Win over Cal costs UO $50K for Helfrich bonus + administrator junkets


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Apparently this win means the Ducks are going to some bowl game, and Helfrich gets a $50K bonus for that. Then we have to pay for all the admins and their families to go along for the junket. Here’s Tim Gleason, then Journalism Dean, now Faculty Athletics Representative, at the 2013 Fiesta Bowl student recruiting event:

VP  for Enrollment Roger Thompson videotapes one or two humiliating events like this at every bowl game, so that the administrators can show the IRS there was a business purpose for their family’s holiday junket:

4/12/2015: Coach Helfrich’s raise totals more than all 1500 UO staff combined

UO has about 1500 staff workers, making an average wage of about $35,000 a year. Their SEIU local 503 is currently bargaining with OUS for a new contract. The OUS offer is an 0.5% COLA, or $175 each per year.

Meanwhile, the UO administration just found the money to give football coach Mark Helfrich a slightly larger raise:

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Here’s the message from the SEIU local:

Higher Ed Management Proposals Not Unified Across State, Return to the “Big Three,” Attack Health Care, Steps, and More Continue reading

ASUO Pres Sam Dotters-Katz calls for student walkout if SEIU strikes

9/12/2013: Troy Brynelson has the scoop in the ODE:

In solidarity for the protest, ASUO President Sam Dotters-Katz, with the support of student presidents from Oregon State and Portland State universities, has also called for students across the state walkout.

“These folks work some of the lowest paying and often least appreciated jobs on campus,” Dotters-Katz said in a statement Thursday morning. “They deserve a contract that treats them with dignity, respect and most importantly fairness.”

The fact that the UO student government is calling for students to walk out in sympathy for the underpaid UO staff certainly puts a new spin on VPAA Altmann’s call for the faculty union to stop negotiating and:

“Shift Focus Back To Educating Our Students”

Contract negotiations between the University and the faculty union, United Academics, ended Friday without a union response to the salary proposal the University put on the table earlier in the week. That’s disappointing, … The leadership of United Academics has repeatedly said it wants to do what’s best for the UO and its students and faculty. Now is the time for the union to demonstrate that commitment.

Barbara Altmann, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Professor of French. Questions? If you have any questions about the contract negotiations, please contact me at [email protected] or (541) 346-2172.

Staff settles with OUS

From the SEIU site. These are key elements of the proposed settlement, worked about between SEIU bargainers and Vice Chancellor Jay “no furloughs for me” Kenton: My understanding is that the staff now gets to vote on whether or not to accept this.

• All workers will receive a 1.5% cost-of-living adjustment effective Dec. 1 and another 1.45% COLA effective 1/1/13.

• All workers who are not at the top of the longevity step-progression pay scale will receive two step increases during the life of the contract six months from the anniversary date of their time in grade.

• A 10th longevity progression step will be added to the scale Jan. 1, 2013, so that all workers who have been “topped out” at the ninth step — about 30% of those in the bargaining unit — will receive an increase on that date and all workers will get a 10th step in the future.  This was a key issue for members who saw it as lack of parity with other state workers who have had the 10th step for four years.

• Workers in 20 selected classifications will receive additional upgrades in classification, increases in salary or differential pay.

• Classified workers will take 7 to 11 unpaid furlough days over the next 21 months depending on pay grade, down from 8 to 16 furlough days in the 2009-11 contract.

• OUS will absorb an additional 5% of employees’ health insurance premium costs and classified workers will start contributing 5% of the cost of premiums in December. Employees earning $33,792 a year or less at the start of the contract will receive an annual $480 subsidy to help offset this cost.

9/15/2011: Details later:

Good morning,
We have a contract settlement! Our bargaining table rep, Deanna Berglund, will be returning to campus for informational meetings today, Sept 15. The strike vote is canceled, replaced with meetings at Noon and 5:30 pm.

Learn about the settlement today!
–Noon, 180 PLC (bring your own lunch)
–5:30 pm, 180 PLC

Will UO staff strike the first week of classes?

