TTF salaries in last place

There and Back Again

The latest AAUP salary survey is out and tenure-track faculty salaries at UO remain dead last when compared to our AAU peers. This is not, of course, the first time we have ranked last, but it is disappointing to see us fall further behind.

The UO has eight designated AAU peers, schools we compare ourselves to and compete with: UC-Santa Barbara, the University of Colorado-Boulder, Indiana University-Bloomington, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, and the University of Washington.

2015-16

Our comparators achieved substantial salary increases, while tenure-track faculty salaries at UO held relatively steady.

 

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

In 2014, UO tenure-track faculty made positive strides to catch up to our peers. Full Professor salaries grew by 7.1% in relation to our peers, Associate Professor salaries saw 8.0% growth, and Assistant Professor salaries grew 3.6% in comparison.

2014-15

These comparative jumps were the result of the first round of collective bargaining. In the second round of bargaining, Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration, touted this comparative increase. She congratulated us all on coming close to accomplishing the mission of the 2000 Senate White Paper on Faculty Salaries – having salaries of all three tenure track ranks within 95% of those of our comparators.

Unfortunately, the administration’s bargaining team immediately undercut this achievement by offering all faculty a mere 1% raise over two years. Over several months of negotiations we managed to salvage 8% raises over three years, but even those relatively low raises have caused the administration to fret about budgets in future years.

 

What Is To Be Done?

The only way for the UO faculty to climb up from the bottom is for the administration to commit to recruiting and retaining excellent faculty. Certainly, many factors contribute to one’s decision to come to (or stay at!) Oregon, but salary is always a main consideration. We cannot recruit and retain the best and brightest of the new faculty if we are offering only the lowest salaries. As President Schill has said, Eugene is a wonderful place, but there must be a commitment to excellence. The administration must address the costs in research opportunity, faculty morale and vitality, and curricular continuity when excellent colleagues leave for greener pastures.

We must also recognize the excellence we have. We have tried to do this through the collective bargaining agreement; no less than half of all raises bargained by United Academics have been merit raises to recognize excellence. Faculty in their units, in conjunction with the deans and Provost, crafted merit review policies to recognize and reward the hard and fruitful work of the faculty. The union has always bargained for more money in merit pools than the administration was willing to give. It is time for the administration to prioritize excellence in faculty compensation when they are budgeting for the university. As we have always proclaimed, Budgets Reflect Priorities.

Speaking to the campus community on April 12th, President Schill said, “I go to sleep at night saying my goals (are) having this university move up, move up, move up, so that we will be compared to UCLA, Michigan and Virginia; I don’t go to sleep at night saying that’s not going to happen.”

Average Salary (dollars in thousands)

2015-16 Full Associate Assistant
UC – Los Angeles 187.8 122.6 97.9
University of Michigan 167.5 111.6 95.3
University of Virginia 164.9 111.3 94.5
Aspirational Peer Average 173.4 115.2 95.9
UO per Academe 127.5 91.5 84.3
UO Percentage of Aspirational Peers 73.5% 79.4% 87.9%

Note: Salary figures represent the contracted salary, excluding summer teaching, stipends, extra load, or other forms of compensation including benefits.
Data Source: Academe March-April 2016. Chart inspired by the work of Marie Vitulli, made by United Academics Staff

 

An Injury to Jane Is An Injury to All

This year the AAUP report featured a look at salaries by gender. In both rounds of bargaining, United Academics pressed the university to address salary equity issues. In the first round of bargaining, the administration put a small amount of money toward addressing compression and inversion in the tenure-related ranks. In the last round of bargaining, however, the administration was unwilling to dedicate any money toward addressing this issue and was only willing to agree to an equity study, although they did agree to make salary issues related to gender part of the study.

Below is a chart that compares salary disparities within tenure-related ranks among our comparator institutions. Of course, these numbers are calculated with a broad brush, failing to capture differences between colleges, within departments, etc., but they are a first step in understanding how gender impacts salaries in the academy.

