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Bargaining XXX: Economics – be there!

7/24/2013 Fact-check alert!

The admininstration’s fact checkers have found an error in my post below. Quoting:
Claim: UO Matters blogger Bill Harbaugh is also acting as an economic consultant for United Academics. Tuesday, when the UA bargaining team left the table to caucus, he went with the team. But that doesn’t mean he can get his numbers right. His post from the July 23 bargaining session garbles some of the numbers in the University’s latest salary package. Rather than repeat Harbaugh’s erroneous chart, see below.

Fact: We’ll use Harbaugh’s format with the correct numbers: 

NTTFs:
2013: 1.5% ATB, retro to 1/1/2013.
2014: 1.5% ATB, 2% Merit, 0% Equity.
2015: 1.5% ATB, 3.5% Merit, 0% Equity.
2014: 1% of current NTTF salary in a pool for floors.
6% raises for promotions.

TTF’s:
2013: 1.5% ATB, retro to 1/1/2013.
2014: 1.5% ATB, 2% Merit, 0% Equity.
2015: 0.5% ATB, 3.5% Merit, 1% Internal Equity.
8% raises for promotions.

(I’d transposed the 2015 TTF and NTTF equity %’s.) I appreciate their careful reading of UO Matters and these corrections, which I’ve also made to the original post below. These seem to be the only errors – either type I or type II – which the administration’s well paid consulting team has found in this post, or in any of my other bargaining posts, since their June 4 fact-check.

How well paid are they? I sent UO’s public records $214.50 for the latest invoices last Th, but Geller is still sitting on them. But Rudnick’s firm, just one of the three UO has hired, charged UO $55,797.38, just for February:

I regret my error. I retract my percentages. I hope Ms Rudnick and her team will accept my apology:

Tuesday 7/23/2013, 9AM – 4PM. 122 Knight Library. I’ll live blog it.

Your Guarantee of TruthinessAll UO Matters bargaining posts are publicly fact-checked by Geller and Rudnick’s secret team of consultants.


Disclaimer: My opinion of what people said or were thinking but were too polite to say. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Synopsis:

  • After actively participating in the discussion about Deb Carver yesterday, the admin team now seems to be claiming that the union team and UO Matters may have violated UO’s respectful workplace policy by repeating criticisms of Carver raised by union members from the library – criticisms which Rudnick, and I believe Gleason, repeated word for word during the discussion without raising any objections.
  • Admin’s last proposal was for 10.5% raises (spread over last year and the 2 years of the contract). The union counter was 14.5%. Despite the fact that all the financial news broke UO’s way, the UO administration proposal for today is also for 10.5%. 

Prologue: 

  • At session XXIX a visibly nervous Rudnick announced that having a single faculty member on the 11-15 person UO Board is “more than shared governance – it’s direct governance”. 
  • Financial news for UO has been great. UO got its tuition increases, increased state funding, and state construction bonds. President Gottfredson expects a big boost in donations as a result of the new independent board. VPFA Moffitt is seeking permission to continue to grow reserve funds above 15% ceiling – currently at 17%. Expect good news about raises from the administration’s team, to be presented on Monday or Tuesday.
  • JH admits faculty have left over low salaries, and that UO is *not* “under-administrated.” Canoe Group report on UO Portland shows JH confusion and money wasting. Decision on renewing $2.4M annual White Stag lease due soon.
  • President Gottfredson’s report on the Senate motion to cut athletic subsidies, shift $2.5M to academic budget due any day.

Cast: The usuals, including Barbara Altmann. No Mauer, looks like all the faculty volunteers and a few spectators so far.

Live-blog:

Library: Blandy: No denied promotions in last 10 years. Blandy then calls out the faculty bargaining team for commenting on what the librarians think of Deb Carver – comments which Ms Rudnick and I believe others on the admin team repeated word-for-word during the discussion. It went on for about 30 minutes. Rudnick, Gleason, Blandy, and Altmann were all there, none of them raised any objections at the time to what was being said. Blandy and Altmann are both UO VP’s with responsibility for personnel matters, and presumably some understanding of what sorts of discussion is appropriate. Again, none of them raised even the smallest objection at the time.

