Bargaining Survey Summary

 

These are the open-ended responses to three questions in the bargaining survey. For the responses to Q24, we have replied to some of them, as we felt that there was important information that need to be relayed. All responses have, and will continue to, inform our bargaining plans as we go forward.

If you provided feedback we have respond to here, but would further clarification, please do not hesitate to email us at info@uauoregon.org

Q24: Please list other topics that are important to you.

  • According to the head of [my department], our faculty have neither vacation nor personal days and are expected to work during the breaks in between terms, and we are docked pay if we take time off to take care of personal matters or travel out of town. To my knowledge no one has actually been docked during term breaks, but during the terms, when classes are in session, those who have personal business must either forgo pay or forgo taking care of their life tasks such as attending parent-teacher conferences, renewing passports & licenses or meeting with lawyers, that can only be conducted during business hours. Thus, the university fails in its commitment to "work-life balance" by not allowing faculty any opportunity to take care of their own needs, or even just to rest when life gets rough, by taking a personal or vacation day. I don't wish to lose the freedom during term breaks to work in the office or at home as needed, but I do sometimes need the flexibility of taking a day or half a day to conduct my own affairs. Please consider how we might be able to add in personal or vacation days that can be taken as needed, perhaps even if scheduled in advance. Three or four personal days per year is common in many other fields.

It is extremely unusual for instructional faculty to have to account for their time outside of their classroom, office hours, or service commitments. Almost universally, faculty are treated as professionals who are capable of managing their time and accomplishing their work. There should be no bar to you, or any faculty member, taking a time off or a half-day to attend to personal business, unless it interferes with class, office hours, or service commitments.

  • Established funding for required professional development.

Later this year, all units and departments will be developing their professional development policies. We encourage everyone to work to ensure that there is adequate funding for all faulty.

  • Not being burdened by silly requirement that take me away from my research to address things such as inclusion and equity.   Please remove from CBA this requirement of the 3-6 pages statement documenting my commitment to inclusion.   This requirement is creepy, weird, Maoist and heavy-handed. It does nothing to address the underlying problem and contributes to resentment.   I joined the union to give the union bargaining power because I believe unions as a capitalist entity will protect us against bureaucratic encroachments. I did not anticipate the union would try to fix everything that is wrong in the world and add to by burdens   I am not anti-union, I'm not a Republican. I marched at Zuccotti park and have been a donating member of Moveon.org.   I will withdraw my membership if this I see this sort of language in the CBA moving forward.

There must have been some misinformation somewhere. The CBA does not require a 3-6 page statement documenting commitment to inclusion. Before the CBA, the tenure-related review policy and most NTTF review and promotion policies asked the candidates for a 2-5 page personal statement. The CBA expands the personal statement to 3-6 pages. It also says that candidates should include a discussion of contributions to institutional equity and inclusion, in addition to the more traditional discussion of contributions to teaching, service, and research.

From Article 20 – Tenure Review and Promotion, Section 12:

Personal statement: A 3-6 page personal statement developed by the bargaining unit faculty member evaluating his or her performance measured against the applicable criteria for tenure and promotion. The personal statement should expressly address the subjects of teaching; scholarship, research, and creative activity; and service contributions to the academic department, center or institute, school or college, university, profession, and the community. The statement should also include discussion of contributions to institutional equity and inclusion.

  • Overload assignments and pay policy.

The CBA has a general policy governing overload assignments and pay (Article 17, Sections 8-10). These policies are supposed to be further developed in the unit as part of the professional responsibilities/workload policy.

  • Personal days. Ability to work remotely when classes are not in session.

The ability to work remotely when classes are not in session is an almost universal standard for instructional faculty at the university. In the course of bargaining the CBA, the university insisted that faculty be “reasonably available for work for the entirety of the term,” but we also agreed that “reasonably available” when classes were not in session meant in telephonic or email contact. The university made it clear that they were not seeking to restrict the ability of faculty to travel during a break, but wanted faculty to be responsive to departmental needs while class was out of session.