Ratio between the average salary for women by rank divided by the average men’s salary, times 100

2015-16

Full Associate Assistant
UC – Santa Barbara 86.9% 96.5% 100.4%
University of Colorado – Boulder 91.5% 93.0% 87.9%
Indiana University – Bloomington 90.0% 91.1% 85.1%
University of Iowa 89.6% 89.3% 84.7%
University of Michigan 90.0% 95.1% 94.0%
U. North Carolina – Chapel Hill 85.5% 95.5% 87.8%
University of Virginia 85.8% 93.5% 89.7%
University of Washington 91.6% 93.0% 92.6%
Peer Average 88.9% 93.4% 90.3%
UO 99.3% 95.8%

91.7%

Note: “Salary Equity” refers to the ratio between the average salary for women by rank divided by the average men’s salary, times 100. For example, if an institution had an average woman’s salary for an assistant professor of $100,000 and an average man’s salary for an assistant professor of $100,000, the gender equity ratio would be at 100.0, or parity. A ratio below 100 indicates the cents on the dollar of an average woman’s salary below a man’s average salary at that rank, and a ratio above 100 indicates the average woman’s salary above a man’s average salary at that rank.
Data Source: https://www.insidehighered.com/aaup-compensation-survey. Chart inspired by the work of Marie Vitulli, made by United Academics Staff

What these numbers reveal may not be a surprise, but that makes them no less disgraceful. There is no explanation outside of discrimination on the basis of gender to account for the near universal fact of women’s salaries being lower than men’s salaries in the academy. While the University of Oregon may be doing better on this issue than most, there is still no legitimate reason for these inequities to continue to exist at all.

 

Work to Do

Once again, we find ourselves falling further behind. Once again, we have more work to do. Our first step must be to keep working with the administration, helping them understand that the University of Oregon cannot continue to underpay its faculty. President Schill has talked about hard choices and tough sacrifices. We know plenty about sacrificing for the UO. In order to maintain our ranking as one of the nation’s premier universities, we not only need more tenure-track faculty, we need excellent tenure-track faculty. We cannot recruit and retain an excellent faculty with these numbers coming out year after year. The administration must make a commitment to the faculty and a commitment to fixing the twin problems of bottom-ranking pay and disparities based on gender. Fixing these problems is a key to retaining our AAU ranking and flourishing in the coming years.

 


[1] The AAUP also tracks “Instructor” salaries, but these comparisons are considered almost worthless because different universities use different titles for their NTTF and there is no consistency in reporting on these data.
[2] To be completely fair, Assistant Professors at UO earn $500 more than Assistant Professors at the University of Iowa.
[3] The average Full Professor salary grew by $1,300; Associate Professors saw a $500 decline on average; and Assistant Professor salaries increased by only $500.
[4] The average Full Professor comparator salary grew by $4,300; comparator Associate Professors saw a $4,100 increase on average; and comparator Assistant Professor salaries increased by $4,200.
[5]http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/34259766-75/uo-president-schill-looks-back-at-first-9-months–and-a-challenging-but-promising-future.html.csp
[6] Does the report mean “sex”? It is difficult to say and one imagines that universities use the words interchangeably.


 

Bargaining Update — August 5, 2015

This is a long update with the intention of alerting you to the very serious gap we face at the bargaining table. We want to offer you an appraisal of where we stand on several outstanding issues.

Last Tuesday, the administration’s bargaining team moved on salaries, suggesting once again that they have no more money for faculty. The administration’s latest offer was only 6.5% over three years, with the vast majority of that money being dedicated to merit raises, and with a significant portion (20%) reserved to the deans to distribute at their “sole discretion.” How does the UO expect to sustain and grow academic excellence with mediocre salary proposals?

Their proposal fails to address equity, keep up with inflation, and will likely fail to match what our AAU peers average in the coming years. With the administration’s proposal, we will surely lose what ground we gained relative to our AAU peers. It is a weak proposal for a university that has ample resources to invest in faculty.

You can read a recap of our last salary package here. After moving substantially in an effort to conclude negotiations this summer, we proposed an average increase to base salary of 10% spread over three years. Our proposal addressed equity raises, across-the-board (COLA) raises, and merit raises. While the UO Administration moved from their initial insulting offer of 0% for the first year, we have consistently moved in a fair and transparent manner at the table.

Stand with us in our call for the UO to invest in faculty and prioritize academic excellence, Wed. August 12 in the Ford Alumni Center (Exec. Board Rm), 10am-6pm.

As we pointed out in our Op-Ed last Sunday, with growing reserves, growing state contributions, and a growing endowment, the UO has ample resources to move faculty salaries above the rate of inflation and to continue closing the gap with our AAU peers. It is a question of priorities, not resources. Please check out our Op-Ed and share with colleagues. The Op-Ed statement reinforces the substance of our faculty petition, with over 340 signatures, which we submitted to the Board of Trustees and President Schill on July 22.

