Update: Bargaining session III, 1/8/13 live-blog

1/9/13 Update: 

Subject: counterproposals
Date: January 9, 2013 9:16:03 AM PST
To: Tim Gleason , Doug Blandy

Hi Tim and Doug, can you send me a copy of the administrative counter proposals? I’d like to add them to the info at http://www.uomatters.com/2012/12/facultyadministration-bargaining.html so that people can make comments. 

I’ll post their response. Note that the union is posting all the proposals they have put on the table within a few days, from whence I got the info for the CBA discussion pages in the link.

On WednesdayJan 9, 2013, at 11:27 AM, Doug Blandy wrote: Bill, The university is planning to post counter proposals at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/  D.


Update: Blandy said he’d hired a consultant to fix Tomlin’s faculty handbook problem. Interesting. Let’s see what info they’ll share about that:

Subject: faculty handbook consultantDate: January 8, 2013 9:17:35 PM PST
To: Doug Blandy , Barbara Altmann
Hi Doug and Barbara -
At the bargaining session today there was something about UO hiring a consultant to work on the faculty handbook/Ac Af website problem. I’d appreciate it if you could send me info on what work has been contracted for, name of the firm doing it, and an estimate off the cost. I’d like to post it on UO Matters, I think many faculty would be interested.

Quick direct response from Doug, which I certainly appreciate, explaining I got it wrong:

Bill, Academic Affairs has not hired a consultant to work on the faculty handbook. We are working (consulting) with the UO library’s Interactive Media Group on developing a web based equivalent of a faculty handbook. The IMG routinely works with UO faculty and units towards the development of web based projects. 

So, correction: It’s an internal media service just to do the web design for the handbook site:

Live-Blog Disclaimer:

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.

Geller is AWOL again. For info on what our students are paying Rudnick, see here. She showed up with a helper lawyer today, too, wonder what that’s costing us.

Abstract: 

This will have to wait til the Thursday session concludes. Very briefly, Rudnick has been doing some homework, now seems to understand the basics of academic rank etc. She spent a fair amount of time trying on a helpful, charitable persona. This would go over better if each little story wasn’t costing us $20:

Rudnick chit chat’s about her beautiful hand-made South African AIDS charity necklace, which she offers to sell off her neck, for the cause. Ambiguous how Maimonides would treat this one:  

We are obligated to be more scrupulous in fulfilling the commandment of charity than any other positive commandment, because charity is the sign of a righteous man.” Moses Maimonides, 1135-1204  

It’s good to promote self-sufficiency, but it’s very bad to brag about your charitable activities, especially while doing business. Not that I’m an expert on prestige motive for charitable giving:

Live-Blog:

Rudnick: Severability is OK. Mauer: Let’s sign and date. Historic day – something has been agreed to. Something else also OK, missed it.

Strike and Lockout:

Rudnick: Suppose SEIU strikes – can’t have it that faculty don’t do any work typically done by them – e.g. copying.

Handbook:

Rudnick: We are going to try and “consolidate” this on AcAf website. We will not do a hard copy – too much work for us! Policy changes will be posted ut we wil not be responsible for notifying faculty. WTF? No notice of a policy change unless we have a statutory requirement to do so? Sneaky shit.

Mauer: Why not just agree to a format? Rudnick: We just don’t want to promise anything that would be clear. Mauer call’s her on it. Green: What happens when a policy is changed? How do faculty track what’s been changed (e.g. changes in tenure rules).  Rudnick: Doesn’t get it how badly Tomlin screwed this up. (This is not a good place to pick a fight. Just give up on this, admins. You screwed it up, lost credibility, here’s a chance to fix it.) Blandy: We will keep an archive, honest. We did a survey! We publish e-news! Rudnick starts lecturing us and Green on what should be in the contract, what shouldn’t. Bizarre. “We are not willing to write down those levels of details in the contract”. Mauer: This proposal doesn’t come out of thin air. Find the right balance. Rudnick: Blandy’s hired a consultant to figure out how to do this. OMFG. Mauer asks specifics,  Blandy has been working on this for 10 weeks and is working on a dynamic format for this. He’ll go back and ask about archives. This was the whole point for bringing this up – they are losing credibility quickly on it.

Workload, Professional responsibilities.

