United Academics Salary Proposal: An Overview

If the university administration accepts United Academics’ salary proposals, UO salaries will achieve the AAU average in 2016:

UO Faculty Pay Compared to AAU Publics

Each percentage increase in the total package equals roughly $1.2 million in additional salaries for tenure-related and non-tenure-track faculty combined. A 1% pool of money for tenure-related faculty is roughly $600,000 and a 1% pool for non-tenure-track faculty is also roughly $600,000. The total increase cost for salary floors increase is $900,000.

Now for the nitty-gritty. United Academics’ salary proposal is composed of six elements:

1) Workload Adjustment Raises

  • If a faculty member has their workload increased, but not their FTE, their base pay must go up
  • If a faculty member has their FTE reduced, but not their workload, their base pay must go up

2) Salary Floors

  • A 10% increase in the current floors
  • No lower floor for research faculty
  • Postdoc minimum at NIH recommended level
  • Basic minimum for NTTF = $39,600 – lower than PSU

3) Cost-of-Living Adjustments

  • FY16 = 2.5% increase
  • FY17 = 2.5% increase
  • 2014 Portland/Salem government cpi rate = 2.6%

4) Equity Adjustments

  • FY16 = 1% pool for TTF internal equity adjustment
  • FY16 = 1% pool for NTTF internal equity adjustment
  • Adjustments based on compression within ranks, inversion between ranks, gender disparities, PERS difference
  • FY16 = 1.5% pool for TTF external equity adjustments
  • Adjustments based on AAU public peers for unit and rank
  • FY16 = 1.5% pool for Librarians

5) Merit Raises

  • FY16 = 2% pool for TTF merit raises
  • FY16 = 2% pool for NTTF merit raises
  • FY17 = 4% pool for TTF merit raises
  • FY17 = 4% pool for NTTF raises

6) Promotion Raises

  • At least an 8% increase for promotion on the tenure track
  • At least an 8% increase for promotion on in non-tenure-track ranks
  • At least an 8% increase for an exception major review after promotion to professor
  • At least a 4% increase for a satisfactory major review after promotion

 

 

United Academics Press Release

EUGENE, OR FEB. 24, 2015 – United Academics of the University of Oregon, AAUP-AFT Local 3209, will present the union’s opening economic proposals to the university administration’s bargaining team Feb. 26.

In order to enhance UO’s competitiveness with peer universities, the union will be looking for a wage package with a cost-of-living adjustment, merit, and equity increases. Facility will also be seeking to improve the salary minimums for the lowest-paid instructors and researchers.

“We need a full wage package because faculty salaries at UO are so far behind those of our comparators.” United Academics bargaining team member Juanita Devereaux said. “We need to address inequities created by years of wage freezes.”

Union leadership is optimistic there are adequate funds to provide fair and equitable wages for UO facility.

“We are confident that the money exists in the university budget to provide fair wages. The UO has a $900 million budget and our proposal will have only a minimal impact,” Union President and Bargaining Chair Michael Dreiling said. “We look forward to working with the university administration to ensure that budget priorities stay focused on UO’s research and teaching mission because a university that fails to invest in the faculty will struggle to deliver academic excellence.”

The administration has already set proposed tuition increases for the coming academic year and salary increases for faculty are expected to have no impact on undergraduate or graduate tuition rates.

This is the second round of negotiations between United Academics, the union representing 1800 faculty at the University of Oregon, and the university administration’s bargaining team.

The Feb. 26 bargaining session is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 403 of the Ford Alumni Center. All bargaining sessions are open to the campus community and the general public. All interested parties are encouraged to attend.

 

Contact:

Michael Dreiling
Professor of Sociology 
PHONE 541-337-4285
dreiling@uauoregon.org

 

Juanita Devereaux
Senior Career Instructor in Romance Languages
PHONE 541-346-0577
juanitamdevereaux@gmail.com

Bargaining Update – February 16, 2015

Our bargaining team met with the administration team for the third time on Thursday, to begin negotiating the proposals that were presented in the first and second sessions. Both parties had agreed to meet weekly so that they could get through minor items of “housekeeping” quickly, before the meatier issues, such as raises and contracts, come up. This time, the two teams negotiated a total of ten articles. The atmosphere remained convivial, although there were a few sharper exchanges toward the end, when the administration unveiled their proposal for Summer Session.

