Bargaining VI Live-Blog, 1/24/2013

An appeal to reason: President Gottfredson, fire these lawyers before they destroy our university. Put CAS Dean Scott Coltrane in charge of your bargaining team. Build some trust with your faculty before it is too late.

Disclaimer: My opinion of what people said, meant to say, or should have said. Nothing is a quote unless in ” “.

Prologue: Who writes the stuff on the Admin’s union comment-free blog? The name on it is Barbara Altmann. Barbara is a very well-liked and respected faculty member, who applied for the VPAA job after Russ Tomlin quit. As it turned out she was a little too well-liked and respected by the faculty, so Lorraine Davis and Bob Berdahl gave the job to Doug Blandy. They claimed that since it was “an inside appointment” they could do what they wanted without consultation. There was a minor faculty rebellion, Lorraine caved and had them both do presentations to the faculty, then they appointed Blandy. There was another revolt, and Lorraine created a new junior VPAA job for Altmann, in an effort to buy back a quantum of trust with the faculty.

So Altmann is one of the few JH administrators the faculty know, like, and trust. The admins won’t let her in their “Executive Leadership Team”, but she’s the logical person to stick with the job of writing Gottfredson’s union blog. But does she really write it, or does one of the admin’s plethora of lawyers do it, and then paste Barbara Altmann’s name on it? Because she’s only been at one bargaining session, for about an hour.

So, let’s find out:

Hi [Lisa Thornton, Hubin's PRO Officer], this is a public records request for  

1) the names and contact information of all of the editors and writers for the website http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/

2) all notes for and drafts of the post identified as
Negotiation Update #3
January 21, 2013
with names of the authors/editors of each document. 

3) a copy of any emails showing who read/commented on/approved this post before publication. 

I’m ccing Barbara Altmann on this as she can presumably provide the information easily. 

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest in the bargaining process, inherent in its expense and effects on UO, and as demonstrated by the large number of hits and comments to the UO Matters blog whenever I post on this. 

Thanks, [UO Matters]

Live-Blog: starts 8AM in 450 Lillis. Drop by for a little, it’s fascinating – at least for the 20 billable hours so far.

Cast: No Geller, Mauers off. Extra non-speaking characters on Rudnick’s side:

Rudnick: We’re still working on our counters, not sure we’ve got 4 hours of stuff.

Art 38: Jury duty: Snoozer.

Art 18: Discipline and Termination for cause. Given the threats I’ve had from Berdahl and Geller, I’d better read this carefully. New union proposal. Rudnick: Wants to fire faculty if convicted (even just arrainged?) for, say, selling pot. Caucus break. Bramhall: Existing language about health and safety covers your worries. Rudnick: Worried about inappropriate off-duty conduct, even if it doesn’t involve students health and safety, but connected somehow to whether or not the admin thinks it’s appropriate for you to be a prof. we’d like to be able to fire your ass. Cecil, Pratt, Rudnick go on. Civil disobedience? Rudnick: University needs to have the right to consider this as a firing offense. Me: The issue is who would determine this and set the standards. Cecil: Show us your “well established procedures” for determining what would be a firing offense. Make a counter-proposal. Rudnick: Employer would still have to follow due-process. (What will that due proces be? She’s all about “the employer”. Stahl would say great – so we can fire the administrators too, for off duty conduct? Pratt: Faculty should explicitly be held to a standard of excellence for their job. Davidson: What do you mean by due process – arbitratable? Cecil: Yes, you’ve been telling us you want go to arbitration on academic matters. Rudnick: Seems ready to let this one be arbitrable – better get this in writing, folks. Gleason: Is your position that UO can’t hold faculty to a higher standard than the criminal justice system does? (Me: Back to pot – plenty of excellent teachers and researchers are, technically, federal felons. Or have been arrested for demonstrating, etc.) Pratt: You need to show us specifics about what you are thinking here.

Caucus.

More back and forth. Snoozer.

Art 28: Faculty Handbook: Cecil: Surprised at the level of passion about the missing faculty handbook. Needs to be a hardcopy. Rudnick is still having a hard time with the hard copy business. Jesus lady, just use a printer and print out the website.

Barbara Altmann shows up.

Long discussion. Blandy says his new Ac Aff website may be “so dynamic” that printing it out would be difficult to impossible. My God.

