On Friday, July 10, United Academics and the University resumed negotiations. We discussed all outstanding issues and made some progress.
For the most part, we agree on all but three issues:
- contract security for NTTF;
- contract length for funding contingent faculty; and
- salary increases for all faculty.
We are still discussing what to call temporary faculty (the University proposed “pro tem”), access to faculty records, the degree of redaction of external review letters, and the role of General Counsel during a tenure denial appeal. The ongoing conversation mainly centers on word choice or fine details, with general agreement about principles. We agreed that faculty who work less than part-time should be eligible to purchase parking permits and use bus passes.
As for the three important issues bulleted above, in Article 16, we continue to insist that all NTTF should have a right to expect their contracts will be renewed if they have passed their performance review, there is funding for their position, their position is still needed in the unit, and there is no plan to replace the NTTF position with a tenure-track position. We clearly voiced our resolve that NTTF job security provides a foundation for shared governance, academic freedom, and NTTF collective bargaining rights.
We also returned to our earlier proposal that funding-contingent faculty have contracts of the same length as all other NTTF. We restated our agreement that should a unit lose funding mid-contract, then the contract could be terminated, but we remain skeptical that there are other justifications for a mid-contract termination outside of disciplinary factors. We did, however, invite the University to craft language explicating other legitimate reasons.
The University made their third salary proposal. We found their first proposal, 1.5% over two years, insulting. We found their second proposal, 2.5% over two years, disappointing. Unfortunately, their third proposal, 3% over two years, does not offer significant improvement, particularly in light of recent news that the University will see a windfall of dollars from the Legislature. The increase in their proposal represents an additional cost of only $500,000 over two years, despite an increase of $10 million in state appropriations for this next fiscal year alone.
The University’s proposal also failed to increase our appallingly low minimum salaries. Instead, the University offered that salaries should be (and are) dictated by “the market.” The UO’s quest for academic quality will not be well served by low-balling our dedicated and talented faculty, while suggesting they leave if they can do better elsewhere.
Bargaining is set to resume on Friday, July 17 in the Collaboration Room of the Knight Library at 9 am. We plan to counter the University’s economic proposal. Please join us!