3/7/2013 update: Seems like a good time to repost this, after Rudnick’s outburst at today’s bargaining session.
12/14/12: And what’s it costing us? Long story. The short version, with my opinion?
The UO administration’s current lead negotiator, Sharon Rudnick, (from Dave Frohnmayer’s firm, HLGR) was originally hired by Interim UO President Bob Berdahl to fight faculty unionization.(That’s my opinion – under state law UO has to officially profess neutrality.)
Rudnick has no particular expertise in higher education. We have spent $X on her firm so far: $Y before certification, and $Z since. (X,Y, and Z are coming soon).
The union is now at the table, putting forward concrete proposals. All the faculty (pro-union, anti-union, or rationally ignorant) should want these proposals to get careful analysis and see responses and counter-proposals developed by people with authority, knowledge of how universities work, and respect for the UO faculty.
The lawyer that Berdahl originally hired to fight union certification (my opinion) is a very poor choice for this new task.
President Gottfredson should fire Rudnick and HLGR and put someone like CAS Dean Scott Coltrane in charge of his bargaining team. Unfortunately, under new OUS policy it is not clear if President Gottfredson can get rid of Rudnick (or Randy Geller) without Chancellor Pernsteiner’s permission.
Long version (in progress).
Please keep in mind that when most of this went down I was opposed to a union for TTF. You can thank Geller, Bean, and Berdahl for changing my view. Also note that obtaining these documents from Randy Geller’s office cost me many hours of time, many fights with the UO administration, and more scotch than I care to remember. So far, UO has hired 3 firms to fight faculty unionization and now negotiate with the faculty union. I’m no history professor, but here’s the history. Comments and corrections welcome.
Pernsteiner took this opportunity to centralize authority over legal matters with himself, part of his successful efforts to kneecap Lariviere. The OUS policy is here:
So in February, Berdahl and Geller hired two firms to try and stop the union organizing drive (my opinion). One was from San Francisco: Curiale, Hirschfeld, and Kraemer. Among other things, they run seminars on “Maintaining Union Free Status”. Not sure how that squares with Geller’s claims that UO was neutral on the organizing effort, but that’s water under the bridge, right, Randy? Their contract with Geller and the initial invoice for $7,834.71are here. Additional invoices thru Nov 2012 here.