Faculty Union voting on pay-cuts-for-jobs deal with Admin, until midnight Tu.

8/10/2020: Dues paying members should have received this ballot in their email, around noon:

Dear Colleagues,

The United Academics Bargaining Team invites you to vote on an agreement that would restore Career faculty FTE, provide a system for a possible 12-month wage cut, and allow Career faculty who withdrew promotion files in spring to resubmit them.

Before providing the recommendation of the bargaining team, We’d like to provide an assessment of the repercussions of the various outcomes. These are brief, and more details can be found in our previous communications.

If you vote YES:

Career faculty will have their FTE restored to the same level they had in AY19-20;

Career faculty who withdrew their promotion file after it had been forwarded to the Provost may elect to have their file reviewed within two weeks of the parties formalizing this agreement;

A Progressive Pay Reduction (PPR) plan that may be implemented if triggered by a November tuition deficit or in Summer 2021, if the university experiences a deficit in excess of $15M;

The PPR will raise up to $20M over the course of 12 months.

You can read more about the agreement here: http://newsletter.uauoregon.org/we-have-a-deal/

If you vote NO:

Career FTE will not automatically be restored before the beginning of this academic year; and

The administration will have to find other ways to raise money to cover deficits.

Our recommendation:

The bargaining team recommends you vote YES. Our priority is to restore FTE for Career faculty. We recognize that the deal presented is not ideal; we never would choose a salary reduction plan for faculty. The university community is, however, facing the uncertainty of looming budget deficits. The current proposal helps the administration address that uncertainty without cutting the FTE of Career faculty.

Voting closes at midnight on Tuesday, August 11, 2020. You can vote [link removed].

In solidarity,

United Academics Bargaining Team

8/7/2020: Faculty Union will vote Mon on pay-cuts-for-jobs deal with Admin

The Administration started this process with an “ultimatum” offer to the Faculty: Accept up to 4 years of cuts of up to $25M each year for $100M total, or they would start giving career faculty 0.1 FTE renewals with no health insurance. Take it or leave it.

The faculty union negotiated, and the deal now on the table restores those jobs in exchange for a contingent pay-cut of no more than $20M for no more than 1 year.

Thanks Dave Cecil and Chris Sinclair. Details in the links below.

I will be voting yes.

From: United Academics <[email protected]>
Subject: Ratification Vote on Monday
Date: August 7, 2020 at 3:35:35 PM PDT

As we described last week, we have reached an agreement with the administration that will restore Career faculty FTE, establishes a potential salary reduction plan, and allows Career faculty who withdrew their promotion case this spring to resubmit it for review.

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 in good standing. If this information is incorrect, please let us know right away.

As a member in good standing, you will receive an email at noon on Monday, August 10, 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 midnight Tuesday, August 11.

In order to cast a fully informed vote, you can read the text of the agreement, review a bullet point summary, get answers to some frequently asked questions, or watch the Town Hall held earlier this week.

We also have an agreement, in principle, to changes in the Career faculty contract system with the administration, though many details need to be worked out before we will be ready to bring that agreement up for a vote of the membership. We anticipate that vote happening in fall.

The bargaining team recommends a “YES” vote on this agreement. We are very happy to have restored Career FTE, which we know was the primary concern of the membership. The salary reduction deal is not one we would have agreed to in normal circumstances, but we are not in normal circumstances.

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

Faculty Union to hold town hall to answer questions about pay cut deal

Dear Colleague,

All members of United Academics are invited to a Town Hall on Tuesday, August 4 from noon to 1:30. The Zoom link is below.

We are soliciting questions from members on a variety of issues we are facing as a community. Please submit your question(s) here. We will also take questions during the meeting, but advance notice allows for UA to make sure more of your questions are addressed. If you are unable to attend live, a recording of the meeting will be available on our website.

Thank you for all that you do for the university and our students!

When: Aug 4, 2020 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Passcode: 489736

The Administration has also sent this around, with a helpful FAQ:

NOTE: This message is being sent to the PI list and OVPRI Center & Institute Directors.

**Sent on behalf of Missy Matella**

Dear Colleagues,

As announced last week, the university and United Academics have reached tentative agreements on several key issues including career instructional faculty FTE for AY 20-21, an expectation of continued employment for our career instructional and research faculty, and a progressive pay reduction plan.

Employee and Labor Relations has added answers to frequently asked questions regarding these agreements. The FAQ includes further explanation of the terms of the tentative agreements and a section specifically for research-related information.

Please reach out to Employee and Labor Relations at [email protected] or [email protected] if you have any questions or need further assistance.

Best regards,

Missy Matella
Senior Director, Employee and Labor Relations

Faculty Union’s deal is a big improvement over Pres Schill’s April ultimatum

It’s still a pay cut (assuming the revenue shortfall is large enough to trigger it) and it does nothing to constrain JH from pissing away money on the Phildo, Law School, etc. The cuts will apply to faculty and OAs – I’m not sure if that will include Knight Campus faculty & administrators. In exchange the administration agrees to take its pistol away from the heads of the 211 NTTFs up for renewal this year and give them full 1.0 FTE contracts. Here’s the UAUO explanation:


UA Town Hall

United Academics invites all members of United Academics to a Town Hall on Tuesday, August 4 from noon to 1:30. The Zoom link is below.

Please submit your question(s) here. We will also take questions during the meeting, but advance notice allows for us to make sure your questions are addressed. If you are unable to attend live, a recording of the meeting will be available on our website.

We have a deal!

After four weeks of tough bargaining, we struck a tentative deal with the administration over the restoration of FTE, a progressive salary cut package, and the outlines of how we will revise the system for employing Career faculty. The bargaining team believes this is a good deal and a vast improvement on the salary cut plan offered in April.

Before we get to the details, the bargaining team would like to give a hearty thank you to all the members who tuned in to watch. Over 200 unique viewers joined some part of the sessions. Bargaining via Zoom is new to all of us, and it felt very different not to have the live feedback of supporters in the room, but we were constantly cheered knowing that people were with us (if at a safe distance).

We were not able to reach any agreement on a new Tenure Reduction Plan (TRP) or a buyout program for those wishing to retire. We agreed to meet to try to find agreement in the coming months, because both parties agree that the system needs revising, but both parties felt there was too much uncertainty about what faculty would want and what the administration can afford to change right now. We also will discuss whether we can find a way to help those faculty who are currently in their three years before going on reduced TRP hours to avoid taking a permanent cut to their retirement benefits.

