Live blog bargaining, Act V: 1/22/13

Updates, posted on request of VPAA Doug Blandy and Jean Stockard.

UO Matters said to Blandy:

Hi Doug – a bit about your claim UO has not engaged in retaliation, here: http://www.uomatters.com/2013/01/live-blog-bargaining-v-12213.html

Blandy replied:

Bill, That was not my claim. I stated that when people come forward with a grievance I believe the institution is on notice to be hyper-vigilent that retaliation does not take place. D.

Jean Stockard (PPPM Prof, see below) says:

Blandy’s statement is certainly contradicted by my experiences when I tried to help students from another country (actions that were both morally and legally required). The evidence we gathered through my legal case indicate that he was centrally involved in both the planning and execution of very severe retaliation.

I asked Blandy if he wants to respond to this, nothing yet.

Live blog disclaimer: My interpretation of what people said, meant to say, or what I wished they’d said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Synopsis:
The central scene was the administration’s claim that UO does not retaliate, so the union needn’t worry about putting protections in the contract or making them subject to binding outside arbitration. Bullshit:

I’m thinking about the Jean Stockard case – former professor in PPPM. Just a few years ago UO paid her a $500,000 legal settlement, because the administration retaliated against her for sticking up for some Korean students who were getting screwed by a UO foreign exchange program. The retaliation ranged from substantial (hence the penalty) to the petty – like cutting off her uoregon.edu email address. UO did not admit to the retaliation in the legal settlement, as the Oregonian reported here. That’s quite a bit different from a baldfaced claim there was none. 

And, from Law School prof emeritus Cheyney Ryan, in the comments:

Doug Blandy is aware that his own office has engaged in retaliation. (He and I have communicated about it.) In the fall of 2011, his predecessor Russ Tomlin issued a public statement charging me with “causing turmoil” by bringing sexual harassment concerns to the attention of the administration. My attorney estimated that Tomlin’s action violated 19 federal, state, and university policies on, among other things, retaliation. When I brought this to the attention of his superiors they did not argue; a resolution was reached within a week. I had lots going for me, though–I was a very senior faculty member that had just been offered a post at Oxford University. Faculty need protection from retaliation like this, which is why they need a union.

Why sacrifice your credibility to support Rudnick, Doug? Surely you will want it for something more important, someday.

Then there’s this threat from Randy Geller, sent to Senate President Rob Kyr and IAC Chair Brian McWhorter this summer, threatened retaliation for meddling with his efforts to sneak Rob Mullens’s drug scheme through without faculty or public review:

… Your allegations about the University’s rulemaking processes are offensive and false , as are the comments made publicly by members of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. I ask that you apologize in writing to President Berdahl, Rob Mullens, and me. I also ask that you censure the members of the IAC who have published offensive and defamatory comments.

Randolph Geller  

General Counsel
University of Oregon
 

I wonder if Gottfredson ever reprimanded Geller for doing this? And then there’s Bob Berdahl’s attempt to smear my reputation as professor, retaliation for posting these news reports on him.

Imagine what happens if you are non-tenured? No, don’t. Safer to keep your head down, given Blandy’s role in promotion and tenure.

Cast of Characters:
Geller seems to have been permanently banned, Mauer is off this week.
Rudnick present @ $400, also an earnest looking Blandy, sour-faced Gleason, 2 Harrang staffers – at $75 each?

1/22/13 Live-blog:

Barbara Altmann – or whoever is writing the official administration blog for her, has posted a statement about the bargaining, here.

Sharon Rudnick does not start by telling the bargaining team about how she gave up $400 an hour in tobacco company billings by spending her Monday honoring MLK, washing the feet of homeless vets suffering from PTSD on the downtown mall. Very classy move, keeping her good works quiet.

Professional Responsibilities: Admin caves, will agree to union proposal for every unit having its own written collaborative policy on responsibilities, with Dean or Provost having ultimate responsibility. They cave again: overload decisions may be grieved (not arbitrated by outsider.)