Rudnick leaves the room, she’s going to bring out the Geller on this one. Comes back, chit-chat about Rudnick’s beautiful hand-made south african AIDS charity necklace, she offers to sell it for charity. Ambiguous how Maimonides would treat this one. Good to promote self-sufficiency, very bad to brag about your charitable activities, especially while doing business. Not that I’m an expert on prestige motives for charitable giving.

Geller arrives, looking shaky. Rudnick: Classification, rank, title. Goal is to define carefully here. E.g. Clinical or Prof of Practice is a NTTF with … details go in the person’s job description. Don’t want to necc put those in contract, so we’ve taken some detail out of your proposal.

Lecturer: Primary responsibility … Researcher Assistant classification goes away for new hiring but will be grandfathered in. Lots of details here, need to see printed copy. Formalize “Acting Assistant Professor” if you are hired into a TT job but haven’t quite finished writing that dissertation. Lecturers could do graduate instruction, Instructors would do undergraduates, mostly. Blandy: No bright line. Titles like “distinguished” are fine. Lots of nuts an bolts stuff here, they are all working it out constructively I think.

Wake up people: Rudnick: Espy is planning on moving Research Assistants(?) out of the faculty, and as Cecil points out then move them out of the bargaining unit. This move should make a lot of the anti-union people happy, my impression is that union support is strong w/in this group. Geller: No new hires as Res Assistant. Mauer: If new people are R Assoc, it’s OK. If new people doing same type of work are R assistants (therefore out of unit) big concern. Rudnick will go back to Espy, quickly, to get more info on what she is planning.

Break for caucus. They’re back, sans Geller.

Mauer: More on your new “adjunct” classification. Rudnick: Departments could give give any title, based on current practice. They have no rank. Three year cap on how long you can be an adjunct. Up or out?

Rudnick, Section 3: Def of career NTTF: Clinical prof, prof or practice, research prof, librarian, lecturer, instructor. Cecil: need to add back current Research Assistants. Can be hired as an adjunct, then can move into NTTF.

Post-docs? Lots of confusion. Rudnick: fall w/in existing classifications or set up a new one? Confusion reigns. Rudnick: Where do you put the Yoga Instructor? Cecil: As instructors. We want to make them career NTTFs. Back to Post-docs. Rudnick: hire as adjuncts? We agree adjuncts should not be permanent part time employees – up or out.

Rudnick: As we go forward you will see that we are OK for grievances about classification etc, but will not allow outside arbitration for academic matters. Also, we will simplify grievance procedure.

Mauer: Why restrict someone from applying for promotion from adjunct until they’ve had 3 years FTE? Rudnick: Admin could promote someone on their own call though.

Cecil: So university could keep people for three years , let them go, hire another person for another 3 years, etc? Rudnick: That’s not our intent. Lots of back and forth on this, pretty cooperative.

Contracts:

Rudnick: Appointment comes in writing from the Provost, not verbal. Other information will be given separately within reasonable time. Seems good, speeds up hiring. Pratt: For TTF, offers usually include informal offer info – time til tenure, etc. Need to put that into this section too. All agree.

Rudnick: Info must include at minimum: professional responsibilities, expectations about performances, criteria and procedures for evaluation, promotion, tenure and post tenure reviews …

Rudnick: Section 3. Distinction between funding-contingent (grant) vs not contingent. Suppose it’s not funded from a grant: 1 year appointment for lowest rank, up to 3 years. If it’s grant contingent, no promises beyond one year (except for TTF).

Rudnick is saying that they will not commit to permanent NTTF contracts or automatic renewal. Will commit to May 1 or 15 renewal dates, but without penalty, unenforceable. Email for appointment/denial letters. Check those spam filters.

More on the 3 FTE limit on adjunct appointments.

Rudnick: Tenure – usually 6 years unless negotiated shorter clock, credit for prior service will be in the appointment letter. Anderson: Need to spell out hires that come in with tenure. Rudnick: whoops, we do.

Denial of tenure. Rudnick: 12 month final contract.

Mauer: Librarians? Rudnick: 1,2,3 year contracts dependent on rank, rather than current practice. Cecil: So everyone will get a year shorter contract than they do now? Rudnick: We’ll look into that.