We are still dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on this tentative agreement; when that is done, we will send out information on a ratification vote along with the finalized text of a Memorandum of Understanding. We will be voting on the FTE restoration and salary cut portions of the Agreement. We still have about a month of work to do on the system for Career contracts before it is ready for the membership to vote on it; expect to see the details of that plan in October.

A Summary of our Agreement with the Administration.

FTE fully restored: All Career faculty who received renewal notices in May with lowered FTE will have their FTE restored to the same FTE they held in AY19-20. All Career faculty who were issued new contracts due to receiving a promotion will have their FTE restored to the FTE they held in AY19-20.

Withdrawn promotions: Career faculty who had their promotion submitted to the Provost but withdrew their file can opt to have their file reviewed by the Provost as if it had not been withdrawn. The review should be complete before the start of the academic year.

Reduced amount of salary cut: The agreed-upon employee salary cut is up to $20M over one year. In April, the administration’s proposal called for up to $100M in employee salary cuts over four years.

Threshold: The Agreement calls for the administration to mitigate the first $15 million of any losses and any losses over $35 million. Employee salary cuts will mitigate losses between $15 million and $35 million. The administration’s April PPR called for all losses to be addressed immediately through salary cuts.

Lowered the rates for the lowest earners: The chart below calculates the effective salary cut for employees at selected base salary levels with a comparison to the comparable rates in the April PPR plan. Cuts do not impact stipends, awards, or overloads.

Percentage cut for salaries of the Tentative Agreement vs. the Administration’s April PPR.
Our plan is for one year; theirs was for up to four. 

Although we were not able to bargain for a higher tier, we were able to raise the amount of the cut on those earning more than $200,000 from an April 16% rate to 18% rate. The money from this increase was used to raise the floor of the cuts from $30K in the administration’s April proposal to $45K in the Agreement.

Delayed implementation: There are two possible times that the salary cut plan could be triggered. If the university experiences a tuition deficit and/or a cut in state funding in November greater than $15 million, the administration could trigger wage cuts to save enough to make up for a decrease in revenue between $15 million and $35 million.

It is more likely that the salary cut plan will be triggered next summer. The administration can wait until summer 2021 and trigger the salary cut plan by combining losses due to tuition revenue decreases, cuts to promised state support, and state support in the 2021-23 biennium budget.

The salary cut plan can only be triggered once and there can be no more than 12 months of salary cuts.

Research faculty exempt: Because their salary derives mostly from grants, research assistants, research associates, research professors, and post docs will be exempt from the wage cut plan. This is unchanged from the administration’s PPR plan.

The details of the above summaries will be sent to all members of the union shortly, along with information on the ratification vote.

Expectation of Continued Employment

The bargaining teams also agreed to the basis of a new system for employing non-funding contingent instructional Career faculty. We believe this will be a much better system, but there are many details to work out, as it will impact several articles in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Below is a summary of the key points. More information will be shared as we work on the details.

No more contracts and renewals: The current system of one-, two-, and three-year contracts is vastly better than having no job security at all. We have, however, run into some fairly significant problems. As Deans ordered cuts, departments and units were forced to choose among the faculty who happened to be up for renewal. This led to situations where only faculty who had achieved promotion could be non-renewed, which was not always ideal. We also saw an increase in contracts that offered low FTE in the second and third years of contracts – 1.0, 0.1, 0.1 contracts. And, of course, we had the events of this spring, a disaster we cannot allow to be repeated.

The system described below would address many of these issues and only applies to non-funding contingent Career faculty. It will not be perfect, and it will not guarantee that a Career faculty member can never lose their job, but we believe that this will be a much better system with stronger protections than our current one.

Expectation and rationale: Non-funding contingent Career faculty will have the expectation of continued employment that can only be ended for legitimate financial, academic, or performance reasons after the first year of employment. Career faculty in their first year can be laid off for any reason.

Notice: Career faculty in their first year can be laid off with 30 days’ notice. Faculty in their second year, but who have not achieved promotion can be laid off with 90 days’ notice. Faculty who have achieved promotion must be given 12 months’ notice before the layoff goes into effect.

Earned seniority: Layoffs are based on the functions and skills required to perform necessary work, but layoffs will generally follow earned seniority. This means that Career faculty who have not earned promotion will be laid off before Senior I faculty and Senior I before Senior II.

Expedited arbitration: Faculty who have received a layoff notice will be able to challenge the legitimacy of the layoff through an expedited binding arbitration process. The goal will be to have the layoff notice formally reviewed before it goes into effect. This system will replace the current grievance-arbitration system that can take several months to complete.

FTE maintenance: Assigned FTE cannot go down, except by mutual agreement between the faculty member and university.

Rehire at same FTE: While we have not worked out a complete recall system, we have agreed that faculty members hired back by the university into the same category – instructor, research assistant, research associate, lecturer, librarian, etc. – cannot be hired at a lower FTE than what they held before they were laid off.

Though we have more work to do to complete the full contract bargaining we began in January, and though our current circumstances have complicated all of these processes, we believe the agreement we have reached is a good one. The bargaining team, again, appreciates all the support we have received. Without member support and participation, we would not have been able to sustain our energy and determination through this unusual time, and we would not have reached such a favorable agreement.

Bargaining IX, Tu at 9AM

July 28 @ 9 am. You can register for the sessions here.

Usual disclaimer: my thoughts on what people are saying, trying to say, trying to be thinking, etc. Nothing is a quote unless in ” ” ‘s.


Costs faculty and OA’s $19.5M

Admin Caucus until 10:15. 11:10.

The admin is back with a a counter.

I’ll post more later, but their basic plan, in contrast to the union proposal, is to tax middle wage workers more and reduce the tax on the high earners, who are mostly upper administrators. What a surprise.

11:30 AM – I’ll add that Brad Shelton is making an ass of himself, as usual.

2:08 PM – I’ve missed a bunch of nothing, they are caucusing until 2:30.

2:30: They’re back, Brad has a new plan. Missy is saying it’s another ultimatum offer:

In a nutshell, this takes more from midrange faculty and OA’s, and less from the high income upper admins than the union’s plan. It also leaves the stipend loophole – no tax on car, cellphone, other stipends.

2:45 – Union is caucusing.

4:22 I missed some more, they’re back.

I believe the above is the final agreed on salary cut package – i.e. the “New UO” version. Here is the continuous version:

Find your base salary on the x axis, go up to the yellow line, read your pay cut off the y axis. So if you make $100,000, your salary after cuts will be $100K*(1-0.0629) = $93,710.

These are the maximum cuts, to be imposed if the revenue shortfall is $35M or more.