Blandy then goes after UO Matters for blogging about what was said at a public meeting – what does that first amendment say again? – and brings up the “respectful workplace” policy:

We recognize that the demands of our jobs and stressful challenges in our work and personal lives can occasionally lead to moments of impatience and irritability. However, we want to take this opportunity to remind you that, regardless of the provocation or reason, it is never appropriate or acceptable to vent frustrations or conduct workplace business by yelling, using profanity or acting in a demeaning or verbally abusive way.

Take note, Ms Rudnick.

Psaki responds to Blandy: I kept the exact information I was given and the names confidential. Blandy: That breaches confidentiality. Psaki: That’s not clear. Gleason: Change should be based on facts, which we will hide from you whenever possible, not unsubstantiated comments. Psaki: I have utmost respect for Deb Carver, but it was necessary to bring that information forward, given what the admin bargaining team was claiming about “the librarians” when in fact it was the “library council”. Green: I like Deb Carver and think she’s done an amazing job. My statements were a direct response to the statements you made and how it conflicted with the information we got from the librarians. Sorry it came out as an ad hominem attack, but the information needed to get on the table. I thought yesterday’s session was honest and productive and it’s too bad it was interpreted as a personal attack.

Art 13, Tenure and promotion:

Cecil: Explicit weights for teaching, research and service. Typically 40/40/20. Some departments don’t make their weights explicit. Individual exceptions fine, make it clear. Goes through a bunch of minor corrections to the admin proposal.

Union and admin agree that decision not to waive confidentiality of letters shall not be considered in tenure decision. Weird, why not?

Blandy on post-tenure review: Seems standard. Pratt: What’s in the “sabbatical portfolio”? Blandy: depends what sabbatical was about. Anyone seen Bean’s? More word-smithing, this article is almost done. Admin’s to revise.

Diane Dietz from the RG shows up. Rudnick starts sucking up to faculty team. Altmann leaves.

Economics: Why isn’t UO’s VPFA here to present the economics? Bizarre.

Rudnick: Questions about AHA – yes, it has a deficit, there’s a plan to fix it. (There’s been a plan for years). Then claims it’s funded by receipts, not general fund. Pratt: So who pays the bills?

Foundation and development costs. Rudnick: Foundation is making a significant investment and Foundation has taken over part of running the campaign from development.

Pratt: Is the amount of GF money going to development increasing? Rudnick: Yes, but I won’t give you any details.

Rudnick: You asked about athletics. Shows the usual budget stuff that the IAC made the AD start posting. Emphasizes the point that AD pays $9 million to UO for tuition, fees. Yes, she thinks the faculty should be grateful that the athletics department pays us for teaching their student-athletes.

Rudnick claims UO pays no GF dollars to athletics, rather it’s the other way around. “I know you will quibble, but these are the facts.”

Green, Cecil quibble, and ask about Jock Box. Rudnick: That’s an academic program. Sure it is.

Rudnick: Goes on the the AD’s overhead assessments, which I got increased by $555K per year – but not retroactively.

Rudnick: UO (she means the academic side) pays a portion on the debt on the Arena land. It’s $467K a year. Because of the secret Frohnmayer / Kilkenny MOU that Harbaugh had to petition the DOJ to get UO to release. Rudnick gets quite pissy about the Jock Box subsidies.

Gottfredson on ending athletic subsidies: (Inserted post-session, when it finally showed up on the Senate website):

His words are very different than the angry, dismissive ones we got from Sharon Rudnick and Tim Gleason today, when these subsidies were raised in bargaining.

This is much better than I expected:

One intent of the resolution is to ensure that athletics is paying an appropriate
share of the costs associated with tutoring and advising of student athletes
and for the arena. This is clearly an appropriate aim and one with which I am
fully supportive. More analysis needs to be undertaken to ascertain the nature
of these obligations while preserving legitimate expectations derived from the
existing agreements. We will expeditiously work to resolve these issues in
collaboration with athletics.

Of course these are just words and not actions.

This letter is now 2 weeks old. So, has Gottfredson’s position on this changed, is he telling different people different things, or did his bargaining team not get the memo?