Psaki: Glad to hear you agree admin should have policies and abide by them. Deans are too busy, units must draft, and deans will modify and approve. Rudnick: Looking very weary, we give up on this, we will not dictate policies, faculty will have voice. Blandy: Allows for lots of faculty input. Green: Doesn’t specify a process. Rudnick: Yes, it’s possible a Dean could run around the faculty. Gleason: Sure, but he wouldn’t last long. (Really? Faculty review Deans around here?) Pratt: Current policy on tenure policy is that dept faculty vote to approve any policy. Why not do that here? Rudnick: This doesn’t prevent that. Pratt: Fine, why not require that? Rudnick: confused. Gleason: Difference between contract and policy. Current practice should continue. (He *really* doesn’t want al these great current practices made part of the agreement! Cecil: Would the process and outcome be grievable if it violated current policy and practice? Rudnick: No. faculty just make recommendations, Dean and Bean can ignore them. Cecil: What if Dean decided not to follow current policy. Grievable? Move on.

Dues deduction:
Rudnick: Not that changed. Admin will not do political deductions. Union needs to deal with the religious objections, not the admin. (I’m not clear on the fair-share part. Has the admin agreed to this yet? I don’t think so.)

Non-Discrimination: 
Rudnick: Admin (she’s given up claiming she’s the UO for now) would let employee and union decide how to procede – internal, grievance, arbitration. Cecil: Here you will have to agree to allow arbitration. Davidson: Start with internal process, then choose between arbitration and court. Rudnick: right. Rudnick runs circles around Cecil on how to determine a standard for unlawful versus lawful discrimination/consideration. Adopt Oregon or ERB law or something specific – can’t just say “you can’t discriminate”. Green: Is there a place online where UO states its sexual harassment policy? Blandy: Yes, several places.

Break time. Back.

Art 15, Grievance Procedure: 

Long discussion about grievances. The union wants to be allowed to file grievances on behalf of members. The admin wants to require a specific faculty member or group to come forward. Suppose it’s a case of a department systematically paying females assistant professors less. They would be unlikely to be willing to file a grievance, because of all the possibilities of systematic retaliation, e.g. when they come up for tenure. Note that this retaliation could even be outside UO – branded as a troublemaker in their field. Green wants union to be able to act on their behalf. Rudnick does not – people must be willing to accept the consequences of filing a grievance.
Blandy denies UO has ever retaliated, “not in our culture” – not clear if he is clueless or disingenuous – looks very sincere. Chuckles from the room.
I’m thinking about the Jean Stockardcase – former professor in PPPM. Just a few years ago UO paid her a $500,000 legal settlement, because the administration retaliated against her for sticking up for some Korean students who were getting screwed by a UO foreign exchange program. The retaliation ranged from substantial (hence the penalty) to the petty – like cutting off her uoregon.edu email address. Note that UO did not admit to the retaliation in the legal settlement, as the Oregonian reported here
Does Doug Blandy really think he would have got his $170K VP for Ac Affairs job if he’d complained about something substantial to JH sometime earlier in his career, got no satisfaction, made the complaint publicly, and embarrassed, say, Jim Bean? Or that this will never happen again with Bean’s replacement?
More discussion of timelines. Boring, except union wants 365 days for discrimination, admins want a month or two. This came up in the 2008 Presidential election – Republicans wanted tight deadline, Obama wanted a looser one.

Art 16: Arbitration: Important, but I’m snoozing. Read it yourself. Rudnick doesn’t want to let grievant, witnesses use work time to resolve work time. Admin will let them have time off, but union must pay for the time!? Cecil: What exactly is your problem with this so I can craft compromise language?
Davidson: Suppose a faculty member pleads guilty to smoking pot. Could they be fired? Could that go to arbitration? Cecil: Give an example. Rudnick: Suppose you forge a parking pass. Arbitrator reinstates. That’s stealing, UO is not required to re-employ them. Davidson: Suppose I publish a critique of Knight’s labor practices. Arbitratable or not? Rudnick: May be different points of view?
Q from the floor: Suppose a fac member is convicted of producing and selling drugs. Fire em? Rudnick: Could, if the law says there’s a connection to ability to perform job. I think it would affect your ability to be a professor. (Suppose it was civil disobedience?) Under admin’s language you could be fired, go to arbitration, but arbitrator could not order UO to reinstate you. Cecil: That will depend on what the “discipline” section of the contract says. Pot – soon legal under Oregon law, but probably not federal. Can you be fired for that? We’ll know soon.
Rudnick: Will call Cecil about Thursday – union has some counters to counters, Rudnick may have more counters.