Bargaining VIII, this Wed at 3PM

7/22/2020: Liveblog, usual disclaimer: my thoughts on what people are saying, trying to say, trying to be thinking, etc. Nothing is a quote unless in ” ” ‘s.

Matella: We’re OK with the all in employees idea, and a 15-35 window. (That’s a very low threshold. UO has already cut costs more than this.)

Brad Shelton: I realize my initial model was too complicated for some people to understand, so I’ve made it more like the tax code. Also, I updated a lot of information which I haven’t shared with you before now.

(Typo in second to last bullet – $185K should be $285K)

Caucus break.

3:58 They’re back.

Caucus break.

4:53: Admins want another 10 min to caucus.

5:00: Admins want another 15 min to caucus.

5:15: Admins want another 5 min to caucus.

5:20: They’re back. 

Took Brad awhile to turn his crank, but he’s got a new plan to protect the highest paid administrators:

Cecil: It would be helpful if you shared your data, as we shared the data we painfully scrapped from IR’s pdfs because UO won’t post machine readable files and Schill stopped reporting quarterly numbers.

Matella: OK, I think.

Cecil: What to do about TRP? High salary suggests high tax, low FTE suggests low tax. Keaton goes low, Brad goes high. Caucus til 5:45.

They’re back.

Cecil: We’re going to want to trim a little more off the top. We need Brad’s data.

Matella: We’ll get you his model. [Here’s hoping she means data, not model.]

Cecil: We’ve got the outlines of a deal, just need to hammer out parameters of the cuts. Can’t do that until you share Brad’s data.

Cecil: Hope we can get this done this week.

Continue reading

Bargaining VII, Tuesday 9AM until ?

The concept is simple: All faculty agree to take a progressive pay cut if the UO budget tanks, and in exchange the administration agrees to maintain career faculty employment. The details are going to take a while to work out. My impression is that both sides would like to get most of an agreement worked out tomorrow.

I’ll do some live-blogging, and/or you can watch it online. Registration for the session can be found here – as usual, upon registration you will receive a Zoom link via email.


10:06: Sorry, I got a late start today. Can anyone post a recap?

10:19: They’re back.

Sounds like the admins want the pay cuts to start after the admin takes $10M in cuts. Union wants to start after $20M. Admin has give only the union only the sketchiest info on it’s expenditures and possible cuts.  No discussion of asking the Foundation for help.

11:05: Union brings in Keaton Miller (Economics) to explain the union’s proposal. Miller explains that, conservatively, we’re looking at a $23M reduction in costs for next year – given wage & hiring freeze, travel. To be even more conservative, lets use a $20M threshold (In reality, UO can use some reserves, unrestricted foundation money, etc.)

Miler now moves on to potential wage cuts. Starting with a model that’s just looking at non-funding contingent bargaining unit members. Accounts for OPE:

Total E&G expenditures (last year) were $553M – so faculty union pay and benefits are about 32% of E&G. Suppose we have a $30M shortfall. After the $20M hold harmless, union needs to come up with 32% of $10M or $3.2M. An example:

But suppose we need more from faculty – say $6.4M:

Now suppose UO wants to apply the faculty union model to all E&G salaries. Again we need to raise say $10M:

Matella: Will you share these models with us? Cecil: Of course. Matella: I’ll show them to my people. Can you say more about the high/medium/low progressivity? Sinclair: It’s a single parameter in Keaton’s model that we can bargain over.

Cecil: Will you share Brad’s models? Matella: Maybe in a small room with Brad? Cecil: Why not in public, here, after lunch?

Matella: It’s going to be hard for us to get the high earner people who will have to sign of on this to accept cuts over 20% for themselves. They’ve got big houses, fancy cars, private school tuition and wine cellars to maintain, after all.

Matella: Not sure I can get someone to explain our model today. I’ll try. Cecil: You’ve been working on your models for how long?

Cecil: We’d be interested in hearing more specifics about the willingness of these top admins/faculty to leave during a pandemic, over a one-year wage cut.

Matella*really* wants to cap pay cuts at 20% for the big earners.

Cecil: Maybe we should be talking about other ways the university could be saving money then. Use reserves, unrestricted gifts, tax athletic donations…

Matella wants to look at peer plans to show they aren’t very progressive, don’t have rates above 20% Cecil: You mean plans prepared by highly paid administrators at other universities, to protect their own salaries?

Break until 1PM … I quess til 2PM… they’re back.

Matella: Have people working on a response to Keaton’s plan – will take them a day or two. Also have responses on career employment questions. Willing to work out an expedited grievance process.

Long rambling attempt by Matella to dispute Miller’s $20M threshold. The admins want salary cuts to kick in a $15M – but they won’t explain why. Not a productive conversation. Is the admin going to explain their threshold, some day?

Break until 3:40

They’re back.

Agree to meet again this Wed at 3PM to give Brad time to massage numbers.

Sorry – will post synopsis of situation after dinner.

Bargaining VI – 9AM 7/16/2020

You can register to watch  here, and will then receive a Zoom link via email. Liveblog, usual disclaimer: my thoughts on what people are saying, trying to say, trying to be thinking, etc. Nothing is a quote unless in ” ” ‘s.

10:00: Sorry, I’m tuning in late, trying to catch up.

Matella: Suppose we have a $1M state cut and a $10M tuition shortfall (projected from fall enrollment) and a $10M trigger/threshold. Faculty would be responsible for 39% of the $1M.

A 15% drop is about a $50-60M loss. So it’s very possible we get to the proposed $25M threshold. Pay cuts are a temporary solution to this temporary loss.

A state budget cut, however, will be assumed to be permanent. Pay cuts are not appropriate for dealing with permanent losses – instead we’ll need to cut baseball, close law school and CoD, etc. But we’ll need pay cuts in the short term. Also, permanent enrollment cuts will mean we’ll need fewer faculty (and fewer AVPs?)

In response to a comment, from here: 

State lobbyist Libby Batlan predicts that this year there will be no cut to state funding, and explains that they are working to make sure UO gets its share of the CARES act etc.

State lobbyist Hans Bernhard explains that they’ve been working very hard to get state funding for more construction.

Bernhard: I know people won’t believe this, but “I cannot remember the last time I had a conversation about funding for Knight Campus or the Track and Field championships”. [Bit late for that, really, the legislature still feels burned, and we still look like a rich big-time sports party school.]

Cecil: So, the people lobbying for Oregon 22 are not paid out of UO or Foundation funds? Batlan: No.