Our proposals at Thursday’s session can be grouped by how they align with United Academics’ Bargaining Platform. United Academics has posted every proposal and counter-proposal at our website, uauoregon.org.

Equity

Our bargaining team proposed a modification to Article 13 (“Health and Safety”) that would give United Academics full participation on a committee to develop a campus-wide workplace violence prevention program. Our team expressed some frustration at needing to propose this language because our last Collective Bargaining Agreement called for the development of this policy through the Safety Advisory Committee, on which we are already represented. That committee will not be the body developing the policy, so this new proposal is necessary. The administration team seemed receptive to the proposal.

Stability

The United Academics team called for the end of the onerous “up-or-out” system for our non-tenure-track colleagues in the Library (Article 17, “Assignment of Professional Responsibility”). While that system was ended for every other group of Career NTTF on campus, the administration insisted in 2013 that it remain in place for Librarians. While not every Librarian agrees the system needs to end, many find it unsatisfactory. For that reason, our team felt it important to open dialogue on this subject again.

Transparency

Three of our proposals connect to our ongoing desire to bring greater transparency to the university.

We countered the administration proposal that there be one hard copy of the Faculty Handbook housed in Academic Affairs for faculty to peruse, by proposing that faculty can request a copy of the handbook – in paper or electronic form – free of charge (Article 7, “Faculty Handbook”). The administration still seems skeptical about the need for any handbook at all, but we hold out hope that they will agree to this small proposal.

In Article 6 (“Policies and Practices”), we proposed that the Union receive notice of all changes to university policy. We feel strongly that the Union has an obligation to give faculty the best possible guidance about working life at the university and we cannot do that if the administration can change policies without notifying us.

Lastly, the two parties discussed improving the guidelines for promotion of research faculty. Both sides expressed an interest in bringing clarity, regularization, and flexibility to that process.

One of the few troubling notes during the session was the administration proposal that faculty can be required to work in Summer Session if their department or unit has made this a requirement of working in the academic year (Article 18, “Summer Session Appointments and Assignments”). This would be a change from the current contract language, which says all Summer Session duty for nine-month faculty is voluntary, although it would not be a change in practice in some areas of campus.

The Union’s initial reaction was to express concern that there were no salary minimums specified in the administration’s proposal, theoretically allowing departments to make teaching in the summer for minimal or no salary a possibility. We hope that the administration heard this concern and will allay it in the next counter-proposal.

We bargain again on February 26 and the Union will be presenting our economic package. Please be there if you can!

Bargaining Update – February 9, 2015

Collective bargaining continued last Thursday, February 5. This time it was the administration’s turn to present its proposals: modifications to seventeen existing articles in the CBA, plus one new article. Most of the administration’s proposals are housekeeping—changes in the CBA’s language to reflect new circumstances, clarifications of terms, and the like. It is likely that many, if not most of these proposals will prove to be uncontroversial. There were, however, a few proposals that would bring unwelcome changes to the campus.

The administration started their presentation by laying out the principles driving their proposals. They were (paraphrased), 1) respect and fair treatment for all faculty with respect given to institutional decision making, 2) live within our means, while advancing student learning at all levels, 3) preserving unit flexibility to hit necessary staffing levels with all employee types, and 4) flexibility for sponsored research projects. These principles contrast with our principles of equity, stability, transparency and voice.

In keeping with their chosen principles, the administration proposed changes to Article 16 (“Contracts”) that would allow the administration to reduce a Career NTT faculty member’s FTE if their classes do not enroll enough students. Currently, the administration cannot reduce the FTE of a Career NTTF.  The administration’s new Article 47 would introduce new terms to regulate salary increases for funding-contingent faculty. The proposal would also deny funding-contingent faculty access to professional development funds and opportunities for sabbatical.