It is critical that we have as large a turnout as possible at our next bargaining session, scheduled for August 12, Ford Alumni Center, 10 am to 6 pm. A large presence will send the message that the faculty is watching and is not happy with the administration’s proposals. The administration team has said that we need to stop listening to the complainers and listen to the majority of faculty. Let’s show them that dissatisfaction with faculty salaries and budget priorities is not limited to just a few “complainers”!

Here are the details of the latest administration proposal: A 1% across-the-board raise for next year (FY16) for all faculty; a 2.5% merit pool for Career and TT faculty in FY17; and a 3% merit pool for Career and TT faculty in FY18. They also proposed raising the salary floors by 6% in FY16, but no increases after that. They maintain the “Adjunct” differential: a minimum salary floor for temporary faculty of only 80% of the corresponding non-temporary floors.

While we are modestly encouraged with the improvement in their overall economic package, unfortunately there are still several areas where we have not found agreement. A strong faculty presence at bargaining will help push the administration team to sense our resolve on these important issues. If you agree with our thinking below, we urge you to come to bargaining and represent your interests. Our team will push as much as they can on your behalf, but your presence in the room would add immeasurably to the effort.

One of the important proposals we have presented is that if a faculty member has an appreciable increase in workload, then he or she should receive a corresponding increase in FTE or base salary. As we have stated at the table, an increase in work with no increase in pay is the same thing as a decrease in pay. We are also proposing that if faculty have a decrease in FTE, but no decrease in workload, then they should receive an increase to base pay. The principle is the same: Our work and salaries should be adjusted so that no faculty member sees an appreciable increase in work without an increase in pay or a decrease in pay without a decrease in work.

We are proposing, and insisting, on this language because some units have been trying to make “adjustments” so that faculty don’t really receive raises. After our last round of raises, one college implemented widespread decreases in FTE that were precisely calibrated to offset raises. We have also heard of incidents where classes have been added to faculty workload with no increase in FTE or salary. These situations are often localized and some faculty, especially our NTTF, have felt pressured to just silently accept these insults. When your job is up for non-renewal every year, you tend to keep your mouth shut.

So far, the administration team has agreed with us in principle, yet still refuses to allow protective language into the CBA. The administration’s main concern is that some faculty might not be working as hard as the admin thinks they should be, and they need the “flexibility” to adjust “historically under-assigned FTE” for these faculty with no increase in FTE. The admin, of course, will not identify the faculty or the units that have “historically under-assigned FTE,” so they want to maintain the flexibility to assign more work to any faculty member at any time with no adjustment to FTE or salary. We insist that if in fact there are under-assigned faculty on this campus, the administration would still have the ability deal with those on a case-by-case basis while still explicitly protecting the contractual rights of all faculty to be paid proportionally for work they perform.

The second issue where we can find no common ground is on the issue of equity raises. We have proposed twin pools of 1.5% of salary for TT and NTT faculty. Our proposal calls for a committee to develop guidelines and for deans to distribute the money according to the guidelines. We propose this money be used to address both internal and external equity problems. Some units have internal equity problems, while others are still very far behind their comparators. We think it is important to address our very real equity problems before we institute merit raises in the following years.

The administration has flat out disagreed with us. Not only do they claim there is no money to address equity concerns, they fail to even perceive these equity concerns on campus. For example, while both teams celebrate the rise of the average tenure-track faculty member’s salary to 94% of our AAU peer salaries, the union team has repeatedly pointed out many of our departments lag seriously behind their comparators. The administration has responded to this by suggesting that maybe some departments should be well behind their comparators because they are just not very good. The administration, of course, has declined to name the specific departments that deserve below-average salaries.

You can see if your department is lagging behind the AAU peers here: http://ir.uoregon.edu/sites/ir.uoregon.edu/files/UOwithAAUPublicsbySchoolRk_2014-15.pdf Judge for yourself whether your unit deserves to be behind its comparators.

Another issue over which we have found no agreement is over raises for adjunct and postdoctoral faculty. While we have proposed that all bargaining unit faculty should receive raises and share in the raise pools, the administration has insisted that adjuncts and postdocs only receive the first 1% across-the-board raise and that they not be eligible for merit raises in subsequent years. There are more than 400 adjunct and postdoc faculty at the UO and it is unconscionable that the admin is insisting that they receive only a 1% raise over three years.

The last issue where we have no agreement is how the merit pools would work. We propose that a percentage—4% in FY18—of all the salaries of eligible TT faculty in a department or unit would be put into a pool and that money would be distributed to the TT faculty according the policy developed last year. The same process would work for the NTT faculty.