Back to bargaining:

Cecil: Suppose we accept one-time pay cut in fall. Are you going to come back to us in spring and give us another ultimatum offer threatening the career faculty?

Matella: She’s talking, and may answer the question some day. …. Answer is yes, they might have to do that.

Matella: You’re just going to have to trust us if you want a deal. And no, we’re not going to agree to rules that will prevent us from pissing away the savings on sports events, or subsidizing the law school.

Sinclair: Trust you? He goes on to share a few thoughts:

Lunch break until 12:45

Meanwhile here’s UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold promising to use the full faith and credit of the Foundation’s $1 Billion endowment to support the university’s teaching and research mission during this crisis.

Just kidding, he’s promising IAAF Pres Lamine Diack he’ll use it to make good on any losses from the Track and Field championships:

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 11.33.15 PM

Last month French prosecutors asked for a 4 year sentence for Diack on corruption charges.

1:05PM, Admin team is still caucusing.

1:24, they’re back. Cecil has some revised bullet points but he’s scrolling through them too fast to capture. Seems to be going well with Matella.

Union pulls back on plans for a buyout program to replace expensive, troublesome, deadwood TTF with younger, smarter, cheaper assistant profs:

Matella: Hmm, would like to get this done.

Matella: Today has been productive, helpful.

Cecil: Kumbaya, but verify.

Break until 3PM

3:25 – they’re back. Working on procedures to get specific language. Union e-team will work with admin’s on details of pay cut plan.

3:50 – that’s it. Back Tu at 9AM, getting closer to agreement.

Bargaining V – 9AM 7/14/2020

You can register to watch  here, and will then receive a Zoom link via email. Liveblog, usual disclaimer: my thoughts on what people are saying, trying to say, trying to be thinking, etc. Nothing is a quote unless in ” ” ‘s.

Matella starts with the pay cut proposal. The administration’s proposed changes are in red:

So no agreement yet on how big a revenue cut is needed before the cuts could be triggered.

The administration wants to only be required to mitigate the first $10M of revenue reductions before going after faculty salaries. One obvious question is how much they’ve already saved through the hiring freeze, salary freeze, CARES funding, job-share, early retirements, etc. Probably well over $10M. So would they need to make additional cuts, to say the bloated GC budget, before going after faculty pay?

After $35M is saved from pay & benefit reductions (over all employees paid from E&G fund) no additional pay cuts. Since (very roughly) about $500M of E&G is for pay and benefits, this would cap pay cuts at an average of about 5%. Is this right?

Long discussion of Foundation money ensues. Foundation boss Paul Weinhold has already expressed his willingness to use the Foundation’s $1B endowment to guarantee track and field championships – but would he do it for mere academic matters?

Above gives flexibility in assigning replacement work to the career faculty whose jobs would be saved.

Discussion moves on to layoffs:

Matella pitches this “functions and skills” language as a way to protect diversity hires without getting in trouble with SCOTUS rulings. I’m not sure if this is genuine or an attempt to give more administrative flexibility about using layoffs to get rid of particular faculty. Cecil goes after Matella on this vague language.

This new admin language at the bottom in red would appear to give the administration the ability to lower career instructors FTE *despite* the pay cut proposal. Strange, I thought the whole deal was pay cuts in exchange for job security. 

Matella now says that the admin doesn’t want pay cuts over 20% for high paid faculty and admins because it’s too disruptive to their lives. Cecil points out that the admin wants the ability to make larger than 20% reductions to career instructor FTE – that’s not disruptive?

Caucus until 11:15, 11:20 they’re back:

Complaint process. Speaking of complaints Matella is scrolling through this really slowly. Can’t she just share the doc? Speaking of sharing where are all of Brad’s “models” that the admin was going to share?

In the end everything is still up to the provost – i.e. Angela Wilhelms. Rules below provide no real protection, and Cecil gets Matella to admit:

Bottom line, the UO administration has blown through reserves on things like the law school, athletic subsidies, athlete villages, admin bloat. The pandemic made those mistakes clear and serious. Now they want the faculty, OAs, and staff to bail them out, without giving up their power to make similar mistakes in the future, and without promising any job security.

Cecil: So you want the union to agree to replace a neutral arbitrator with the provost? Matella: I think this will be better for the faculty. Honestly. That’s what they pay me to say. Cecil: Unlikely we’ll accept. Matella: I expect to be bargaining for a long time. 


Matella: Brad’s got his own retirement worked out pretty nicely, but still hasn’t done his homework on the TRP and buyouts for others, so we just have some general shit to throw out:

Cecil’s recap before lunch break: Seems like we started in April with the idea of using wage cuts to get job security. But this morning we heard from you that you want to retain the ability to cut career instructors.

Matella: We have always wanted to use temporary wage cuts to respond to immediate crises, instead of layoffs. But yes – we want to be able to respond to long term changes with layoffs for career instructors. We’re looking at 4-5 years of temporary enrollment decreases.

Cecil: Let me walk you through your optimal strategy regarding layoffs, were we to accept this proposal. … So, how about we agree to no FTE cuts unless we have actual enrollment decreases? In other words – make you cut somewhere besides career faculty?

Matella: No. Can we break for lunch?

Back at 1PM

Whalen: UO has great faculty at all ranks, TTF and Career. We’ve made many sacrifices for UO and our students during the pandemic. We are really worried about all the faculty, and at the moment in particular worried about the 225 career faculty facing 0.5 FTE cuts.

Boscha: For those of us investing our lives and careers at UO, what is the administration going to do to protect us, rather than treat us as budget flexibility?

Urbancic: Read the UO mission statement. Career faculty are integral to fulfilling it. University needs to respect that. We’re willing to talk about shared sacrifices – but you don’t want to share, you want to put all the risk on the career faculty.

Matella: I’m confused. With the pay cut plan we were trying to move in your direction, limiting the window. This would mean less sacrifice. I thought I was moving toward an agreement.

Cecil: What we thought we heard this morning from you was smaller wage cuts for one year, but with the possibility of permanent decreases to career FTE.

Woodruff-Borden:  We already have the power to cut FTE. We’re in no way additionally devaluing career faculty work with this new proposal. We’re simply struggling to find strategies to navigate through this.

Cecil: You said this morning you only wanted pay cuts to last 1 year because then “good faculty” will leave. You’ve taken fundraising off the table. You don’t want to talk about other ways to save money. So how is this shared? You’re putting it all on the career faculty.

Long discussion about committee on legitimate reasons, including a neutral third party, to replace arbitration.

Lots more back and forth. Sorry I’m not doing a good job blogging it.