9/14/2011: A non-random sample says yes. They don’t buy Pernsteiner and Kenton’s call for “shared sacrifice”. Does anyone recall any previous staff strikes? This Greg Bolt story repeats the stories about UO raises, does not mention Lariviere’s overtime adjustments or the benefits and retroactive benefits the OUS bosses got. There’s a similar story Bill Graves story in the Oregonian. UO is not doing a good job getting our version of the story out.

Staff bargaining situation

8/25/2011: From an email sent to SEIU local 503 members:

    The central table agreement for 2011-2013 has been ratified by the DAS and OUS membership.  With over 7300 ballots cast, 77% of voters approved the agreement.  The elections committee, made up of volunteer retirees, conducted the ballot count. The election has been  certified by our Statewide Secretary Treasurer Barbara Casey and Elections Committee Chair John Hawkins.

    For OUS members, the central table agreement covers healthcare, PERS, and cost-of-living raises.  Now that we have locked in these conditions, we have to keep up the pressure on OUS so we can build on this agreement .  As listed in the previous update [link to latest update that has the full list of terms being fought over], OUS is still insisting on a contract that continues unshared sacrifice and fails to ensure equity on campuses and when compared to DAS workers.

Dennis Thompson SJ news story here. As explained earlier, the union has declared an impasse with OUS until OUS negotiator and Vice Chancellor Jay Kenton returns from his Hawaiian vacation. So a UO staff strike is still a possibility.

UC gives profs and staff raises – not admins

8/18/2011: From the LAT:

Under the plan, all faculty with good performance reviews will receive 3% raises this year, and nonacademic staff, who have received no increases since 2007, could be in line for larger raises.

About 78,000 UC employees will be eligible under the plan, officials said. But nearly 400 employees — senior administrators and non-teaching staffers who earn more than $200,000 a year — will not be included.

Impasse, or vacation time?

8/10/2011: OUS Chancellor Dr. Pernsteiner has appointed his assistant Jay Kenton as the OUS negotiator with SEIU. So Kenton is taking some vacation time. From the SEIU letter declaring a bargaining impasse:

We spent much of Monday trying to convince management to join us in telling the governor that the situation in OUS deserves special adjustments. Correcting past unshared sacrifices  — both in terms of equity within the OUS system and workers in DAS — requires that OUS classified workers be awarded additional compensation.  Moreover, the Union Bargaining Team pointed to record enrollment, healthy reserves, and generally solid financial health at the majority of the OUS campuses as evidence that the system as a whole can and should accept a fair and equitable settlement.   

The OUS team disagreed that there had been unshared sacrifice within OUS, rejected our request to join us in urging the Governor to recognize the special circumstances at OUS (or to act on its own in doing so); and simply re-packaged essentially the same patently unacceptable proposal we had seen before.   

OUS chief negotiator Jay Kenton’s comment about the lack of progress on the key issues in our negotiations was telling. “We’re not sure what else we can do now – we could just meet and stare at each other for a few months.” Kenton said. Then came this galling piece of information. Management cannot meet for three weeks because Kenton is on vacation.

Your OUS Bargaining Team saw only one appropriate response. We felt we had little choice but to formally declare an impasse.

Maybe Dr. Kenton will be spending his vacation at Pernsteiner’s mansion, Treetops? Nice weather up there on the hill, lots of space for BBQ, and the state pays for his lawn service and the maids too. But money for the OUS staff? No, times are far too tight for those sorts of frills.

Time for Governor Kitzhaber to fire both these fools and spend the savings on education.

Staff SEIU union rally today

8/1/2011: The state and SEIU local 503 have signed a tentative agreement, which will go to the members for a vote, but there are still details to be worked out between OUS Chancellor Pernsteiner and SEIU. A union organizer sent me this notice of a rally, to be held today:

Sisters and Brothers, Friends of Labor,

Hope to see you all at the Rally on Monday on the lawn by Deschutes Hall.
Come before noon if you can.  Set up is for 11:30, and lunch is provided.  SEIU people will be there until 1 p.m.
Students, faculty and the community are invited.

