary first and ONLY after that should there even be negotiations about salary cuts or contract nonrenewals. The union should not negotiate with a framework designed to hold NTTF renewals hostage as a debating point (even the union messaging frames the vote itself as one over whether NTTFs will be cut but in fact that is not what the vote is over because nonrenewal is at this point the admins’ threat and by accepting the terms of that threat you are practically guaranteeing that they are going to hold it over your head in the next round of bargaining). Also, imo, the union should make it plain that admins need to cut exorbitant salaries first, period. There is no justification for a university paying their basketball coach $2.9m (-10%*) annual in the midst of a recession (which, evidently, both the university and the union are convinced is headed into a depression). The basketball team can, and probably should for a little while, be subpar or even sucky (let a school with a better budget team poach the coach). I understand that this particular salary is not under UA ‘jurisdiction’ but if UA won’t debate admins over the broader budget at UO then UA has little ground to stand on. What else is the union for if not to debate admins over precisely that?
        * Coach’s generous 10% cut is more annual salary than almost everyone on the faculty will ever make in a year over their lifetime; meanwhile he keeps the other 90%.

        UOM: You suggest that it’s not tenable to think that the faculty might strike. But if this is the position the union itself takes, then obviously we have little leverage. Which probably gets to the heart of why I’ve always been a strong union supporter but not as enthusiastic a supporter of unions for hyper-professionalized industries like ours. I think you are probably right that TTF won’t strike. But this makes the union worth less than it would like to think it is. More meaningfully: the fact that some unit members (most TTF) are extremely unlikely to strike leaves other unit members who might reasonably strike (NTTF) in a compromised position. (Think about how enormous an impact a well-timed strike just by NTTFs would have in the current climate. And consider that in a way the union makes it rather hard for NTTF to actually strike because they have to wait for TTFs to step up to it first. That’s unfortunate isn’t it? Where’s their leverage? Did the TTF accidentally steal it away in structuring the union as they did?)

        All that said, thanks are due to both of you for all the work you are putting in. I recognize it’s easy for me to say I would do things differently, but I accept the fact that you are at the bargaining table and I’m not. As usual, I’m probably just not seeing some things I would more clearly see with more time.

        • uomatters says:

          I’m coding this as a Yes vote for the binary decision on the table, and a promise to stay involved in shared governance.

          • AnNTTF says:

            Thank you for this full explanation, cdsinclair. It clears up lots of gaps in the UA communication about what was on the table and why this is the best solution for everyone now. Thank you for your work at the bargaining table.

        • thedude says:

          I’m sure a strike would do us wonders in the eyes of the public and the out of state students/parents that we have to rely on. There’s nothing like striking faculty while their children is picking a school to get them to commit to be a duck.

          Oh wait, maybe a strike would decrease enrollments, and weaken support at the state capital. Cutting off one’s nose to spite your face.

          There’s large systemic risks out there for us all.

          • charlie says:

            Yeah, can’t have the real world intruding on the carefully crafted fantasy of University of Nike.

            Yup, parents co-signing for student loans that have little consumer protection don’t care that uni functionaries refuse refunds for non-delivery of goods and services. Nor are potential admits concerned with an administration eviscerating academic quality. Naw, it’s those damn pesky professors and their demands for inclusion and equity that are the problems…

          • prof says:

            That is the leverage we have in negotiations. I am sure admins do not want any kind of strike either. Without the strike option, why would they give in on anything, and not continue paying exorbitant salaries to their VPs? Vote No!

        • cdsinclair says:

          “The union should not negotiate with a framework designed to hold NTTF renewals hostage”

          What is the alternative? If we had not, those faculty would have 0.1FTE contracts for fall when issued day after tomorrow. If we had not negotiated we would end up in exactly the situation that a ‘no’ vote on the agreement will produce. In effect, we created a democratic decision point where none would have existed otherwise. [Indeed, without a union, you would already be subject to a PPR and even less security for career faculty in fall].

          “Also, imo, the union should make it plain that admins need to cut exorbitant salaries first, period.”

          Do you think these things have not been said? Do you think upon hearing them, the administration rolled over and said “you’re right, we *are* paid too much!”? If we return to the table to discuss a PPR this summer, those discussions will be had, but they will be couched in the more-palatable-to-administration discussions on progressivity, triggers, etc. I expect those bargaining sessions will be public, and so members will get to hear what is said and how it is being framed by both sides. They will also have the opportunity to provide feedback to the B-team as negotiations proceed.

          • ck says:

            your reply proves my point. you have so fully accepted their framing that you cannot even envision alternatives.

            you may in fact be right that the outcome would be the same. but the point is that we could never know that because the agenda was dictated by the admins to which the union merely reacted. of course management wins on those terms — and they also get to keep (90% of) their exorbitant salaries. meanwhile many TTFs and even more NTTFs are already feeling a pinch due upcoming wage cuts, familial layoffs, etc., etc.. the salary situation is so patently unequal at a basic level that it’s hard to understand the union not standing against it more fully. again: what’s the point of the union if not to stand against precisely in these situations? said differently: the union sometimes (not always, but sometimes) feels like just another wing of the administration to some of your members.

              • uomatters says:

                Who would give Dilbert a thumbs down? Vlad?