Pdf here. May 8th 2013 Senate discussion of this resolution, which passed 19 to 4, here. Video here.

Rudnick: On to the Economics. We’ve spent a lot of time listening to your concerns, in concert with Jamie Moffitt who is not here. This is our best effort to find money, but it’s not another ultimatum proposal.

Release time: We won’t let union buy out of courses, too much trouble.

Sabbaticals: 60%, 75%, 100% of salary for 3,2,1 quarters perspectively. Cecil: Why not 85% for two terms? I ask because we may want to put together a whole economic package and need to know how you’ve costed this out. Rudnick: We want to put most of the money into across the board raises, but we are open to hearing  what you think is important. Cecil: We’ll try to do our best to help you.

Benefits: No money for child-care, admin will give a second child tuition discount for particularly fecund faculty. If you are using the OUS discount for a child (go anywhere in system), you can get a UO specific discount for a second child. Best estimate, if 30% of those using the first discount take a second, is that this will cost $250K, or less than Jim Bean. Seems a little high.

Leaves: Rudnick: No benefits kick in until 0.5 FTE. Sec 20: Grants can’t pay for vacation time. So Officer’s of Research don’t get vacations. Whoops, Rudnick’s confused, will go back and look at this. Sick leave bank: “No interest in exploring it.” Cecil: What’s the admin burden you are seeking to avoid? Rudnick: We had a significant discussion “We are just not interested in the sick leave bank or a discussion about a sick-leave bank.” “That’s really the whole answer!” Gleason: The entire management team looked at sick-leave banks and said no. It’s that simple.

Cecil: What happens if a 0.49 FTE instructor has the flu for 2 weeks? Rudnick: No sick leave until you get to 0.5 FTE, they’d have to take LWOP. But currently no one is docking their pay.

Retirement Benefits: The day after saying she would never negotiate about the pickup, Rudnick is now noegotiating on this. New language says that if the legislature takes away the pickup, faculty gets it as salary. If the legislature takes away the pickup and the money to pay for the pickup, faculty get screwed. (My understanding of Kitzhaber’s proposal on this was that employees would be made whole.)

What have the other unions been able to bargain on this?

Rudnick: We’d let you take this one to an arbitrator if there was a disagreement.

Pratt: Suppose state appropriations went down, but tuition went up? Rudnick: This is why we wanted to bargain this if it happened. Pratt: So, why not say if it’s not neutral we have to bargain? Rudnick: That’s what we’ve been advocating. Remember, if this happens the JH administrators will take the hit too. They’ll be on your side this time!

Health insurance: Rudnick: This says 90/10 split on costs, actually DAS has settled with SEIU for 95/5 and we will change this to give you the same ASAP. Cecil: And money for health care for part-timers? Rudnick: No, we want to put the money into raises. Cecil: Actually, SEIU got a better deal for the future. Rudnick: I haven’t seen it.

Salaries: Rudnick: We moved money around, but there’s no new salary in here. 10.5% for TTF, 11.5% for NTTF’s. There is no more money, we’ve spent it all on other things, or we plan too.

We added back internal equity and focused on compression for TTFs, floor for NTTF’s.

Cecil: 1% pool for NTTF’s is about $500K. How much of a floor will that get? Rudnick: We don’t expect that to be enough money to get all NTTF’s to the floors.

Union’s proposal from 6/6/2013:
2013: 1.5% ATB, retro to 9/16/2012.
2014: 2% ATB, 2% Merit, 2.5% Equity.
2015: 2% ATB, 3.5% Merit, 1% Equity.
2014: 3% of current NTTF salary in a pool for floors.
10% raises for promotions.
Six weeks later, and the admin’s come back with:

NTTFs:
2013: 1.5% ATB, retro to 1/1/2013.
2014: 1.5% ATB, 2% Merit, 0% Equity.
2015: 1.5% ATB, 3.5% Merit, 0% Equity.

2014: 1% of current NTTF salary in a pool for floors.
6% raises for promotions.

TTF’s:
2013: 1.5% ATB, retro to 1/1/2013.
2014: 1.5% ATB, 2% Merit, 0% Equity.
2015: 0.5% ATB, 3.5% Merit, 1% Internal Equity.