Caucus til 2:35

They’re back. Cecil proposes meeting again Thursday at 9AM to go over newly discovered middle ground. Matella agrees. See you then.

Faculty Union bargaining update – next session this Tu 9AM til ?

From https://mailchi.mp/uauoregon/summer-bargaining-so-far?e=b103ce406c, all posted below:

United Academics and the administration reconvened last week to discuss potential salary cuts, the restoration of fall FTE for affected Career faculty, and a plan for expectation of continuing employment for all Career faculty.

The bargaining conversations have begun with each side presenting and discussing the principles that inform their thinking on the issues we’re bargaining. Our primary goals are to restore FTE for those who were renewed with low FTE in the spring and to institute an expectation of continued employment that would eliminate the administration’s ability to dramatically change career faculty FTE year to year. We have also been working to establish a fair threshold for a salary cut plan. While we agree with the administration that a salary cut might be a necessary part of addressing a major budget crisis, we maintain that employee wage cuts cannot be the only means of addressing difficulties.

We have made some progress on how to address both the expectation of continued employment and wage cuts. Both parties agree that FTE should be restored, although there is a remaining disagreement about whether all FTE be restored or whether the administration can still renew with lower FTE if cuts were planned “pre-COVID.” In addition, we have agreed that Career faculty who opted to pull their promotion case because of the threat of a lower FTE contract can choose to reinitiate the promotion process and have their promotion review finalized this summer.

Pay Cuts

United Academics recognizes that the university may not be in a position to meet all of its financial obligations due to changes in enrollment and state appropriations caused by COVID. We have agreed that in order for the university to continue to meet its instructional and research missions it may be necessary for faculty to take temporary pay cuts.

Still, questions remain: What is the scale of those cuts? How will any savings be used? What are the triggers for cuts? How are those cuts distributed across the university?

Both teams have been working toward answers to these questions, but our basic principle has been that the administration must look to use other resources before they ask employees for wage cuts. They have generally agreed with this principle, proposing that the administration be responsible for any deficit up to $10M and for all deficits over $35M, meaning that employees would need to take wage cuts to account for the remaining $25M. Of that $25M, the administration has tentatively estimated that cuts to bargaining unit faculty salaries would amount to $7.8M.

We have suggested that faculty would be more comfortable with a higher threshold, arguing that the savings the administration has derived through the hiring freeze, the salary freeze, and savings on travel will amount to more than $10M. We have suggested that a threshold of $25M and a cap of $50M seems more fair.

One of the main challenges in the conversation is the uncertainty we all face. It is very difficult to predict how deep the deficits we face will be. We have agreed that employee salary cuts will be used to cover deficits caused by tuition revenue decline this year and cuts to the state subsidy next year. Both sides seem to agree a two-year wage cut package is appropriate, but neither of us has a very good idea of how deep the cuts will go. Obviously, the administration would like a lower threshold before faculty salary cuts are triggered, hoping for smaller deficits that don’t reach the cap. We also hope for small deficits, wanting the threshold to be higher, hoping not to reach it at all.

When we do have an agreement on the triggers for the salary cuts and how much they might be, United Academics will have a progressive pay cut plan for the amount we will be facing developed by our Economics Team (E-Team). Although we have just begun discussing what kind of plan might be appropriate, we have agreed to work together to come up with a final model. We plan to share our E-Team’s model broadly. Suffice it to say it is a very standard “tax” plan with marginal tax rates that increase with income. It has been crafted to be progressive, to exempt as many lower-wage faculty as possible, and to minimize discontinuities in contributions (so that similar salaries are affected similarly).

Continuing Employment for Career Faculty

United Academics believes that the administration should abide by the collective bargaining agreement and that the 3-year contracts earned by promoted Career faculty should be real contracts that represent a commitment to those faculty. The administration, on the other hand, believes that it is proper to provide Career faculty with a contract where they guarantee full-time work for one year and then only 0.1 FTE in subsequent years. In most cases, the work in the out-years of a 3-year contract will still exist, and these contracts represent an administrator’s desire to feel better looking at future budget projections, as opposed to an assessment of the actual needs of the institution.

Our goal in negotiating expectation of continuing employment is to stop the administration from using Career faculty who happen to be up for renewal as flexibility to deal with temporary fluctuations in either enrollment or money, and thus to stop the administration from punishing faculty for their inability to plan for future enrollment needs or accumulate sufficient reserves.

Our current proposal is a system by which Career faculty cannot have their FTE reduced by more than 0.1 FTE in a given year, and in such a situation that FTE would be restored for the next academic year. Faculty could still be terminated for performance reasons or for academic or programmatic changes, but they could not have their FTE reduced slowly until they were out of a career. In the event of academic or programmatic reorganization that might eliminate the need for a position, we propose a committee that can verify the rationale for those possible position cuts.

The other part of this proposal would be a force majeure clause which would allow the university more flexibility in the event of a declared emergency. We are working through the details of what sorts of additional leeway they should have in such cases and what mechanisms will be put in place to keep such a system from being abused. Stay tuned for more information on this front!

Come to Bargaining

While we are making progress, we are still far apart on some issues. The more faculty are logging into our Zoom sessions, listening in, and providing feedback to our team, the stronger our position. Your participation shows the administration that the faculty are paying attention and sweeping changes will not come easily. Not for nothing, it buoys the Bargaining Team to see high numbers of participants in our Zoom session! Some faculty who have been attending the sessions report that it is the best time they have had in their lives. Others have lived more adventurous lives, but still report the conversations to be fascinating. Everyone agrees that you can have the conversation on in the background while you get other work done.

Bargaining sessions typically run several hours, so please feel free to “attend” for as little or as much as your schedule allows. You can register here, and will then receive a Zoom link via email. Please note that while all sessions are listed as a default 9am-5pm, the actual meeting times will vary – we’ll keep the UA bargaining page updated with that schedule.

Bargaining IV, 7/7/2020

Liveblog, usual disclaimer: my thoughts on what people are saying, trying to say, trying to be thinking, etc. Nothing is a quote unless in ” ” ‘s.

None of the usual chit-chat. Cecil sent in some written questions, Matella waited until just now to give him the answers. She claims that UO hasn’t really enacted any cost savings measure yet. Cecil calls caucus til 9:45. Union looks pissed. Matella promised two week a go to share Brad’s “models” – by which I think she meant spreadsheets. She hasn’t.

Meanwhile the Union’s discount branders have been busy:

They’re back. Sinclair: We’re trying to figure out how much money the university has or is likely to save and raise – before we get to faculty cuts.

