Provost Phillips tells career faculty he will cut their FTE if they go for promotion

No, I’m not making this up.

The Faculty Union’s email about it is here. Some snippets:

The Price of Excellence

Faculty who achieve promotion, whether they be tenure-track or Career, are supposed to earn job security and an increase in salary. By achieving promotion, these faculty have demonstrated their excellence and commitment to the university. Unfortunately, several of our Career colleagues who are mid-contract learned this last week that their reward for achieving promotion would be a new contract with a 0.55 FTE, instead of the 1.0 FTE they would have received if they had not gone up for promotion. We protested this administrative decision, pointing out that the administration could incorporate the final year of their previous contract into their new contract at absolutely no loss to the university, but they refused. Faculty who were days away from promotion learned that they could either withdraw their case and keep their 1.0 FTE contract next year, or they could go ahead and achieve promotion and have a 0.55 FTE contract next year. This is unconscionable.

Our collective bargaining agreement does not stop this administration from treating Career faculty like bargaining chips because the whole notion of their doing such a thing was so alien to our collective thinking. If our bargaining team would have suggested that the administration could take advantage of loopholes in the CBA–which is designed to reward excellence, not offer “nimbleness” and “flexibility”–to wipe out the careers of hundreds of faculty, we would have been accused of being cynical and arguing in bad faith. And, indeed, we would have negotiated differently, resulting in a different contract, designed to protect against bad-faith interpretations. It did not, however, occur to us that an administration would betray what we worked together to build like this current administration has.

… In the coming weeks, we will begin negotiations with the administration over the restoration of Career FTE, a new job security system that does not allow the administration to decimate Career faculty whenever they want, and a wage cut plan. We very much hope to find common ground with them and arrive at a reasonable solution to the crises we face.

What can you do to help?
We anticipate that these negotiations will be very difficult, and we will need everyone to help if we are going to protect our colleagues. The easiest way to do that is to complete this Google Form so we can add you to our summer bargaining communications list. Doing so indicates your support for your fellow colleagues and will keep you in the loop as we head back to the table.

You can join the faculty union here.

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13 Responses to Provost Phillips tells career faculty he will cut their FTE if they go for promotion

  1. Norma says:

    Based on the money coming out of my paycheck each month for dues, I thought the Union was well-funded. Where does all that money go?

  2. Bee says:

    Infuriating! Provost Philips is a fraud. He, like Schill, speaks publicly as if he is an advocate for NTTF, but his actions (and complicity with Kevin Reed and Mike Schill) reveal an elitist coward.

  3. Norma says:

    Without the union, I wouldn’t have known a reduced contract was coming. Apparently the administration was going to have us find out about the 0.55 FTE when we got the “congratulations” letter. The union encouraged them to send the email with that new information.

  4. A. Peon says:

    “ Our collective bargaining agreement does not stop this administration from treating Career faculty like bargaining chips because the whole notion of their doing such a thing was so alien to our collective thinking….”

    Classified Staff have learned to *expect* admin to use loopholes and inventiveness to protect their right to treat us like the serfs they perceive us to me. Our very humanity has been ignored.

    Nothing surprises me anymore.

  5. vhils says:

    That’s not a mic drop, that’s an ‘unfortunately our bargaining team didn’t do its due diligence’.

    Don’t get me wrong the administration is either being short-sightedly punitive or stupidly capricious, but the union leadership didn’t do its job here. Anyone who knows the CBA can tell you that promotion for NTT leads to a new contract, and the bargaining team should have raised the potential issue there and then.

    • Peter Keyes says:

      Too bad you didn’t get involved during the process to vet the proposals. It’s becoming clear that there are quite a few faculty who think the union is a large, well-funded professional organization somewhere out there, which should be able to solve any problem that they flag (including retrospectively). The union is us. The vast majority of the work done by the union is through the time put in by faculty volunteers, all of whom have day jobs. If you want a more thorough process, show up and get involved.

    • cdsinclair says:

      Yes. What we are saying is that, while previously we could rely on good-faith interpretation of the CBA as discussed at the table, we have a new relationship now.

      There can be no faith that the administration will follow the CBA as bargained, except in the most legalistic punitive manner. Perhaps this was inevitable with an extremely conservative GC and a real estate lawyer for President. However, it is not the implicit agreement that was in place when the CBA was negotiated.

      This is going to make bargaining harder, and we will need more people engaged so that we can spot any loopholes that the administration would inevitably exploit.

      It is an unfortunate change in posture, but one that we will roll with.

      • uomatters says:

        Professor Sinclair, your claim that UO General Counsel Kevin Reed is a conservative is defamatory to all real conservatives, and as one of them I demand an immediate retraction.
        .
        Real conservatives believe in free speech rights – not petty authoritarian rules to prevent students from posting banners outside JH, or protesting at basketball games during the national anthem.
        .
        Real conservatives believe that to secure these rights governments derive their “just powers from the consent of the governed”, not from an employment contract they signed with the paid lackey of an unelected Board of Trustees, who were picked by the man with the most bigly campaign contributions.
        .
        Real conservatives believe that the people have the right to petition their government for the redress of grievances – and a right to the public records they need to make such petitions.
        .
        Real conservatives believe that the only legitimate government is a government of the people – not a bloated bureaucracy of overpaid outsiders who will flee as soon as the search firm they’ve got on retainer can find them a board of trustees who haven’t done their homework or background checks.
        .
        Real conservatives believe in free markets. They despise monopsonies perpetuated by unlimited contributions to corrupt politicians and funded by tax deductible donations for sporting events run to indulge the whims of a rich old man, while providing the people with nothing but bread, circuses, and the odd Phildo.
        .
        Please do not continue to associate Kevin Reed’s deplorable actions with the principles of conservatism.

        • don't call me a duck says:

          But is Reed a true Scotsman? Does he eat sugar on his porridge? Come on! The conservatives have moved on without you.

        • charlie says:

          I don’t know if Eisenhower Republicans are real conservatives. All I know is he was a 5 star general, West Point graduate, not know as a radical, leftist, liberal, whatever. But he had some interesting things to say not only about the military-industrial complex, but also, of the future of American universities.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyBNmecVtdU

          Specifically: “Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

          The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

          Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should. we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of scientific-technological elite”

          Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewll Address (1961)

  6. apt says:

    “It did not, however, occur to us that an administration would betray what we worked together to build like this current administration has.”

    mic drop.

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