  • Recognizing that one size CBA does not fit all. For example, unlike professors who receive a paid sabbatical, there is no comparable mechanism providing a salary, or even portion of the salary, for NTTF.

The CBA recognizes the right of all Career NTTF to apply for sabbatical, with the same rights and eligibility as tenure-related faculty.

  • Salary increase for NTTF promotion

All NTTF who are promoted receive an 8% increase to their base salary.

  • Transparency in workload

Hopefully, the process faculty are currently engaged in, developing a workload policy for their unit, will provide greater transparency.

  • Some faculty who had 6-year PTRs AFTER the last bargaining contract received 8K salary increases, creating inequities with faculty who had 6th year PTRs just BEFORE that contract and received only 4K salary increases. This should be rectified so that all faculty will be considered for an 8K increase in their next 6 year PTR. Those who receive this belatedly will still suffer some inequity, but this will at least partially ameliorate new inequities that were introduced after the last bargaining contract.

Working with the administration, we were able to informally arrive at an agreement to do just this – a 4% or 8% increase for all faculty who have a successful 6-year PTR review. We plan to formalize this agreement in the CBA.

  • We had the ability to use all of our sick leave in the past before the union contract AND we could borrow up to 400 or more hours. As someone facing a life threatening disease, I heard from human resources in late October that we can only take 500 some hours under one FMLA for ourselves or our family members during any 12 month period. It used to be we could take about 2 terms if necessary. I think we should not be going backward on this. I also think if parents can receive a term off to care for children new to family or ill BEYOND the FMLA by about 500 hours in any 12 month period, a similar provision should apply to people without children....they should be able to have access to the same NUMBER of protected leave hours, preferably WITH pay....like a sick pay bank we can contribute to and borrow from.   Protecting folks retiring in the next decade should also be a priority!

We want to renew our effort to have a sick leave bank on campus. In the meantime, the language on how faculty may use sick leave did not change from the policy before the CBA to what is in the CBA. Although the language is dense, the CBA provides that “Bargaining unit faculty members who earn sick leave are also eligible for salary continuance for up to 90 calendar days of absence due to illness through a combination of accrued sick leave and advanced sick leave.”

  • Conversion of adjunct to NTTF career - I missed the last conversion by only a few weeks, so I'm hopeful I'll have the stability of a "career" position soon.
  • Cost of living and equity more important than merit raises; reducing athletic subsidies; preserving and increasing shared governance and faculty participation; protecting our privacy and intellectual property (I am concerned about their campaigns to tell us that they own our email, that we should give our office staff our passwords in case we are sick, etc); longer more secure contracts for NTTF; partner hires (too many partners not being offered real positions with security)
  • Curbing the huge growth of paperwork and bureaucracy. There are forms for everything anymore, and the more administrators and administrative staff we hire, the more work seems to be shifted to faculty. Travel funding paperwork is one example; there are many others. Some of this might be state-mandated, but I'll bet a lot of it isn't. It wastes a lot of faculty time.
  • Differentiation between "hard-money" and "soft-money". That is, employees (generally research NTTF) who are paid directly from grants versus those that aren't.
  • Expanding the opportunities for spousal hiring through more NTTF and Tenure-related appointments. Making sure long-term NTTF positions are subject to the same EEOP scrutiny as TTF positions to ensure the highest quality of faculty expertise in the classroom.
  • Focus on cost of living raises! Merit raises are used within my department to increase inequality. If a department is as biased as mine, at least all people would receive the cost of living raises instead of all the money going to people who are politically aligned with the chair.
  • I think faculty governance and input at administrative levels is a huge need. Providing and protecting benefits also rates highly with me.
  • Improved support services such as purchasing; currently everyone is on his/her own. Eliminating purchasing red tape Orientation to administrative procedures for new faculty and employees Justification for F&A rate.
  • Librarian's promotional system. We have an up or out system but are not treated as tenure track. I know this is a controversial topic among the librarians and of little interest to the rest of the faculty. I'm not sure how the Union should get involved, but it definitely has a role.
  • Paid Parental Leave - Being forced to use sick leave for parental leave is highly inappropriate.
  • Prioritizing OI growth over OA growth.
  • Revision for how research, teaching, and service are conceived and evaluated between and among units, and recognition of programming, conferences, organizing, speaker series, research reading and writing groups, etc. as intellectual work r/t service, and an attending acknowledgement that such work often falls on (and is expected of) minority/underrepresented faculty.
  • Transparency and openness. We shouldn't have to rely on UO Matters to pry out of the administration information that should be readily available at a public institution.

