These are my summaries of my interpretation of the meaning of the statements of the various people, with some opinion inserted, sometimes in ( ) sometimes not. Not quotes unless in quotes. These are my opinions, not those of the union or its committees. I have not been part of any of the union bargaining team meetings.
For the anti-union view of the sessions, see here. For the admin's view see the "Around the O" here. No, sorry, don't. Neither has any real information. Just keep reading UO Matters.
The highlight so far?
Johnson Hall's hired lawyer, Sharon Rudnick:
In the contract, "We would like to be called the University, not the Administration."
Frank Stahl's take on this?
"The faculty and the students are the university. Those administrators are our hired hands - they're the ones who should be unionizing and negotiating their contracts with us."Which reminds me of this famous story about Eisenhower at Columbia. Other highlights? Admin had no proposals to put on table - not even a proposal for the clause on administrative rights and responsibilities. The union proposal to strengthen Senate was not received favorably by Rudnick. Nor was the union proposal to support the diversity of existing departmental policies and practices by incorporating them into the contract by reference.
My understanding is that the actual proposals the union members have developed over the past 6 months and are now putting on the table will be posted by Saturday. (Clarification - not all the proposals, the union will post them as they are presented to the admin in bargaining sessions. Now posted - see and comment here.) Meanwhile, the UO administration has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Rudnick et al., and has nothing productive to show for it - except wanting to be called "the university".
Interestingly, Rudnick's arguments on the proper role of the faculty often diverged substantially from what President Gottfredson told the UO Senate in his first address. Watch the video, or read Hubin's transcript, here.
Mike Mauer of the AAUP starts for faculty: We are ready to bargain, many proposals are ready to discuss now.
Sharon Rudnick of HLGR: Admin has no proposals ready to discuss. Hope to after the winter break.
Mauer: We want to improve salaries and working conditions and maintain academic quality of UO. Our proposals will memorialize many good and useful UO policies and practices - with some exceptions. Many things at UO work well and we will not try and change those. We will minimize game playing, not make crazy demands. We will give Admin many reasonable proposals that typically come from management side. Notes that UO does not have a faculty handbook (incredibly, this is true) so CBA will provide codification that will benefit institution.
We will not mess with role of the Senate or Departments - with some exceptions for adjuncts, e.g. job security, career enhancement.
These first two days we will try and lay out our non-economic proposals and we hope engage in real dialogue with Admin.
We will justify our proposals using specific examples from UO.
Q: Any questions?
Rudnick: "I am not a game player". Not going to do positional bargaining. "We're about listening to you ..." We are not going to be in a position to start responding til after the break. (How much have we paid her firm already, for them to have no proposals yet?)
Mauer: Passes over the preamble to them.
Randy Geller: We will have to caucus on these.
Mauer: Here's the recognition language from the ERB agreement.
Rudnick: She's heard of visiting appointments, etc. She really doesn't understand universities. May come back with anomalies in recognition language or later in the agreement. The admin hasn't figured out how they want to deal with this yet? Why don't Blandy and Gleason say anything?
Do you want a cutoff, say 0.25 FTE or keep everyone in unit. Your call. Matter of how much we take on in contract.
Mauer: Here's the academic rank proposal. Most of the language here is lifted from what we can find in the current OAR's. Add Post-docs as a type of adjunct. Diff between career and current adjuncts. Recognize there will be judgement calls, recognizes due role for administration to make decisions. Lots of details. Union's been doing there homework. Adjuncts can be easily hired into career positions, ... Any questions?
Rudnick: We're going to need a break to talk about it.
Mauer: Shared Governance. (This is a big one).
We want to strengthen the Senate by bringing the Senate Constitution into the CBA. NOT to usurp role but to give Senate legal protection (That is, protection from Randy Geller).
More transparency by posting handbooks, department by-laws, practices, etc. Union doesn't want to mess with these, just that they should be posted.
Rudnick: So, departments are below the level of colleges? What's the diff between a department and a program? What if people overlap?
Scott Pratt, Deborah Greene: Some departments do have formal by-laws, others have practices written out to various degrees. Idea is to have departments write out by-laws explaining their current practices. Intention is to let the Deans decide whether people are bound by department, program, etc.
Mauer: Proposal on past practices. Takes existing UO, College, Department, practices and policies, they are the base point unless the contract changes something.
Special benefits. (Suppose, say, the university gives the Provost a BMW. Would all bargaining unit members get one too?)
Caucus time, restarting at 11AM.
Rudnick: We rewrote intent and purpose of preamble:
"We would like to be called the University, not the Administration"
I call bullshit. The faculty are the university, not the people in Johnson Hall. Not Bean, not Geller, not ...
Mauer calls her on this. She is going to fold. Geller is sweating. Blandy and Gleason are keeping their heads down.