Sinclair: Let’s cut to the chase. How much could we save by ditching Concur?

[UOM: Sorry, that’s it for live blogging today. I’ll have a recap tomorrow.]

Bargaining III, 7/2/2020

Liveblog: Usual disclaimer: My opinion of what people said, meant to say, or should have said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. The link to register and watch is below.

Matella: Brad is working on budget projections now. He knows algebra! I’ll get you them soon.

Here’s what the faculty would get for accepting cuts:

Cecil: Need to pin down what you mean by pre-COVID levels. You mean the 0.1 contracts that were being give out then, e.g. to AEI? Also, people get lied to.

Matella: OK will take back to my team. I agree that heads and deans tell faculty things that are not true. This is why we need central control.

Matella: We want to keep flexibility to change FTE on the fly.

Cecil: We don’t want you to keep flexibility to change FTE on the fly. Reading this, you could have used the above to give *all* NTTF 0.1 contracts – and waited until September to do it.

Matella: But we’d have to write a memo justifying that.

Cecil: Right.

Matella: I don’t understand why you want to make it harder to reduce FTE than to lay people off.

Cecil: Nothing in your proposal keeps you from shifting all the risk from enrollment/funding problems to the NTTF/Career, as you did this spring. So, department could give you a three year contract at 1.0 FTE, then 90 days later reduce it to 0.1 FTE, after writing a memo.

Matella: OK, please come back to me with a counter.

Break til 11:15. They’re back.


Matella: What would UAUO’s position be on the one-time buy out figure? 33%? Cecil: Enough to get some faculty to retire. You think 33% is going to excite people?

[Lots going on here. Admin wants to end the TRP permanently. Replace it with 2 temporary early retirement/buyout plans – offered for a limited time only. The idea is to get a spike in retirements/tenure relinquishment now. Matella believes that the current TRP does not incentivize early retirement – it’s just a bonus for people who are planning on retiring anyway.]

Cecil: So, if it’s a bonus for old TTF, why would we bargain it away for 33%?

Matella: Current TRP is very expensive – just look at what Brad’s getting.

Cecil: We have a shared interest in encouraging COVID retirements. But not in ending TRP.

Matella: PERS Tier 1’s already have a robust retirement plan (not true of ORP faculty, sadly.)

Matella: How about an ongoing incentive program, tied to employee’s place in their career? (Not sure it’s legal to do this by age, but perhaps by years in rank or something.

Cecil: Will you share model you used to cost out our previous incentive program. Matella: Yes.

Cecil: Are you also looking at early retirement for non-faculty? Matella: Yes, but not sure it’s workable or a cost saver.

Moving back to layoffs:

Cecil: Are you willing to consider some mechanism for financial criteria that does not involve some administrator saying we’re in financial crisis?

Matella: N0t sure.

Cecil: How do we distinguish between a real crisis and a decision to spend university E&G money on, say, wiring up the Phildo?

Break, back at 12:45.

[Sorry, live-blogging suspended for an hour or so, had to run to Jerry’s. Back now, they’re caucusing]

They’re back.

Matella: For the “panel”, we’re ok with two admins, two faculty, one neutral. Triggered by a complaint by a faculty member about contract rights – not academic judgement. Panel would review w/in 15 days. What were you thinking re the provost’s role?

Cecil: The panel would have to agree before a senior instructor could be laid off for financial reasons.

Matella: Gotta take that part back to the provost.

Cecil: Back to the wage cut. We will need information on the hold harmless level. We don’t want to agree to wage cuts, then discover you’ve blown $1.5M on wiring up the Phildo, or faculty tracking software.


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Faculty Union to continue bargaining with Admins, Tu and Th

Liveblog: Usual disclaimer: My opinion of what people said, meant to say, or should have said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. The link to register and watch is below.

Matella: Shares marked up version of Union’s powerpoint on general principals from last week. Admin response is in red:

Cecil: So you want to use any failure to meet the pre-covid predictions from Roger Thompson of *increases* in enrollment as the trigger for pay cuts? Matella: Yes. [Also, Admin wants to use enrollment rather than tuition as part of the trigger?]

Cecil: So the union’s share would be based on the faculty’s current share of the UO budget? Matella: After a $10M hold harmless for the union. [Some back on forth – this is a framework not a real proposal yet.] Urbancic: Auxiliaries? Grants? [Unclear]

Matella: [I think she’s saying faculty are held harmless for a $10M loss. Losses above that the faculty give up a share proportionate to their current share of E&G budget. So, say $25M loss out of E&G, admin pays first $10M, the union pays their share of the remaining $15M, or ~5M.

Sinclair: UO’s enrollment projections are often aspirational, rather than fact based. Union will need to see the basis for the projections.

Matella: We’re just spit-balling here, conversation on principles. The powerpoint is just a starting point. Cecil: That helps, thanks.

Page 3 of powerpoint:

Questions about OPE calculations and savings. Not a linear function of salary. UO uses a “Blended OPE rate” but is willing to use actual savings if union wants.

Cecil: So, if we do this we’ll also be able to use actual OPE for course buy-outs etc?

Matella: We’re not tied to Brad’s weakly progressive plan. Cecil: That’s good, we know a few economists.

Matella: We hop to share our models next week. [She said the same thing last week.]

Slide 4:

Matella: Any cuts will temporary. Doesn’t think voluntary cuts are possible.

Cecil: Last time Admins asked faculty and OA’s to take cuts at the same time Senior Admins took raises. Then they got more raises later. Are they gonna pull that shit again? Board gives Schill more bonuses? An even sweeter retirement scam?

Matella: Don’t forget about giving senior admins overloads and stipends.

Cecil: OK. We want to continue looking at voluntary plans. OEPA is not really a problem.

Cecil: UO already got $8M from CARES. Such payments will mitigate pay-cuts, right? Matella: Fed money comes with lots of restrictions. Not promising it will be used as an offset. Maybe. Cecil: How interesting.

Cecil: We’ll want reverse triggers, to restore cuts if there’s good budget news. Matella: Also could be multiple triggers. Can we make it simpler?

Cecil: Simplest would be to wait til next June, do the math, make any cuts to offfset losses.

Matella: What principles do we still need to work on?

Cecil: How much money would it cost to restore career faculty FTE? Matella: $6-8M, I think. Cecil: How much has the hiring freeze saved? Suspension of travel? Wage freeze we’ve already agreed to? Matella: We also have losses, cost increases. Also losses in auxiliaries like housing, sports. We need to cover those. 