The administration proposes that the deans of each school or college be allowed to keep 20% of the total pool money to distribute to the departments or units they want at their sole discretion. The administration claims to need this holdback to address unnamed departments where all or most of the faculty are so meritorious that asking them to split a small amount of money is not fair. In other words, it’s possible to that one unit may have a bunch of faculty who are all meritorious in relation to each other and would get an average merit raise, while another unit could be filled with amazing faculty but would also receive an average raise.

Unfortunately, as in almost all other cases, the administration cannot or will not name these exceptional units. How many of them are there? How would we know they are truly exceptional? What prevents a dean from just giving money to his or her favorite unit or faculty (or not giving money to the units that may have been a bit too argumentative during the policy development process)? The administration has no answers to these questions.

We have tried working with the administration team to address what could be a legitimate issue. We have pointed out that our CBA already has a process for distributing retention raises. We have pointed out that there is absolutely no bar to deans distributing “extra” money to departments if they wish. We have argued that the if the problem is one of “small pools”, as they say, then the most obvious solution is to increase the size of the pools. They have rejected all of these suggestions.

We share their concern that the raise proposals are not large enough to reward truly outstanding faculty for their meritorious work. We do not, however, believe that the best way to recognize this work is allow deans to take money out of one department’s pool and put it someplace else without any guidelines. We will not allow deans to rob Peter to pay Paul when both have done outstanding work.

We have spent eight months at the table talking. We have made real progress, but these unresolved issues are critically important. The administration team needs to understand that all faculty are concerned about these issues, so we need your help to bring the university to reason. Please help us bargain a contract that is fair to all faculty and that will help this university realize its academic potential.

August 12 – Ford Alumni Center – 10 am to 6 pm – come for as long as you can make it. Bring a book or laptop and stay longer.

______________________________________
1. The pools of money are based on a percentage of the total salaries of all eligible faculty members in a unit. So if your unit has 5 faculty members who have total base salaries equaling $400,000, then a 2% pool would be $8000. This money would be distributed based on your unit’s policy. We always propose separate pools for tenure-track faculty and non-tenure-track faculty.
2. We have agreed to start calling “adjunct” faculty “pro tem” faculty, but because this is new, for the purposes of this email we will stick to the old “adjunct” label.

Bargaining Update — July 22, 2015

We had a productive bargaining session on Friday, exchanging a total of ten articles between us.

The main focus of the session was our economic proposal. Over the past few months, the two teams have been talking about how we can find a mutually satisfactory agreement on economics. We maintain that the university has plenty of resources to provide faculty robust raises and that doing so would demonstrate a willingness to walk the talk of academic excellence. So far the administration’s paltry proposal of 3% over 2 years shows no such intention of honoring the hard work of faculty. The administration team continues to suggest that there is not a lot of money to be had for faculty raises over the next two years. We have consistently replied that faculty deserve a salary increase and a cost-of-living adjustments so we don’t lose what ground we’ve gained relative to our peers. We have also consistently bargained to address uncompetitive salary floors, internal and external equity problems, and the need to reward meritorious work.

When two parties in collective bargaining find they have competing interests that appear unresolvable, there are two main options: finding creative paths to a middle ground, or making bargaining about power. The power of a labor union, of course, comes from the unity of the membership and their willingness to act together to show their employer that not meeting the union’s demands will be damaging to the employer. This shift from problem solving to power brokering typically happens when the two parties just cannot reach agreement at the table. The exercise of this type of power can be fraught with conflict, long-term loss of good will, and other unintended consequences.

Our bargaining team does not believe negotiations have broken down to the point where bargaining has become about who has the power and who can compel the other side to accept a proposal. We are still having productive conversations. But, unfortunately, we are quickly running out of negotiating room on economics. So far, as we have seen, the administration has only proposed a 3% raise over two years. This is laughably inadequate, frustrating, and insulting. In an effort to continue to have productive conversation and find agreement this summer, the bargaining team decided to explore creative options before declaring an end to productive bargaining.

One of the key themes of our bargaining platform is stability, normalizing raises instead of relying on the “boom and bust” cycle that existed at the UO for so many years. At one point in our conversations with the administration team, it was suggested that maybe we could add a third year onto the contract so that we would not “always” seem to be in bargaining mode. We decided to propose adding a third year to the collective bargaining agreement, both so we could feasibly secure our COLA, equity, and merit goals, but also so we could achieve some stability in knowing that we would be securing a decent raise for a third year.