Q33: If there is one thing at the University of Oregon you could fix, what would it be? How would you fix it?

  • A clear focus on the educational mission of this institution and the valued place of all kinds of positions in defending that against a highly corporatized vision/set of practices. This is not an easy fix and it would mean a strong united front in defense of basic educational values, greater equity, etc.
  • Abolish administration or trends in administration that come in the way of providing quality education to all students and service to the larger community. How to do it? Perhaps have more faculty in administrative positions who are able to see both sides and who have the courage to look at matters in a transparent, collaborative and respectful way.
  • administrative hubris and poor communication! :-)
  • Administrative secrecy and bloat (the first enables the second)
  • All the things I can think of have to do with funding, and there are no easy fixes. I would like to see us limit our increasing dependence on donors, which would mean more state funding, which perhaps could be accomplished by engaging more with the State Legislature and with the Oregon public -- demonstrating the economic value to the state of what the university does.
  • Assurance of the highest quality education possible for our students. I would address budget matters and retaining the best educators and technical facilities possible. I would prioritize the students.
  • bloated administration; inequities in pay for teaching faculty; inequities in workload.
  • Bureaucratic creep, compliance requirement and too many emails.   I want to be trusted to do my work well and manage my email well.
  • compensation of faculty and UO budget transparency
  • Courseload in AEI - some reclassified NTTF teach 18 hours, some teach 12.   I would fix by moving all reclassified NTTF to 16-18 hours, with possibilities for release time in situations such as teaching two writing classes or working as the lead instructor for a course.
  • Expansion of fulltime NTTF positions with a decent wage. Figure out ways that departments can be supported to turn more adjunct positions into fulltime NTTF positions.
  • Faculty and administrators who reflect the demographics of the nation and state in equal proportions.
  • Faculty salaries.
  • I think the quality of enrolled international students needs to be improved. It can be easily fixed by making a considerably fair requirements for enrollment and following them strictly.
  • I would increase stability and retention among young, early career faculty through targeted spousal hires.
  • Lack of accountability by higher administrators. We have a culture where the higher admin has unchecked power to the detriment of certain sectors of the university. (Think Intl Affairs, Academic Advising)
  • Longer contracts for C-NTTFs at Senior I and II   Change language in OARS to "Professor of Instruction." "Instructor" and "Lecturer" are nonsense and professionally embarrassing.
  • Money going to athletics and upper administration.
  • Paid Parental Leave, and enough space for faculty/staff children in the childcare facilities.
  • Pay people what they're worth!
  • Proper compensation for all employees, everyone (including adjuncts) should be able be paid appropriately and fairly for their work. To fix it, have fewer over paid administrators and allow less of the general fund to go to help a single group of students (i.e. private tutoring and other benefits given to the student athletes but not other students).
  • Purchasing and ordering is an unresponsive organization ; procedures for ordering major items is burdensome and people in purchasing are very arrogant
  • Rebalance athletics vs. academics, bring athletic and admin salaries under control and equitable with academic salaries
  • Recognition that faculty are at the core of our academic mission and that should be reflected in budget priorities
  • Reduced service and teaching obligations for junior faculty at least through their first three years of employment. Make it a universal rule across the university and force departments to comply.
  • Senior faculty are woefully underpaid, at 82 % of comparator institutions. This equity concern is vastly greater at the senior level than for either associate or assistant professors, and needs some substantive remedy. Not all departments prioritize this concern in their very variable application of equity policies and funding. Is there a way to standardize this to ensure that when equity funds are available they address this problem?
  • Skyrocketing tuition. Curtail the never-ending expansion of the administration (and their gargantuan salaries).
  • Stop over-investing in athletics to the detriment of academics!!!
  • The chaotic management--every year there is a new budget model and overturn of a myriad of policies. It is very difficult to plan and create a stable, sustainable program in this environment. Innovation and development is loss to energy that is spent on constant administrative upheaval.
  • the corporatization of the university: issues of transparency and accountability (bloated admin paid too much) need greater emphasis on supporting core mission and those that do that work, addressing issues of equity
  • The drift from our academic mission and all that implies: administrative bloat, donor control, emphasis on Athletics, mediocre classroom facilities, mediocre library etc.
  • The growing divide between administrators and faculty. It is unnecessary (and I'm speaking as someone who had white-collar union experience before I came to the university. The university has adopted a business model that doesn't even work well in business--excessively top-heavy administration (vice presidents, special assistants, outside legal representation), administrators sharing power grudgingly, if at all, with faculty on a wide range of issues. Too much top-down management. Probably the worst way to manage intellectual workers.
  • The University of Oregon and AAEO are responsible to set budget for accessibility for employees with disabilities instead of taking money out of departments.
  • Underpaid faculty (both tenure track and non).
  • Working more as a university devoted to creating safe and supportive environments for students, staff and faculty rather than on imitating some of the more isolating and inequitable features of large corporations.