Art 36: Strike, Lockout: Faculty can’t be assigned to do work of striking staff, GTF’s Blandy, Rudnick: GTFF go on strike, who does grading, sections? Rudnick: Could UO say we know you can’t teach all the sections, but have to do something. Psaki: We are instructor of record, we will do grades. But what about things like scheduling rooms, classified support, etc. Rudnick: If GTF’s go on strike, faculty will need to make some accommodations in order to get vital work done. Cecil: Yes, some accommodations – go craft some language.

Rudnick: Librarians don’t fit in, we will deal with them somehow.

Caucus

I missed a bit, they are now on the elimination of the Research Assistant position classification. Rudnick is saying Esby still doesn’t have anything solid, reclassification is being considered in consultation with the relevant PI’s. Jobs may go into SEIU. Pratt: So, university could eliminate tenure, by a reclassification. Rudnick is shouting. Under statute, President runs the university, has broad authority. It is well established that the organization of the university is a management right and it not a mandatory subject of bargaining. Whoa. But, she says she doesn’t know what law says about tenure. Rudnick: We will negotiate these classifications for the first contract, but we will not commit to classification beyond the date of the contract expiration.

Gleason looks positively gleeful about this fight – his first smile. Rudnick’s going on about “management rights” now. Tricky stuff. She makes clear that this would *not* be done unilaterally, rather Pres would of course do it with consultation with faculty. So, trust Espy to consult with faculty on this, or want a requirement in the contract that she consult? Rudnick: Creation of the new category is a management right – salary, benefits, promotion rights, job security would be a mandatory subject of bargaining. Organization is a management right, rest is negotiable. Davidson: So you could create classifications, but couldn’t hire into that category until salary etc., were negotiated. Rudnick: correct. Cecil: Job description will then negotiable. Rudnick: No. We create the job description unilaterally, then negotiate about pay, promotion rights, etc. Cecil. Time for a pause. Pratt: Suppose you create a new classification that does what tenured professors do. Rudnick: Union could object, because pay and benefits for that sort of work would already be negotiated. Pratt: So the new position could take away tenure? Cecil: Problem even without TT issue. Gleason does the eye-roll. Rudnick: “I’m talking about legitimate organizational re-organization”! Cecil grandstanding a little here, but his point is right on, this is getting worked out a little, painfully. Rudnick: We agree to current classification, don’t give up right to create new ones. Cecil: We’ll need to talk.

Rudnick: Lots of stuff stuck in our pipeline, we hope to get it back to you for Feb 5th. Cecil: Hope so. Adjourn.

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32 Responses to Bargaining VI Live-Blog, 1/24/2013

  1. Anonymous says:

    Cecil: Thank you for the union dues and “fair-share” deductions from non-members’ pay without their consent. That’s all we really care about, but we have got to put on a show here, so here we go…

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Did you guys think about getting a lawyer? You seem a little over your head.

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    • I can say this: Dave Cecil, who previously worked for the GTFF is apparently leading the negotiations for United Academics. And, while I was on the Executive Board of the GTFF, I personally observed Cecil smoking weed while he was on the job on numerous occasions. Frankly, I really don’t have a problem with smoking weed (in general), But, I do have a problem with smoking weed on *company time*.

      Other Executive Board members complained of the same thing, that when Cecil was supposed to be doing his job, he was too high to do so (for example, at the AFT-Oregon convention). And, I can remember specifically an instance where another union member complained to me that they had gone into the union office for health care issues, but Cecil was “too fucked up” to help them. I have little doubt that my objection to Cecil’s drug use on company time was a factor in Cecil playing a key role in the University and the GTFF’s retaliation against me.

      Cecil actually handed over a private email between him and myself over to our employer, the U of O, when they were trying to gather evidence and encourage me to stop being involved in our Union. I have never heard of another case where a Union organizer (Cecil) actually helped the employer to engage in retaliation for union activities. Cecil stands for Cecil. Not much else. So much for solidarity….

      So, maybe the United Academics do need a lawyer, but they also might need a new negotiator.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Tenure is defined by Oregon law as just cause.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Cecil (the sea-sick sea-serpent): ‘Ssssssssssssssss.’

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Razzle-dazzle!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    This is all so depressing. The whole process forces the institution into a mold of management has these rights/employees have these . . . in the process shredding the loose hierarchies and sense of faculty ownership of the institution that have made universities different from corporations since the late Middle Ages. Yes, thing have happened that have undermined how things should be working, but it’s sad to see us address those problems by taking a step that brings to a definitive end the special character of institutions like ours.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    At least 1 relevant faculty member is not being consulted by Espy about the research asst issue

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    • Anonymous says:

      only 1? has she consulted with ANY faculty members about the issue?