8% raises for promotions.

(Note: Thanks to an anonymous commenter, and to Ms Rudnick and Mr. Geller, for correcting these numbers, some of which I’d transposed when I first posted them.)

Cecil: Caucus until 1. We’ll be back. 

As we leave Rudnick offers to make the 1.5% retro to 9/16/2012 if the union will sign today. Nice try.

1:06. We’re back, but Rudnick wants a private talk with Cecil first. Done.

Rudnick and Blandy come back in looking totally pissed about something. Gleason same, as ever.

Cecil: We’ll go through your economics in order.

Release time: Our understanding was that course buyouts for union officers during bargaining would be too much work for central administrators? Rudnick: Your turn Tim. Gleason: Not too much work, too much time off for faculty. Rudnick corrects him: it’s the administrative time. Cecil: Huh? Gleason: It’s both. Rudnick: On top of all the other administrative burdens this union is creating.

Cecil: Let’s caucus.

We’re back: Pratt: WTF? We’ve been doing this bargaining for 30 sessions now. We’ve written articles rationalizing a host of issues that the university has never bothered to write down or has done as special deals for their friends. (Yup. In 2007 UO’s accreditors noted how bad JH has been about this and demanded improvements. JH promised to do better, but didn’t. ) Saying you will not give us release time, while you get $300 an hour, and Blandy and Gleason are paid to do this as part of their regular jobs, is totally bogus!

Davidson: NTTF policies have been a disaster at UO. The union is fixing that. Have some respect for what we’ve done.

Pratt: We are offering to *pay* for this release time!

Anderson: We’ve done all the work consulting with the faculty, writing policies – things you’ve never done. As a former department head I don’t understand your intransigence or your argument this is a huge burden.

Rudnick is looking seriously upset. I wonder what happened when she went back to confer with JH today?

Cecil: It would be sweet if you could explain a few things, Sharon. You haven’t moved an inch on salary. After our last proposal you said you couldn’t respond until OUS approved tuition, legislature set budget and PERS rates. That all went your way. So WTF on the refusal to increase your offer?

Rudnick: (Screw it, you know what she’s saying.) Gleason: One new thing is we can only raise tuition 3.5% next time on in-states.

Cecil: Last time you gave us an angry lecture about compromise. Where are you at with that anger now?

Blandy: That was our last best offer. Sure, it will still leave you at the bottom of the AAU, too bad. It’s not like we’ve stated a goal to get you up to their midpoint or anything like that, say in the 2000 Senate whitepaper. Not like any former President’s have said that was “job number one”.

Rudnick: We’ve been so reasonable. There is no more money! And anyway we want to spend it on the White Stag building, Bean’s sinecure, and athletics. We’d like you to respect that, even if you disagree with it. Can I finish? We’ve put tables on the table that address your concerns.

(Odd, she’s not blaming thing on Gottfredson and Geller today.)

Cecil: Will you show us your budget? Rudnick: Make a request, I don’t know that you’ll get it.

Blandy: “Moffitt already supplied you that in great detail”:

Pratt: In the past you’ve ask us for suggestions on how to readjust priorities. Now you won’t even tell us how you plan to spend money. You have said you have the ability to readjust your spending. So just do it. How else are we going to get to AAU peers? You are going into a billion dollar capital campaign. Why not make a salary proposal that addresses UO’s stated priorities? You’ve got the best budget in years, you’ve got $150M in reserves, and we’re arguing about $8M a year.

Rudnick: Just so you know, there were discussions about cuts, but we are not going to show you what those plans were, I’m just going to bullshit you about them and ask the faculty to believe me. And one more thing – you are being unrealistic.

And one more thing: it’s unrealistic for you to expect President Gottfredson to do anything to address external equity, just because President’s and Frohnmayer and Lariviere said it was job number one.

Gleason: The President has made his position on AAU priorities very clear, he’s just not willign to put up any money to deal with external equity. I’d appreciate you not to characterize his refusal to prioritize spending money on it as a lack of prioritization! He’s shouting now.