Q34: Are there other issues not covered in this survey that you would like to bring to the attention of your bargaining team?

  • Greater support for graduate students.
  • I am very concerned about what I see as uncivil behavior on campus, personal attacks on faculty and administrators; bullying; the targeting of individuals (including administrators) by one of our bargaining unit members and allowing this to be seen as legitimate. While Professor Harbaugh has done much for the union the way he conducts business, attacking individuals, is unacceptable to me as a person who highly values collegiality and civility. Whether I agree or not with some of what he says and does and while he has provided essential information to campus, the way he operates has created a climate of fear among many, including faculty (who don't agree with him), administrators (many trying their best to do a good job), and others. I would like to see the union take a stand against this kind of behavior and to disassociate from his adversarial, personalized attacks. I think it is often the case that the union will have to/choose to take an adversarial relationship to UO administration and I don't find that objectionable - what I do find objectionable are his tactics and either our implicit support of those or our failure to take a public stand for civility. This may not be a popular position, but I believe the union leadership and the faculty ore generally are the only viable force on campus responsible for creating a collegial, inclusive, environment and I think we would gain a great deal of credibility for acting in this spirit and censuring members who explicitly and consistently violate an ethical code of conduct.
  • I'd like to see OA's included in our union. They need union support and protection as well.
  • I'm concerned that the emphasis on inclusivity and diversity has almost gone too far--I'm all for it, but by mandating that it be a 4th leg of the stool, along with research, teaching, and service, you've changed T&P requirements in a major way.
  • Issues facing single people without domestic partners, spouses or children. How is equity enacted or achieved for single people without children when special provisions are created based on marriage, partnership and the presence of children?
  • More representation of NTTF. If you want my continued support for the union I need the union to represent me as an NTTF. Having a union that only represents instructional faculty needs and not NTTFs equally and equitably is the equivalent of having no union.
  • Our sincerest thanks for the dedication, clarity of vision and personal time investment of the bargaining team and the UA staff.
  • Paid Parental Leave - being forced to use sick leave for parental leave is highly inappropriate.
  • Parking fees Rec center fees
  • prefer compensation that lifts all boats rather than ones that ask for constant scrutiny of colleagues and their merit! please go for cost of living and equity raises, NOT merit!
  • The current contract provides excellent parental and medical leave benefits to permanent NTTF and TTF, but does not address the needs of short term NTTF employees like Postdocs. However, employees in these positions are the most likly to be at the age of having children--working to secure paid parental leave benefits for this group would help move UO to being a more progressive institution helping to make academic careers more accessible to all people.
  • There needs to be expanded on-campus child care options for faculty. The Olum center and Moss street are wonderful facilities but they are full and not taking new families. Expanding these child care options would be a useful tool in attracting faculty.