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    • Anonymous says:

      She has a “blue-ribbon” oversight committee that probably provided input on this.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Who’s on that committee?

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Wow. If the faculty bailed on the union would the statuesque be reinstated? It sounds like you are losing more more and more.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Strike! Strike! Strike!

    (preferably during finals week)

    Seriously, you’re not going to be taken seriously if you don’t get some teeth behind your actions.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    The last President who gave a damn about the University was run out on a rail. Gottfredson is a state crony, because only a state crony could have the job.

    The AAU needs to get off its butt and kick us out like we deserve. I’m embarrassed to work here (and I’m working on my exit riiight… now).

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    • Anonymous says:

      “Gottfredson is a state crony.” Hmm — from what I’ve heard he was the unanimous choice of all the faculty, alumni, and staff on the search committee. Hardly an indication of a state crony!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Fait accompli.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Still, what more do we want? Gottfredson is piloting the ship that Frohnmayer ran into the ice berg.

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    • Anonymous says:

      “embarrassed to work here” – wow, get over yourself.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Describing our administration and union situation to people at other universities is, in fact, embarrassing. Try it…

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Pres. Gottfredson, these lawyers are doing their duty. So is your bargaining team. These people are not your faculty nor do they represent its best interest.

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  12. Anas clypeata says:

    Faculty handbook: “So dynamic”??!? The whole point of the modern web (circa ten years ago) is to separate content from the content’s wrapper, so that you can click a simple button to present the same content in different formats without having to change the content. See, for example, the “Print” button on newspaper web sites. They don’t have a separate article behind that Print button. It’s the same words, just with a different wrapper. The faculty handbook is not a bunch of Flash pages and interactive stuff. It’s a HANDBOOK. It’s a BUNCH OF WORDS. It doesn’t even have, or need, pictures. If it’s not easily turned into a printable version at the click of a button, somebody is not very good at asking for a functional web site.

    “As a Monkey that climbs a tree, the higher he goes, the more he shows his Arse.” – Benjamin Franklin

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    • Anonymous says:

      You missed the point.

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    • Cat says:

      No, he didn’t. Tha faculty handbook is a collection of policies–words, most of them binding on faculty. It does not need a dynamic interface. Ease of access is appreciated, so that everyone can quickly and accurately find the relevant policy. But–and this seems to be the point Blandy and the admin are obtuse about–at some level it should NOT be randomly, unilaterally changing. I want that in a blog, because my attention span is short and I appreciate new cool things to read about every day. But I do not want the policies that apply to my conditions of work to be changing regularly, especially unannounced. There are many advantages to the slow rate of policy change inherent in an old-fashioned hard-copy faculty handbook. (E.g., I really don’t want parental leave policies to change between the date the dipstick says we’re expecting and the day we bring the baby home from the hospital.)

      Thus, I find it embarassing and facile that Blandy is crowing about a dynamic web-based faculty handbook. Get some substance, Doug.

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    • Old Man says:

      For good reason, the Provost appears to hold the view that there should be one and only one repository of Policies. To this end, he created the Policy Library, which declares that this library is the definitive collection of UO Policies. Creating either a hard or soft copy of a Faculty Handbook gives the appearance of two repositories. Experience has tought JH that policy copies can drift apart (too many folks have passwords?), rendering each of the copies suspect. If Faculty want to know their rignts, most of them will be found in the Policy Library. Others are being hammered out, and will be found there after approval by both Senate and Prexy.
      An example of drift of interest to this old man: on the Provost’s web site you can find the statement that Emeritus Faculty have voting rights in University governance. In fact, Emeritus Faculty have not had such rights since 1996, when the Senate Charter took them away.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    !

    An easy Google search for Faculty Handbook quickly shows a very standard usage for the Faculty handbook that start with a FULL PDF showing a Last Update date. And I would hope to find versioning as in most cases it is referred to as a legal, binding, or governing document in regards to employment.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=Faculty+Handbook
    vs.
    http://academicaffairs.uoregon.edu/faculty-handbook-archive

    I do not think I am overstating, this really may be the most disturbing thing I have seen.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Never change bargaining representatives in response to demands from adversary; do so only for poor performance.

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