Cecil: I’m assuming that any savings from union salaries won’t go to athletics, right? Matella: It’s complicated. Can you give me questions by email?

Cecil: Ducks have a $120M budget, plus the $5M they already skim off the academic budget. You sure we’re not going to end up subsidizing them more when they can’t play football?

Back and forth about funding-contingent faculty and cuts.

Slide 5-6: Expectation of Continued Employment

Matella: Given the global pandemic, not sure we can afford to give a full year’s notice. Also other universities give less. Urbancic: Under the current 3-year contracts, on average career faculty have to be given 18-months of notice. So we’re giving you *more* flexibility by cutting that to 12. Also, if we cut a program these are one-time costs, not recurring, and not that expensive.

Matella: Thanks, that’s a helpful point. I will take that back to my team.

Green: Regarding the comparison to other universities, we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to non-unionized places, or places with lots of other academic employers.

Slide 7: Long term planning to close the law school:

Just kidding, Pres Schill has fall-back tenure rights in the Law School and a sweet teaching deal. We’re going to paying $8M a year to subsidize law for a long time.

Matella: Agree with the need for more accountability, concerned that this committee would actually make decisions.

Bramhall: What if legit shared governance process with the Senate leads to layoffs? Cecil: This committee would be a flea compared to the Senate.

Long back and forth about management flexibility and their prerogative to push enrollment risk and the cost of admin bloat off on the least well-paid faculty.

Time for a lunch Break? They’re back:

Matella: Proposed PPR could run for up to 2 years. All employees are in. Cecil: We have lots of questions about triggers, duration, enrollment vs tuition, etc. Your plan is to keep running it until you make up the money you’ve lost? Matella: We realize this is too complicate. Could we simplify it, like OSU? Cecil: OSU said they’d pick up first $35M, and anything over $65M. Matella: We can’t do that. Cecil: I’m concerned about basing this on projections. Obvious incentive for Thompson to over-estimate. Matella: I can get you information, but need to know where you’re going.

Cecil: Baseline for enrollment should be something like 5 year average, not an arbitrary target. Matella: It’s true Brad showed the Trustees some crazy-ass projections in the past, but those weren’t serious. That’s why they stopped inviting him to speak and invited that economist instead. We’re better at this now.  Cecil: If enrollment was up last year, why did you cut faculty? Matella: …

Cecil: You have a commitment from the union to take the cuts necessary to restore career FTE, conditional on you showing there’s no other way to find the money. So why don’t you restore that FTE now? Matella: I hear you. I’m trying to make a deal. I just can’t commit to anything. Especially not cutting the law school. Cecil: We’re not talking about cutting the law school. That’s UO Matters, and even he doesn’t want to cut it, he just wants you to not pay for it with undergrad tuition.

Cecil: Again, can you tell us how much you’ve saved and plan to save with the other cuts you’ve made? Matella: Not a mandatory subject for bargaining. We’re having those conversations with the Not-Senate sham committee. We want to explore these subjects with you. What’s the best next step? Should I put together another PPR plan? Cecil: If you don’t want to be transparent about where you’re spending and saving money, you can’t expect us to go along with big cuts. Small ones, maybe. Say 2-5M.

Matella: Why don’t I come back with some stuff on caps and thresholds? Then see if you want more info?

Cecil: Suppose you’ve already saved $20M from E&G. Then we’re less interested in giving you a $10M threshold. We’ll also want info on what’s coming next or should be – fundraising efforts for things besides sports, endowment assessments, more Jumbotrons, reserves, unrestricted foundation funds, etc.

[Sorry, missed some stuff. Apparently there was a caucus.]

Pratt: Here are some basic union principles for cuts:

1: Threshold and cap

2: limited to 20-21 AY for now.

3; Should be based on tuition and state appropriations, not enrollment numbers.

4: Need something more than a JH announcement that “here’s the deficit, pay cuts are now triggered”. Need real transparency.

Matella: Thanks. I’ll get you some more bullet points in response. Also some response on TRP.

2:40PM – sorry, I gotta go check on some wiring problems. See you Th at 9:30 AM.

TRP and buyouts slide:

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Faculty Union & Admins restart bargaining, 1-5PM Friday on Zoom

Liveblog: Usual disclaimer: My opinion of what people said, meant to say, or should have said. Nothing is a quote if not in quotes. The link to register and watch is here.

Provost Phillips is here for the Admin side, which is new. He seems to be having a calming effect on both sides.

Cecil: Union feels that the current treatment of NTTF is a betrayal of that the Union has bargained with the Admins over the past 7 years – better job security for NTTFs. At the time neither party had discussed to possibility that the Administration would assign 0.1 FTE to career faculty who had previously had, say, 1.o FTE contracts. But this is what the Administration is now doing. We want to restore this – faculty who have been here for years, and  earned renewal and promotion contracts should not be jerked around like this. Also, they should not be put in a situation where they have to accept a promotion only at the risk of losing FTE.

Matella: It’s the Union’s fault, for not immediately accepting Brad Shelton’s weakly progressive pay reduction proposal.

Phillips: One shared principle is that we support all the faculty. We need to face the challenges together, as a community. (But the Admin won’t share budget info, won’t let faculty participate in budgeting. This is not the “respect” that Phillips is claiming to have.)

Phillips then trots out the talking point that salaries and benefits are 80% of UO’s budget. Faculty pay and benefits, however, are only about 15% of UO’s budget, or about 32% of the E&G budget. (And probably a decreasing percentage, from a quick look at the increases in administrative hiring and pay over the last 5 or so years.)

Cecil: Your previous ultimatum offer put all the cost of enrollment decreases/state cuts on employees. We want to look at ways to raise new funds, cut other spending. Some examples would be a temporary increase in the Foundation’s endowment fees, borrow from reserves, cut athletic subsidies, etc

Matella: We’re already considering ways to free up other money. We set up a sham committee with the Senate to look into this.

Cecil: So, say there’s a $100M shortfall. The administration would then make up some % from other sources – cuts and new assessments –  and it would be the faculty union’s job to cover the leftover amount?

Phillips: Seems to agree with Cecil. Willing to repackage some info, then share it with Union. Wants to make sure that the Union won’t butt into admin decisions about how to make up their share of cuts. Don’t mess with the Jumbotron or the Police! If the Admins want to cut museums and LERC, not the union’s business.

Also proposes trigger points for say enrollment, with the administration responsible for making some level of cuts before the trigger and faculty salary cuts take effect.

Cecil: Back in April we kept getting told that every proposal we came up with for new revenue or non-academic cuts was a non-starter. Are we going to go down that road again?

