MMXX-VI bargaining: Some crap CBA articles no one really cares about

That’s the rumor from the faculty club last night. Today’s Faculty Union proposals will include Release Time, Training, and Union Rights. I have no idea what the Administration will bring to the table, they like to surprise us.

Should be plenty of space to spread your work out. Free UO Matters coffee cup to whoever gets the most grading done between 12-3PM today in 125 Chiles. My continuing series on Budget Buckets is here. No live-blogging today, try the official Union tweets or Facebook, or wait for the Union’s synopsis Monday.

In other news the state is flush with cash, because our economists underestimated income tax collections again, and death tax collections have soared. Not because the olds are dying at an unexpected rate, but because they now have all the money – until suddenly they don’t and the state finally gets its cut of the wealth they have accumulated because they were lucky enough to be born in a country where the government protects property rights and commerce, winks at anti-trust laws, makes it easy to trade campaign donations for special favors, and pays for their medicare with a regressive tax on workers.

Get your tickets to Hamilton here, page down for the data from the latest Oregon State Economist’ revenue report:


MMXX-V Union bargaining: Tenure appeals & tighter sabbatical rules.

My continuing series on Budget Buckets is here. If you don’t like my blog read the official Union tweets or Facebook.

MMXX-V Live-blog. Usual disclaimer: My opinion and interpretation of what the bargainers are saying, thinking, or should be saying or thinking. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Short Version: The Faculty Union pushed again for more reasonable tenure denial appeals. The Administration proposed new restrictions on sabbaticals for faculty. Those restrictions would not apply to administrators like Pres Schill, who often have far more generous sabbatical terms written into their contracts.

Faculty Union team shows up early and arranges classroom for bargaining, whilst Admin team moseys on over from their plush JH offices:

Faculty Union proposal on Appeal from the denial of tenure or promotion, Article 21:

Cecil: Lots of problems with how the university handles a few tenure cases. Union wants to strengthen the review process.

Matella: There aren’t any problems.

Cecil: Here are some examples … Epstein: Here’s another example. Green: Here’s another example.

Matella: OK, OK, we need more work on the front end of the process. But Admin is not willing to improve the appeals process. Green: This is people’s careers, why not better appeal process? Urbancic: Why not strengthen both the front end – more consistent application of criteria – and the appeals? Matella: No response.

Cecil: Moving on, we insist on language saying midterm (3rd year) reviews are purely advisory – no more terminal or 2-year contracts. Give faculty 6 years, then deny tenure if they haven’t shown their worth. And, for denial of tenure appeals, the Provost must actually give a written explanation to the candidate detailing the department’s criteria and explaining how they fell short.

Matella: Why does the union insist on a real appeals process instead of one that simply allows the Provost to reiterate their own previous decision without explanation? Cecil: Read Danny Kahneman’s book. It’s one of those irrational but consistent human biases. [Fact check request: Anyone know how replicable this one is?]

Matella: After PTRAC, appeals go to President or President’s designee? Cecil: Our concern is that the final tenure decision might be made by someone like Angela Wilhelms, rather than someone with academic experience like Mike Schill. On the other hand, we can imagine a situation were the President might be, say, a former shoe company CEO with no academic experience.

Admin Counter-Proposal: Union Rights, Article 9:

The Union thinks the Administration should share a list of faculty by September 1, so they can organize them. The Administration doesn’t want to do this until whenever they get around to updating their database:

Admin Counter on Sabbatical, Article 33:

Matella: We’ve made some changes. “Faculty with an agreement to retire are not eligible for sabbatical.” Faculty owe UO a year of service at regular FTE after sabbatical. [This is a huge change in past practice. Faculty – and administrators with faculty appointments – have been able to sign up for the TRP, get the 6% raise, take a sabbatical, then come back and either teach their last year pre-TRP, or teach at less than 1.0 FTE under the TRP. See, for example, Jim Bean:]

Interestingly, while President Schill enjoys describing himself as a member of the faculty, when it comes to sabbatical and faculty duties, he’s convinced the Board to treat him just a bit differently:

So, after 6 years, he gets 12 months at full pay. Regular faculty get 9 months at 60% pay. And no need to say what he’ll do or what he’s done. But wait, there’s more:

Admin counterproposal for regular faculty:

Other topics:

2:25: As Cecil tries to wrap things up early, Vice President Matella does her best to drag out this session until the official end time of 3PM, to collect another 0.5 billable hours.[Just kidding, the above sentence contains at least 4 things that are not true.]