Rudnick: Wants it acknowledged that the administration voluntarily recognized the union. No problem. Clarifying questions about rank proposal. Will Provost's decisions be grievable? Mauer will address this later.
Shared Governance: Why is incorporating the Senate Constitution into CBA this a mandatory subject of bargaining. The Senate is not related to working conditions. Really? Mauer is great on this. This is Geller's attempt to keep the faculty under his thumb. Rudnick pushes back. In doing so she is going to win the union a lot of new faculty friends. She doesn't understand universities or faculty and it is showing.
She's backing down a little, it will be subject of negotiation. Mauer is clear union is not trying to usurp Senate, rather strengthen it. This is a losing game for her. Blandy and Gleason still say nothing.
She is bringing up donations - doesn't realize Senate committees already are supposed to be consulted on these things. Listen to Gottfredson's first Senate speech - he's already agreed Senate has a role on these things.
She's trying to get a sense of how universities work. She's starting to get it.
Rudnick on benefits: Sorry, not going to give faculty beamers just because Bean got one.
NOT going to agree to a past practices clause - this is huge. Many of the anti-union faculty were opposed because they thought the union would impose uniform rules across very different departments. Now the administration wants to force the union to do this. Wow!
Mauer: We want to recognize the differences across departments, preserve what has been working. Rudnick is not prepared to agree to it. Might come back to it. Too open-ended.
Mauer: Non-discrimination clause, sexual harassment, ... (UO hasn't followed Title IX law, the union is doing Geller and Daugherty's job here.)
Rudnick: A member could grieve and file lawsuit at same time. (I think UO already does this, or says it does in the faculty handbook. Whoops, we don't have a faculty handbook any more.) Can't take away legal rights. She doesn't realize there is already a UO process for grievances. Why isn't Geller or Blandy stepping in here to explain this?
(The elephant in the room? This would allow employees to use union lawyers to seek redress instead of having to hire their own lawyer. Mauer knows her game here - standard stuff.)
She's backing down, now wants more specifics, not objecting to the principle anymore.
Deborah Green: Wants it in the contract so it's clear and so people will know they can go to the union for quicker, cheaper redress. Long history of suits that have been very expensive to the university. We should be working together on this language.
(Yes. But of course that would mean fewer billable hours for UO's external law firm, which now seems to be Rudnick and HLGR.)
Mauer: Adds transparency to individual faculty contracts. Derived from the existing OAR's.
Written notice of appointment, responsibilities and expectations, workload ref, crediting of prior service, expectation of continued employment for career NTF. Does *not* provide lifetime guarantee, just expectation. Subject to resource, programmatic changes. Renewal offers to go out 90 days in advance, with provisions for exceptions. More provisions for post-docs, adjuncts. Attempts to avoid term by term hiring when avoidable. ...
Scott Pratt: Adopts CAS policy for reviews for faculty who come in with prior credit towards tenure.
Rudnick: I suspect Geller, Blandy, Gleason have questions but apparently they can't speak for themselves, so we'll have to get back to you.
Mauer: We want to provide maximum flexibility for departments because they know best. We do want transparency about rules and expectations. Departments must adopt a written policy, that policy can certainly incorporate flexibility. Service will be incorporated, service as union officer will count as service as will department service, university committees, etc. Mandates transparency regarding stipends and admin support - again, differences across departments are fine. Overload compensation. Language comes from UO's 1985 policy. Same idea - department's can set policies, just make it transparent.
Rudnick: So department's set policies so long as they follow these rules? Leave this up to the departments and the faculty? Where is the final adoption?
Pratt explains how Dean's and Department's now work it out, e.g. with teaching loads. Huge diversity e.g. with teaching loads - course release policies for research. Faculty, Deans and Department's now work it out.
Rudnick: Where's the final authority - e.g. if the Dean says no, you must teach 6 courses. As I read this it this gives the faculty the power to decide their workload? (She's got a point, that's a bit strong. And of course not what the proposal means. But it could be clearer. Mauer is trying to make the point that the union is not going to mess with current practices - work it out internally, with deans as it's been done for the past 1100 years.)
Caucus time, back ~12:30.
Rudnick: No specific questions, need to look at details, we will come back with questions or counter-proposals, to keep things moving and specific. We think we get it and were you're going, we're not shocked or surprised by what you've presented. Keep on going?
Mauer: Here's the NTTF evaluation and promotion proposal. Critical in terms of fairness and serving students. Evaluation every 18 courses or 3 years - less frequent but more thorough than present. Annual peer review with notification. Evaluation includes personal statement, allows credit for service. Opportunities for professional development (since that's included in evaluation). Makes clear this is for career not adjunct appointments. Promotion is elective, not up or out. Understands that admin has plans for NTTF reforms as well. etc.
We are seeking to fundamentally change the status of NTTF's at the university.
Rudnick: Not sure how much we will respond to tomorrow. (Boy are they underprepared.)