Rudnick interrupts again, not liking Gleason’s words here. We’re giving you $14M! It’s an enormous amount of money! This uinversity has significantly lower resources, especially now that we’re spending $2 million a year on jock box tutoring! There’s a balancing act here, and you are gettign downweighted.

Blandy: We’ve heard your dismay about external equity, but we’re not going to spend money on it.

Psaki: In 2008 the plan was explicitly to bring faculty to parity with comparators. We keep sliding back. (True: Average Assistants and Associate pay *decreased* last year. WTF?)

Green: Lariviere said he had the money. Were did you spend it? Why no movement? Why should we trust you when you keep saying different things and won’t show us the numbers. We don’t trust you! It’s not like faculty have low morale, it’s that they are pissed and they don’t trust the administration and they want to see JH keep the promises that it has made time after time after time. Thirteen years after the white paper and we’ve gone no where. You keep saying we are lucky to get money in a down economy – but tuition and enrollment, particularly out-of-state, is way, way up. Where is the money going? Why is this not Gottfredson’s number one priority?

Cecil: So, you didn’t budge. Were do we go now. How do we fix this? Rudnick: I don’t know. I have no reason to disagree with the fact you are saying you don’t trust your administration. We honestly believe we are being generous.

Cecil goes after the Jock Box subsidies. Gleason flips out and starts yelling. Cecil calls for caucus. As the faculty leaves, Rudnick yells at them to get Cecil under control.

We’re back:

Cecil: So, where do we go on salaries? Rudnick: I don’t have anything more for you today. Cecil: Yeah. Rudnick: Lets make a plan for Wed and next week. Cecil: We’re looking at a situation where you say this is all the money you have. We’ve had suggestions on how to get more, you’ve ignored them. Not productive to continue this. Rudnick: Maybe we can have some secret conversations away from the table about process.

Rudnick: You are welcome to counter on raises, and Gottfredson will consider it. But maybe a break is a good idea. Tomorrow we will come back with a few other non-economic proposals. Maybe do more secret small group meetings at my office.

Psaki: I think you are saying that the 2011 Lariviere raises raised us a long way to AAU peers, and that these new raises will do this? Rudnick: I don’t have the numbers, but I will see what’s there. Psaki: Thanks, since you say parity is still a shared goal, these numbers would be helpful. Cecil: Yes, there was a lot of secrecy about those raises, this would be helpful. Rudnick: Let me see what I can find.

That’s it for today, see you Wed at 9AM. 1PM.

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Lariviere’s independent UO Board prospects

Excellent report from Saul Hubbard in the RG on the prospects for Lariviere’s toned down New Partnership proposal in the Legislature:

Some key state lawmakers remain lukewarm about a proposal that would create independent governing boards at the University of Oregon, Portland State University and Oregon State University, partially freeing those institutions from state control.

But whispered pledges that passing the policy this year would trigger a windfall in private donations to those institutions — and especially to the UO — could ramp up pressure on a state Legislature that, in recent years, has cut its spending on Oregon’s public universities. 

Several legislators say they have been told recently that creating an independent board at the UO this session would result in “game-changing” private donations to the UO’s $477 million academic endowment. 

Sen. Mark Hass, a Beaverton Democrat and chairman of the Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee, says an alumni group led by Nike co-founder Phil Knight has told him that, if an independent board with real authority is created at the UO, donors would pour in new money that would push the university’s endowment into the top 25 among universities nationally. …

A $2 billion endowment would pay out about $70 million a year. Counting current state construction bonds, that would be about as much as current state funding – which presumably would then shrink but not totally disappear. So this is not exactly a game-changer, but it’s certainly significant. We’ll trade the bureaucratic putzes at OUS for a bunch of athletic booster control freaks. I’m for it, but it’s going to bring a host of new problems along with the money.

Join the union so you get a vote, and support Rob Kyr and Margie Paris in the Senate. These institutions are going to be increasingly important to making sure us faculty retain a modicum of control over UO’s fate.

Follow the Senate bill here, House bill here, and keep an eye on Gottfredson’s efforts to subvert faculty power during the union negotiations, here. 2/28/2013.

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