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24 Responses to Live blog bargaining, Act V: 1/22/13

  1. Anonymous says:

    11:33 AM Nothing since 10:30 AM. Where is our blogger?

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  2. Cheyney Ryan says:

    Doug Blandy is aware that his own office has engaged in retaliation. (He and I have communicated about it.) In the fall of 2011, his predecessor Russ Tomlin issued a public statement charging me with “causing turmoil” by bringing sexual harassment concerns to the attention of the administration. My attorney estimated that Tomlin’s action violated 19 federal, state, and university policies on, among other things, retaliation. When I brought this to the attention of his superiors they did not argue; a resolution was reached within a week. I had lots going for me, though–I was a very senior faculty member that had just been offered a post at Oxford University. Faculty need protection from retaliation like this, which is why they need a union.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, cause 19 federal, state, and university policies aren’t enough protection for faculty.

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    • UO Matters says:

      I don’t mean this as an insult, but I am guessing you have never tried to use these laws and policies to right a wrong. Because you will be fought at very turn by people with many more resources than you have, and a lot more to lose. Unions have plenty of problems, but so does unchecked power, of every sort.

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    • Cheyney Ryan says:

      U of O Matters is right. Faculty should not need to go to federal or state courts to protect themselves against retaliation. It is expensive, time consuming, and soul destroying. There are clear U of O policies against retaliation; this has not prevented U f O administrators from violating them. I agree with Doug that, in sum, based on my experience, the administration does not condone this sort of thing. But it happens, and when it does faculty need an effective way to address it, which in my view is union protection.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Grow up. Contracts don’t enforce themselves any more than policies or laws do. If BOLI – run by a liberal civil rights lawyer – says you don’t have a retaliation claim, I’m guessing they’re right.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    retaliation is the norm around here at all levels

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    • Anonymous says:

      They’re going to get you for saying that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog Says

      Retaliation is the “norm” almost everywhere and certainly everywhere in US institutions. The UO did not invent this nor practice it more frequently than anywhere else. We just happen to handle these infrequent situations very badly around here.

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    • Old Man says:

      I think that the retaliation pathology was unusually severe during John Moseley’s tenure as Provost. It may not characterize the current Administration. The union may be a cure, with its own side effects, for a disease that is no longer a major threat.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog agrees with Old Man

      on a university wide level there is no question that the JTM period was one of high frequency. However, I still hear that on the College level, retaliation is fully in force …

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  5. Awesome0 says:

    Any idea of when they will get to what I assume most us here are interested in (and what the union organizers promised).

    $$$$$???

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you’re interested in dollars in your own pocket, you’ll likely be disappointed. We’ve already lost out on the raises we would have gotten last spring without the union initiative, and by the time the negotiations turn to salaries, much of the available money will likely be tied up in commitments that have been made to upgrades in facilities, benefits for particular constituencies within the bargaining unit, etc. There will be some salary commitment, of course, but when weighed against lost raises and the union dues we’ll be paying, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be ahead.

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    • Anonymous says:

      March or April. Gottfredson has the money to give faculty raises now, but apparently not the balls.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you had any integrity, you wouldn’t have a “fair-share” proposal to tax non-members of your club.

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    • Awesome0 says:

      I think those who know me (have seen me post here) would know I don’t regard the union as my club. That said, I’m early in my career, and relatively mobile, so I just wanted to know when there would be information on my expected future earnings.

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  6. Anas clypeata says:

    Just so we’re all aware of how these dots are connected, Douglas Blandy was the Associate Dean responsible for for academic matters in AAA when Jean Stockard was PPPM department head in 2006-07. PPPM is a department within AAA. For him to claim to be unaware of retaliation by the U of O is a George W. Bush class of problem: he’s either lying or clueless; either one makes him unqualified for his position.

    The wrong people took the fall in that affair. Stockard got to keep her integrity and end up with some of the students’ tuition money in her pocket, but you know what they say about wrestling with a pig. You end up covered in shit, no matter who wins.

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  7. Hyper-Vigilent-Man says:

    Doug Blandy, Hyper-Vigilent-Man. How did UO sink to this? Can we ever recover?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Be adults who are aware of their privileged existence in a world of strife.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, Awesome0.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    UOM seems to be hard on the people and soft on principle. What’s that bargaining style called?

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  10. Anonymous says:

    they already did for speaking up

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