2:38: We’re done. See you next week.

Admin’s plan to weaken tenure – Faculty Union on bargaining MMXX-IV

Chuck Lillis and his Board of Trustees’ magic tonic for all that ails UO – get rid of tenure.

In a nutshell, the Administration wants to be able to reduce the FTE of tenured faculty to as little as 0.2 FTE, if their department head decides they’d been warned and failed to improve. The Union is OK with reducing the research FTE for deadwood, but wants it made up with more teaching or administrative work. Complete UAUO post here, with much more, including a proposal allowing UO to offer “indefinite appointment” – i.e. tenure – to Career/NTTF teaching faculty, after a long and rigorous review. The short version:

Executive Summary

The administration bargaining team proposed that tenured faculty could have their FTE reduced to 0.6, 0.4, or 0.2 FTE after an unsuccessful third-year post-tenure review. They also proposed to define the “review period” for promotion reviews be the last six years only.

The United Academics bargaining team proposed a new “Teaching Professor” position. Senior II Instructors and Lecturers can ask for an intensive teaching review that would assess teaching skill and pedagogical philosophy. Successful candidates would have an indefinite appointment.

We also proposed that Career faculty FTE could only be lowered by a maximum of 0.2 FTE (based on the prior year) upon renewal and that FTE had to be the same through all years of a contract.

The Union will respond to the Administration’s proposal for a de facto end to tenure this Th, 12-3 in 125 Chiles.


Matella updates Admins on Admin view of bargaining progress

**Sent on behalf of Missy Matella**

Dear Colleagues,

The University of Oregon [The Administration] and United Academics (UA) [The Faculty Union] began bargaining a new collective bargaining agreement on January 9 with the first several sessions focused on UA’s proposals. After three sessions, UA has proposed changes to 16 existing articles and introduced nine new articles with more proposals to come in the weeks ahead. The costs associated with their proposals appear to be significant:

·         By its own estimation, UA’s opening economic proposals will cost an additional $40 million over the term of a three-year contract. Proposals include changes to salary, benefits, child care support, parental leave, professional development, student support, and parking.

·         Our costing committee is currently analyzing the proposals. We expect to have more information about the economic impact of all UA proposals toward mid-February.

UA’s proposals would have substantial economic and operational impact on academic and non-academic units and on other university stakeholders.

·         The articles presented by UA to date would impact and, in some instances, define roles and responsibilities for department heads, principal investigators, the Senate, and athletics.

·         The university’s bargaining team will diligently work to maintain the bargaining principles it previously articulated—including respecting the roles of the parties at the table as well as the roles of other campus stakeholders, units, and employee groups.

The university’s bargaining team will continue to provide new proposals through the end of February. Our proposals will reflect our responsibility to:

·         remain good stewards of student tuition and taxpayer dollars, and

·         make proposals consistent with the reality of the university’s current and future economic situation.

Weekly bargaining is expected to continue every Thursday through the winter and spring terms. We look forward to positive collaboration with the UA bargaining team in our efforts to identify shared interests and reach agreement on a contract that serves both the university and our faculty. You can keep track of the negotiation process by reviewing the information and updates posted on the UA bargaining webpage on the Human Resources website.

Shortly, I will send a similar email to department heads and other unrepresented faculty to keep them informed. I will continue to provide regular bargaining updates so you are informed and aware of the key components of the negotiations and so that you can provide feedback to our team throughout this process. Your assistance and support in this effort are greatly appreciated.

Should you have any questions or concerns throughout the negotiations process, please visit the bargaining update webpage or contact me by submitting an email to

Best regards,

Missy Matella
Senior Director, Employee and Labor Relations

MMXX-IV bargaining live-blog: 125 Chiles, 12-3pm today

My continuing series on Budget Buckets is here. If you don’t like my blog read the official Union tweets or Facebook.

MMXX-IV Live-blog. Usual disclaimer: My opinion and interpretation of what the bargainers are saying, thinking, or should be saying or thinking. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

The Union has helpfully posted today’s proposals at The admin is passing out dead-tree versions of theirs. Annoying, but I understand we’ve got a few trustees with timber holdings. Other than that I have no complaints about the admin team, as of yet.