Since Thursday our bargaining team has been studying the administration’s proposals and will return to the table on, February 12, to begin resolving differences between the two sides. As in the first and second weeks, the bargaining session will convene at 10:00 a.m. in the Knight Library Collaboration Center. All faculty are invited to attend this and all bargaining sessions. If you cannot make it for the full four hours, please feel free to drop in when you can.

Bargaining Update – February 2, 2015

Bargaining toward our second collective bargaining agreement kicked off last Thursday morning at 10 am in the Collaboration Center of the Library. That is also where most future sessions are scheduled to meet. You can  check for specific days, times, and locations at the Events Calendar at the bottom of the home page.

Our team opened Thursday’s session by inviting the administration’s representatives to consider the following questions while thinking over our proposals:

  • What if we accepted this proposal? What are the negatives? What are the positives? How can we heighten the positives and minimize the negatives?
  • What if we dedicated ourselves to ensuring all faculty could participate in shared governance?
  • What if our faculty knew that if they did a good job they would always have a job at the university?
  • What if our policies and procedures were transparent so that all faculty knew their rights and obligations?
  • What if we did everything we could to prioritize excellence in undergraduate and graduate learning, excellence in research, both basic and applied, recruiting and retaining the best faculty we can?

If you would like to read our proposals in full, you can find them at the United Academics website, under the “Bargaining” tab.

Here are some highlights:

Equity: We proposed language that would clarify the rights and obligations of all faculty to participate in internal governance and proposed a mechanism whereby faculty could suggest modifications to unit policies (Article 4).

We proposed that all faculty – including faculty at less than .50FTE – have access to fringe benefits like parking permits and bus passes (Article 28).

We proposed that the Union and University Administration work with the UO Foundation to develop a fund to subsidize child care for UO faculty; our plan is modeled on the program at Oregon State University (Article 28). We envision this as a multi-year project culminating in an effective subsidy for faculty.

We proposed a sick leave bank for all faculty and that adjuncts and postdocs can no longer be barred from access to parental leave (Article 32).

Stability: We made several proposals to amend the article on Contracts (Article 16), the biggest of which is our renewed effort to secure an expectation of continued employment for Career NTTF. Currently, the administration can decide not to renew a Career NTTF for any reason. We proposed limiting the Administration’s right to non-renew to four reasons – poor performance, lack of funding, programmatic or curricular needs, and the desire of a unit to replace the NTTF position with a TTF position.

We also proposed that all notices of appointment or reappointment, including FTE and salary information, must be made by May 15 of each year and that those appointments cannot be reduced or rescinded, except through the discipline procedure. We want binding contracts in faculty hands in plenty of time to prepare for the coming academic year.

We also proposed limits in the number of ongoing Adjunct positions a department can have at any one time. Our goal is to convert as many Adjunct positions to Career NTT positions as possible.

Elsewhere in our proposals, we sought to expand the circumstances under which faculty would be able retain coverage under PEBB. The details are complicated, but essentially we are seeking to provide coverage for faculty who have dips in FTE below .50 FTE or don’t have an appointment for a term. We are also seeking to extend summer coverage to all faculty who have coverage during the regular academic year (Article 27).

Lastly, we sought to provide more funds to support mentoring and retention programs for newly hired and under-represented tenure-track faculty (Article 35).

Transparency and Voice: In addition to the work we did in Article 4 to increase faculty participation in internal governance, we proposed extensive revisions to the tenure denial appeals process. All of our proposals were designed to restore and enhance faculty rights through this difficult process and to make the rules more transparent (Article 21).

We proposed that Human Resources design and implement a new webpage that will enable faculty to track their eligibility for leave and to help them get access the proposed faculty leave bank (Article 32).

Economics: We are not going to give the University Administration a salary proposal until later in February so that we have a chance to address some of these important non-economic proposals first.

Our proposals are meant to advance the improvements to the University of Oregon that we achieved in the first round of bargaining in 2013. Our first CBA left a few things undone; the process of implementation, moreover, revealed several areas where clarification was needed. Our proposals aim to fix what needs fixing, to add improvements, and to continue the mission of building a better university.

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