Matella: We have thoughts. We’re already doing modeling with other faculty groups. (Why are they excluding the Union from these meetings?)

Cecil: Why isn’t the union part of these groups?

Phillips: Not answering the question as to why the Union is not part of these groups. Announces that UO will be doing some borrowing – tough now that we’re so far in the hole for Duck stuff.

Sinclair: Wants very much to come to a quick agreement. But given what we’ve seen from you so far -.e.g your betrayal of the Careers – and the fact that you’re still excluding us from budget planning, it is going to take a while, and we’re going to need to make sure there are no more loopholes for you to use to screw us.

Cecil: We’re not going to bargain a plan with you where the faculty take the cuts and then you give the admins (and coaches?) raises, bonuses, sweet buy-out deals, etc.

Phillips: Agreed.

Matella: OK if you take a $10M cut and then we build the Jumbotron, right?

Phillips: Vast bulk of the higher wage people on campus are faculty – except of course senior administrators and coaches.

Matella: Expects same or pay cut schedule for faculty and OA’s, SEIU negotiation will be different.

Phillips: Intent of Brad’s continuous increasing average rate plan was to be progressive. (Result was weakly progressive). Open to alternatives. Had hoped to not have cuts below $70K, but that turned out to be too progressive on the top end.

Matella: Even though our plan’s ATR topped out at $200K, it was 20% which is pretty high relative to what other universities have done.

Cecil: We’d also like to talk about voluntary cuts / furloughs / early retirement. Lots of faculty have brought this up to us, as a way to save NTTF jobs.

Phillips: Hard to imagine a voluntary plan cutting costs enough, but can see using it as part of a pay cut plan. (Encouraging words.)

Matella: Concerned that a voluntary plan might exploit the community minded.

Cecil: We’ll need a mechanism to restore wages after the Democrats win a clean sweep and throw money at higher ed.

Phillips: Gotta go, hope we can work together in a positive way, appreciate your work on this. I view you all as my colleagues, sharing,. fairness, cooperation, thanks.

2:35, BREAK: Just kidding Cecil’s on a roll. Moving on to Car to eer Instructors and expectation of continued employment at same FTE. Limited reasons for non-renewal would include …. 90 days notice. This is complicated stuff, sorry I am not going blog it cause I’ll get some important things wrong.

Cecil: Wants a joint committee to handle non-renewals. The Union knows that there are faculty with performance issues, and we don’t want our other members to have to cover for them. We also know that academic and financial reasons can make it necessary to have layoffs. A joint committee will allow this to be done consistently and rationally. We want an earned seniority system – but we need to balance this with diversity goals.

Cecil: Early retirement incentives. Like TRP, but with an early buyout. Saves UO money on full prof pay and Tier 1. We have people on TRP who would take this deal now. We’re open to proposals from admin on this.

Matella: Wants some elaboration. Wants to talk it over with her team.

BREAK until ~3:30. They’re back.

Matella: Spitballing about trying out the expectation of continued employment and joint committee temporarily, to see how it goes.

Cecil: Temporary changes in enrollment and budget should not be balanced by firing Career Faculty – has to be some other way to handle it.

Matella: “80% of our budget is personnel” so if we have a shortfall it is going to fall on some employees – if not NTTF’s then SEUI or OAS.

Cecil:  The administration’s decisions over the past few years have cut the reserve fund, blown through our credit rating, pissed off the state legislature. Now you want the Career Faculty to pay for your mistakes.

Matella: No, we want to put the costs of our mistakes on *all* employees (except coaches) – that’s why we want Brad’s PPR.

Pratt: When we bargained this contract originally, the deal was that the university would have to take on the responsibility of job security for NTTF’s – while allowing for changes in student needs, etc. JH hasn’t done its job. We need to set up structures to do this. Put some of the risk on the administration – not all on Career faculty. This should be a shared principle on both sides, as it was when we bargained this. Set up this joint committee to do this.

Matella: She’s not writing the committee idea off. Needs to take it back to Pres Schill and Angela Wilhelms, of course. They’ll kill it.

Matella: I’m actually very optimistic in believing we have many points of agreement. And we have done lots of things to cut back on other spending.

Sinclair: We’re willing to take salary cuts, but in return you need to work with us on a system that brings us into the decisions about how the money we’re giving up gets spent.

Green: The mission of the university is teaching and research. The faculty you want to cut are the very people who accomplish our teaching mission.

Matella: I appreciate what you’re saying. I’m optimistic that we can address these problems together. What’s the best path forward? Can I take your powerpoint and get it back to you with comments?

Cecil: Please, yes, thank you! Meet again on Tu, maybe even get to an agreement by Thursday?

Matella: I might even be able to share some models.  Cecil: Today? Matella: No, but soon.

Cecil: We understand we’re not management – but when you come to us and ask for some of our wages back, you have to let us be involved in decision-making – and stop giving us ultimatums.

Epstein: Missy, did I hear you say that the pool of faculty wages from the cuts will become the new rainy day fund?

Matella: No, it’s to offset a short term revenue loss. We do believe the university does need to address long term problems like the law school though.

Cecil: So, our concern is that we give you back our wages to plug your budget hole, you blow it on more admin bloat.

Matella:  I have to say that we do not have administrative bloat.

Cecil: Currently you have 22 administrative positions posted, and zero faculty. How can we assure faculty that their wage cuts won’t go to hire more AVPlets?

Actually, I only see 21 now. They must have just hired another administrator:

Cecil: We’ll be back, Tuesday at 10.

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Faculty Union Town Hall, today at Noon

Dear Colleague,

I would like to invite all members of United Academics to a Town Hall on Monday, June 8 from noon to 1:30. The Zoom link is below.

We are soliciting questions from members on a variety of issues we are facing as a community. We will have officers and staff on hand to talk about current events including:

* upcoming negotiations around potential salary cuts/furloughs
* continuing employment and FTE restoration for Career faculty
* faculty input into re-opening campus

Please submit your question(s) here. We will also take questions during the meeting, but advance notice allows us the time to do research if necessary. If you are unable to attend live, a recording of the meeting will be available on our website. We will also post a FAQ page to get you answers to questions we were not able to answer during the Town Hall.

While it is difficult to find much of anything to celebrate right now, I hope the quarter is ending smoothly for instructional faculty, and that research faculty are able to be productive during these unprecedented times. I look forward to talking with you all on Monday.

Thank you for all that you do for the university and our students!

In solidarity, Chris Sinclair

When: Jun 8, 2020 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Please click the link below to join the Zoom webinar:

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.