Start with admin proposals:

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Bargaining live-blog MMXX-II: PIPs for tenured faculty, Senate & IHP

In 125 CHILES, Thursday 1/16/2020, 12-3PM. 

MMXX-I is here. My continuing series on Budget Buckets is here. If you don’t like my blog read the official Union tweets.

Recap from MMXX-II: The union proposed a new article on faculty Performance Improvement Plans, which would allow departments to make tenured faculty who had failed at research get their shit together or do more teaching. The fact that a faculty union is proposing serious consequences for those few members who are not doing their job and making others cover for them should come as no surprise to anyone who understands basic economics. But it will probably throw Board of Trustees Chair and one-time B-School Dean Chuck Lillis – who apparently believes that the median faculty is deadwood and that the union is their agent – for a loop.

Other important proposals include reasserting shared governance control of faculty hiring, and figuring out how to keep the temperature in PLC to somewhere between 60 and 85 Fahrenheit.

See below for the details, Chuck, because the next proposal will be PIPs for you and your Trustees.

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Bargaining live blog MMXX-I: Parking, Duck bonuses, Raises

Recap: With the latest data showing average US wages increasing at 3% a year, and Oregon  having moved into the top half of the US income distribution by state, the union’s proposal for 3% COLA/ATB raises is a baseline. The proposed 5% for Excellence raises, and 2% for internal equity over the 3-year contract fit with the administration’s stated priorities. Cecil calls this the 3-9-4 plan.

The administration’s lead negotiator Missy Matella was receptive to the union’s proposal to tax the athletic department and use the money for student scholarships, seemingly agreeing that the university could not continue allowing AD Mullens to use the Duck money bucket as his safe space.

The union’s new TRP buyout plan also got a warm reception from the admin side. On the other hand, they seemed a bit skeptical of the proposal to tie faculty salary floors to a percentage of top admin salaries (15% or so).

See below for the parking and childcare proposals.

Expect lots of questions from the administration at the next round, same time and place next Thursday.

12PM, EMU Crater Lake Room. Usual disclaimer: My opinion and interpretation of what the bargainers are saying, thinking, or should be saying or thinking. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. In the interests of transparency the union has posted the articles they will be presenting to the administration here: and more info is here. UAUO is also live-blogging here (Go down to the live blogging post, it’s in the comments.)

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Faculty union bargaining starts noon Jan 9, Crater Lake Room

This will be the third contract UAUO has bargained with the UO administration, or as they prefer to be called, “The University”. The Union bargaining team has 11 faculty (5 TTF, 6 Career) and 2 staff members, with a total of 196 years of UO experience. Dave Cecil will again be the Union’s lead negotiator:

Whilst the Administration’s team will be led by Missy Matella:

And presumably Brad Shelton will again be entrusted with “running the numbers”:

The Union has posted a handy informational page at with links to basic info on bargaining, bio-sketches of the Union bargaining team, and the current contract clauses. Proposals will be posted as bargaining progresses. Per agreement between the Union and the Administration, bargaining is open to the public. No video or audio recording is allowed and the audience is expected to behave respectfully – meaning no goat bleats on your phone, Ben.

As in past years I’ll live-blog most sessions with a mix of fact, opinion, and interpretation of what the bargainers are saying, thinking, or should be saying or thinking at Since the Union doesn’t really trust me, they will also have a facebook page with live updates, and will send out regular email updates. I assume the Administration’s well-paid PR flacks will also disseminate their own spin on bargaining, perhaps including the odd ad hominem attack like this one from the 2013 bargaining session.

In past bargaining the Union has won improvements in Career faculty job security, and increases in TTF salary relative to the AAU public university averages. Full professor pay is now up from 82 to 87% of the average, with similar increases for Assistants and even better for Associates, thanks to the “Excellence Raises”:

Presumably the Administration will again tell faculty that “the well is dry” when it comes to pay and benefits, while lobbying the Legislature for $40M in subsidies for the 2021 IAAF championships, giving fat raises and bonuses to administrators, hiring lawyers and consultants, and refusing to use the profits from Duck football for anything but AD salaries and subsidizing special-interest sports like golf, tennis, and beach volleyball.