Now I am going to see if I am able to attach a document to this email.
I hope this works, as it is a very impressive list of UO Executive Administrator raises that occurred between November 2010 and May 2011!

Curiously, these are called EQUITY ADJUSTMENTS!!!!

Membership Coordinator & Alternate Bargaining Rep


Higher ed workers (4,500 statewide) are covered by the core economic TA
both AFSCME and SEIU settled last week, that is, UO workers will begin
paying 5% of the monthly premium in January 2012, will get a 1.5% COLA in
December this year and a 1.45% COLA in January 2013, and will continue to
receive the additional employer paid 6% PERS contribution. Given the
economy, the state budget, and the Governor’s stand on premium share
(insistent!) we believe we did the best we could. It’s a harsh reality
though. Meanwhile, at UO and in the university system we’re still
bargaining to minimize or eliminate more furlough wage cuts, stop the
annual salary step freezes and gain a mutual understanding about what
shared sacrifice or lack thereof means. UO has given out $2 million in
salary adjustments for top administrators this year but asking the lowest
paid workers for deeper cuts. Unfair!

At a time of record student enrollment, skyrocketing tuition, and raises for
top UO administrators, OUS continues to demand more furlough days and
step freezes for frontline workers. Raises for the few but cuts for the
workers who cook the meals, clean the buildings and serve students and
faculty in hundreds of ways? No Way! We’ve proposed an equity audit to
document once and for all whether the furlough wage cuts were shared from
top to bottom across the OUS. Not surprising, OUS isn’t keen to gather the
facts on “shared sacrifice.” This is no time to let OUS demands for more
classified worker sacrifice go unanswered. The bargaining team needs our

SEIU contract debated on facebook

7/28/2011: Dennis Thompson in the SJ reports on a debate among SEIU workers (including UO staff) on whether to vote no on the new contract. The SEIU facebook page is here, the “Vote No” facebook page is here. There is a robust debate on the pros and cons. Worth reading if you are faculty, both to understand what the staff are going through and because we may well be voting on unionization this fall.

Staff contract update

7/25/2011: Word from the SEIU union is that the state DAS has agreed on a contract, but the OUS locals are still negotiating with Chancellor Pernsteiner’s bargaining team on the OUS details.

Staff making $25,000 a year will now have to pay 5% of their health insurance. The furloughs continue. Staff will get small COLA adjustments to keep up with inflation and a very small step increase, and that only for those not already at step 9. It’s a competitive labor market out there, there’s a recession, the state is crunched, and this contract reflects those facts.

But apparently it’s not such a tough market if you are in Dr. Mr. Pernsteiner’s league and your employment contract is negotiated by a bunch of your cronies, with input from the university presidents whose budgets you control. Pernsteiner’s contract is up for renewal at the end of May 2012. I wonder what the OUS Board will add to his list of perks this time?

  • He was hired in 2004 by Neil Goldschmidt as an interim appointment, then made permanent after the molestation story broke and everyone was too busy to go through a public search process. 
  • He does not have a PhD – unique for a Chancellor. 
  • He is paid $280,900 in straight salary
  • He gets another $23,320 for “professional development expenses.” He does not document how he spends this – just takes as a cash salary add-on. 
  • He gets a free car with all costs paid.
  • He gets a $12,720 retirement add-on, to top off his regular PERS account.
  • He gets an all expenses paid mansion in Eugene, Treetops, which he uses about 4 nights a month, at a cost to the state of over $50,000 a year.
  • We pay about $7,000 for his maid service.
  • He gets another $26,000 in housing allowance to pay the mortgage on his own house, in Portland.
  • He charges the state $52 a day for his personal food while he’s in Portland. The scam is to claim he lives in Eugene, so when he’s in at his own house in Portland, he’s traveling! 

Or maybe they’ll come down hard, and insist he contribute 5% towards his kids’ $7000 maid service bill? The $15,000 landscaping charges?