Mauer: What did you delete regarding future employment rights of adjuncts? Rudnick: Yes. Contracts expire, no notice required. Not willing to make a contractual commitment, but policy is not to give 0.49 appointments. (Tough one – lots of people *want* 0.49 appointments. Others don’t. Rudnick wants flexibility, on this – leave it out of CBA. I agree with her, but I don’t know how much abuse there is in other departments. Cecil: Wants to put it in contract that admin won’t do this to avoid paying benefits. Me: But what about the (perhaps small number) of people who want exactly that – a job with no benefits, rather than no job with no benefits.

Mauer: Sec 15 and 16, credit for prior service.

Adjourn.

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33 Responses to Update: Bargaining session III, 1/8/13 live-blog

  1. Anonymous says:

    Is it anticipated that there will be more policy-based disciplinary actions against faculty?

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Taking them out of this unit will ultimately mean adding them to the SEIU unit.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    …or grad assistant unit?

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Adjuncts up or out? Yeah, why would you want successful professionals to come back year after year to share their real-world experiences?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Dean Gleason looks like the grump cat meme right now http://bit.ly/VIQFLn

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Dog Says

    If the research assistant job goes away, a lot of faculty might have a hard time hiring temporary research help. Is this the intent?

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  7. UO Matters says:

    No Espy is supposed to come up with some new description, these RA’s will not be faculty, not in CBA. Or that’s my understanding.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog responds

      I suppose the idea is to distinguish between Temp RAs and
      permanent ones (i.e. Research Associates). I think that
      would be a good idea.

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    • Three-Toed Sloth says:

      I have to wonder whether it would be legal to reclassify whole employment categories so as to exclude them from the CBA. Once we see the details, it may be time for a petition to the ERB.

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    • Old Man says:

      UO pulled a similar stunt about 40 years ago. At that time, the Classified staff threatened to strike. UO promptly reclassified many Union members into a new category called “Office Managers”, thereby weakening the threat of strike by locking up a skeletal crew able to provide vital services. (Later, the Office Managers were reclassified as OA’s, and so it goes.) (The Old Man has no view on the legality.)

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  8. Tenured Faculty says:

    I was not pro-union at the time of the vote/certification, but I am now. This administration is so f**ed up it makes me want to cry (and quit). Things here are going from bad to worse…

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, that’s the technique. “What are you upset about? Yep, we’ll fix that. We promise.” Good luck with that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The role of the administration’s lawyers has certainly been elevated in this process.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The union folks assumed that there would be faculty representation on the administration’s bargaining team, as is typically the case in such negotiations, and were surprised to find there are none who are not in senior administration.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    You know, the other two blogs really do suck. Thanks for the public-good contribution you’re making, UOM.

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  10. Anas clypeata says:

    Interesting that the Research Assistants were eligible to vote on the formation of the union, and now they are being excluded from it, according to my reading of these notes. How does that make sense? Down at the shore, they call that a bait and switch.

    On a darker note, would the union organizing effort have succeeded without the votes of the Research Assistants? I don’t have any data, I’m just asking. If not, and they are excluded, the validity of the union should be called into question.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog Says

      I am pretty sure that the Research Assistant vote was fairly small (< 200-300) - the majority of the voters were NNTF with little overlap from that group to Research Assistant.

      I mean, Postdocs cold be research assistants, under some views, undergrads could be (and therefore couldn’t vote), some NTTF may be not teaching Research Assistants but my experience and limited knowledge suggests that’s a small group.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If the new RA hires are out, does this mean that some PI’s can be reclassified in? This would make for a union that would be more representative of the TTF, a good thing in my view.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog, avoiding preparation for class

      This is a real confusing issue. Whatever they are called, in my current state at the UO I will be supervising various aspects of research as a PI. These could be postdocs, graduate students, undergrads, professionals (programmers), data technicians, etc, etc.

      beats the shit out of me …

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    • roo says:

      http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/rules/oars_500/oar_580/580_020.html

      I think a post-doc would be a research associate, because they have a doctorate.

      I also wonder how it will affect hiring in research for positions that are Masters req / PhD preferred.

      I also wonder if it’s going to be a fine line to walk with the SEIU over why research IT staff currently designated as Research Assistants aren’t classified once they stop being faculty.

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    • Anonymous says:

      To clarify, current RA’s will remain RA’s – they are grandfathered in. Administration stated that Espy has decided that no new hires will have the RA title. Question remains – the work still has to be done, who will do it? My guess is they will create some new position with lower qualifications that costs less to do the same work. That’s attention to quality for you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The point here is to weaken the faculty union by carving off a piece of the bargaining unit by administrative fiat.