                • CSN says:

                  In defense of the downvoters, the guy who writes Dilbert seems to have gone over some kind of cliff in recent years. But that’s a quality strip.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Scott Adams has been a MRA for many, many years.

            • Environmental necessity says:

              @ck Please detail the available alternatives. We are all ears.

              • ck says:

                I suspect anything I offer you are prepared to shoot down as not “available” & that gets to the crux of my point being a disagreement over how this thing is framed. Nevertheless, here is one quick idea.

                Continue bargaining, push into mediation, and start with cuts to non-salary items first (!) followed by a ppr response plan in which at least 75% of e&g savings come from very heavy (50%+!) temporary cuts to any base salary earnings above $154,000 (which is the level at which a family of 4 in Eugene metro area is classified by Pew as ‘upper income tier’ here: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/09/06/are-you-in-the-american-middle-class/ — noting also that for families of 2, which most faculty & admins making that much are given their age, the threshold is much lower).

                The admins made a threat — that looks bad for them. The union reacted to the threat — now they look worse too (& are effectively telling the admins to issue threats again next time). The contract extension gets reduced-load one year contracts so what do you think the admins will put on the chopping block in a few months? Exactly. Nonrenewal next year of the very same contracts (+ more of them). Saving them for over year is some job security, to be sure, but not much, and at much much lower take home for most nttfs (4 classes reduced to 1, or 9 reduced to 5). Meanwhile, the fundamental problems of massive pay inequality at this institution, which recapitulates what we see across the country, are left entirely (!) untouched by the union. So again I ask: what is a union for?

                Better than playing into a bully threat is to push admins (& high-earning ttf!) into having to publicly defend their status as upper income earners who are also threatening to cut nttf from 4 classes per year to 1. Try having them convince Oregon parents that, “I really deserve my $200k p.a. but I won’t be teaching your kid because we hired somebody who we’re paying only $7k to deliver excellent education to a class to 50+ students just like your child.”

                … But of course it’s all a moot point now & I realize I should probably just shut up.

                • Jack Straw Man says:

                  ck, I think I share all your ideals here, but there are a couple of things I don’t think you’re considering.

                  1. You write, “Saving them for over year is some job security, to be sure, but not much, and at much much lower take home for most nttfs…” In all your posts you’re ignoring what the union has consistently said was the main point of this deal in terms of protecting NTTFs, which is preserving their health insurance. If you think being guaranteed health insurance for the next year of the pandemic is “not much,” then you’re probably young and in a low-risk group. I know lots of NTTFs who are older and/or in high-risk groups. The admin was threatening not just their livelihoods but their very lives. The union (which asked for feedback from its members, and presumably heard from a lot of NTTFs about what their priorities should be) decided that preserving health care for the NTTFs in question was important.

                  2. You write, “Try having them convince Oregon parents that, ‘I really deserve my $200k…'” Have you ever met an American? Most Americans hate teachers (especially college teachers) and love, or at least admire, bosses (even if they hate their own boss). Most parents will resent a prof making $80K a year FAR more than they’ll resent an administrator making $200K, and to be honest they won’t have a lot of sympathy for an NTTF making $7K. Most Americans think the football coach deserves every penny he gets.

                  I’m normally one who wishes the union would be a bit more combative, but I don’t think we had a lot of choice in this situation. if you think a faculty strike in the middle of a pandemic would put the public on our side, you’re deluded. In the long term, change the framing. But in the short term, this is what we had to do.

                • ck says:

                  You are right. I’ve never met an American. And mgmt was threatening the very lives of its employees. And also I was advocating an immediate strike rather than suggesting that the union be open to pushing things into the particular mechanism of mediation.
                  .
                  Or… on the other hand… perhaps none of those three things is true and you are hyperbolizing (you really think most “Oregon parents” [that’s who I referred to, btw] sending their kids to state school actually “hate” college teachers?). Hyperbolizing elements of how to respond to this (very extreme public health) situation is what mgmt. is doing, and so many of us have been tempted into it by their framing. But it’s a time for cooler heads and careful deliberation rather than hyperbole.
                  .
                  I agree with you that, “The union (which asked for feedback from its members, and presumably heard from a lot of NTTFs about what their priorities should be) decided that preserving health care for the NTTFs in question was important.” I take the union at it’s word here but I also wish it would make those data from their survey transparent — it would certainly make their case more convincing.
                  .
                  (And with that I recognize that I’ve more than over-stated my view now, so this will be my last on this thread — anyone else who wants to have it will get the last word.)

      • AnNTTF says:

        Thank you for this. I agree with CareernotNTT that I wish this fuller explanation and talking points had been part of the most recent official emails sent to UA members. It clears up lots of gaps in the communication about what was on the table and why this is the best solution for everyone now. Thank you for your work at the bargaining table.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Has anything been said about what faculty not in the union (law school) are doing or being asked to do? Any accountability on their part? Any additional transparency from JH?

  9. Shannon Boettcher says:

    Does anyone know what happened in the most recent bargaining round? Did UA present a counter PPR proposal? My understanding was that with a bit of tweaking it would have been acceptable to most in the union (like raising floor a bit, raising ceiling, etc). It would have been nice to have something to vote on… I don’t like what is going on with the NTTF contracts and would have much preferred a negotiated PPR that we could vote on.