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  11. Anas clypeata says:

    And the whole faculty handbook thing is deplorable. The web is about CONTENT, first and foremost. The faculty handbook DOES NOT EXIST on the web, except at archive.org. It should be copied and pasted onto an Academic Affairs web page TODAY. I would be so embarrassed to be Doug Blandy.

    The design around the content is, always has been, and always will be, a secondary concern for people who actually want to find information and get their work done. Delaying the posting of the faculty handbook because you are waiting for some flashy interactive design says a lot about your priorities; none of the things it says are good.

    And yes, I know, first world problem, but it speaks to underlying priorities and what the administration sees as important. That affects us all.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Copying the existing FM would be a mistake, since it is probably outdated and, therefor, misleading.

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    • Cat says:

      My concern is that the web is not the appropriate place for a faculty handbook, period. Yes, it’s handy there; on-line facilitates easy faculty access to policies pertaining to them. But it’s ephemeral if it exists only there, and REALLY worrisome if un-dated, easily modoified web-based content is supposed to be authoritative. Regardless of the trees, I’d like a dated hard copy, and to receive dated memos on paper announcing any changes. I found extremely worrisome the talk at the bargaining session about NOT alerting faculty to changes in the handbook.

      I’ve not been pro-union, but when I hear talk like this, I start changing my mind…

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    • Three-toed sloth says:

      I think it’s important to note in this connection that the administration’s lawyer insisted that the [in future on-line-only] Handbook be subject to unilateral modification by Johnson Hall, and without notification of faculty. Can this really, truly be their position? Is this really, truly what JH thinks of faculty self-governance? Perhaps my memory is faulty here, but as far as I can recall, this position is considerably more authoritarian than that adopted by the Frohnmayer administration, until the current “policy” (if that’s what it is) took shape of allowing the Faculty Handbook to lapse by neglect.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I encourage everyone to pay close attention to what their counter-proposals actually mean. Their propaganda promotes ideals of “what’s best for the University” and “building a sustainable future” and blah blah blah. The subtext is about wresting as much control from faculty as possible. Even the protests over calling them “administration” in the CBA is about that. They are the “University”. So what are faculty?

      They will cite collective interests and tough financial times but their actions don’t jive with that. They say they are trying to create clarity with their counter proposals but they sacrifice specificity (i.e. committing to something real without weasel room).

      Pay close attention – some of their counter proposals even weaken current policy and we all have to be suspicious when they are unwilling to include current policy in the contract. They also made proposals that are current practice/policy and called them improvements. They either don’t know current policy/practice or they think no one is paying attention.

      So, pay attention.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    On the .49 contracts to avoid giving benefits. This is a widespread practice. Many are told the department would like to give them a longer contract but would then have to pay benefits and they can’t afford that. It’s not a secret. But really…think about this. What’s the difference between .49 and .50 in reality? None. This is how the administration treats the people it entrusts to carry out a large part of its core mission. Deplorable.

    This is a great example of where the Administration is disingenuous in these negotiations. They don’t want to put current policy in the contract (because they want the flexibility to keep doing this unethical practice?) but state they are committed to current policy. Yet current practice is to ignore current policy (its like this for many things on this campus – its why we have a union folks). But they want us to take their word that they are committed to current policy…that they’ll “do better”. Well, I think the administration has a proven track record that they can’t be trusted. I see no changes in administration to suggest anything different.

    By the way, don’t we have a new President. When was the last time anyone heard anything real or significant from him? Maybe he’s still in Arizona “recruiting”.

    I’m more and more convinced that these folks at the table have little idea what is actually happening at their “University”.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Does Gottfredson even know who he has hired in Rudnick? Seriously, someone who says “when students aren’t here the faculty are on vacation..” is clueless. I am dismayed that Gottfredson is not doing some housecleaning after still more serious disregard for faculty and incompetence in moving toward a contract.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You are clueless about collective bargaining.

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    • UO Matters says:

      The comment immediately above is the sort of trolling I’d like to discourage, unless you can spice it up with some humor or a cuss word.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Rudnick would probably feel the same about the comment to which this comment replies, if she gave a shit.

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