The following is an outline of our new wage proposal (full proposal here):

FY16 (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016) – 2.0% COLA, 3% increase to salary floors
FY17 – 1.5% COLA, 1.5% equity, 3% increase to salary floors
FY18 – 1% COLA, 4% merit, and a 4% increase to salary floors

This would be an average of a 10% total raise spread out over 3 years, with a concurrent 10% increase to the salary floors.

We believe that this is a healthy and sustainable wage package. However, this is also close enough to our very bottom line that bargaining could wrap up quickly, which is the goal. But if that is not the case, we will be looking to carry bargaining into the fall and trying other tactics. Stay posted. The administration team seemed amenable to a third year on the Agreement, but we will not know if our attempt to resolve bargaining this summer was successful until we see their next proposal.

Our next session is scheduled for July 28 at 9 am in the Knight Library Collaboration Center, Room 122.

Bargaining update — July 14, 2015

Bargaining Update

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!

 

 

 

Bargaining Update — June 8, 2015

Last week’s bargaining session, the last of this academic year, turned out to be lively. The administration’s bargaining team made two important proposals, and we presented our latest salary proposal.

Faculty Files and Records:

First, the administration team brought to the table a new proposal on faculty files and records. Their proposal was that we simply follow University policy, with one exception: that bargaining unit faculty would be entitled to a free copy of their three evaluative files. We feel strongly that the current CBA language already grants faculty free copies of their records as well as of their files. Faculty records include disciplinary records, any Affirmative Action files, applications for leaves or sabbaticals, etc. There are any number of “records” related to UO faculty and no one really knows where they are or who controls them.

Notices of Appointment:

Next, the administration team presented their proposal on Notices of Appointment. For two years, we have been trying to clarify, regularize, and stabilize the process of renewal for Career NTT faculty. We believe that Career NTT faculty should expect to be renewed , and if (a) they have successful reviews; (b) there is continued funding for their position; (c) their work continues to fit within the programmatic need of their department or unit.

Regrettably, the administration team proposed that the University should be allowed to non-renew Career NTT faculty if it believes it might be able to find someone better—even if the faculty member has been successful in all of his or her reviews. The administration’s concern is that a faculty member could succeed in all of his or her reviews, but still be “meh.” The administration would like to be able to declare a faculty member “meh” —despite their having met all standards of excellence—and replace that person with someone whom the University thinks might not be “meh.”

We pointed out that (a) Article 19 requires all units to establish personnel review policies and criteria that ensure faculty “meet the standards of excellence at a major research university”; (b) that the deans and Academic Affairs had approved the review criteria for NTT faculty, so that it should be impossible for a faculty member to have a successful review and still be “meh”; and (c) that unit heads, deans, and Academic Affairs have to conduct and approve all faculty reviews. Given all this, it strains credulity that faculty member could simultaneously be both successful and “meh.”

We also pointed out that telling faculty members that they are being fired for performance “concerns,” despite having successfully completed their performance reviews, is morally wrong and violates every known principle of personnel management.

The administration team also proposed that they be able to non-renew a successful Career NTT faculty if they had financial “concerns.” When asked to clarify what kind of concerns would justify terminating the academic career of a faculty member, they that just about any “concerns” would be justification.

The administration team also rejected our proposal for some job security for funding-contingent faculty. We had proposed that funding-contingent faculty be given at least one-year contracts that could still be cancelled if there was a loss of funding. We also proposed that funding-contingent faculty in the service centers be given longer-term contracts when they earn them, again with the caveat that contracts could still be ended if there was a loss of funding. The administration team rejected these proposals without much explanation. They felt uneasy contracting someone for a long-term job if it was possible the job could end early. In light of our previous conversation about non-renewals, the inconsistency of this position was not lost on our bargaining team.

Salary:

In addition to minor changes to several articles, the United Academics team then presented our latest offer on salary. In light of the administration’s movement in their last salary proposal, we also responded in kind, while maintaining funds in all four important raise categories: COLA, equity, merit, and salary floors.

We agreed to lower the COLA portion of the salary package to 2.0% in each of the two years, down from 2.5%. Again, we agreed to lower the amount in this category to reflect the administration’s movement and work toward a deal.

We also made some movement in our equity portion of the package. For equity, we proposed a committee to study the equity problems on campus in academic year 2015–2016, and for the raises to go into effect in fiscal year 2017. We proposed that both tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty should have pools of money equivalent to 1.25% of salary to address internal and/or external equity issues. We recognize that some units have severe external equity problems and others have internal equity issues. By allowing for flexibility, we hope we can address some serious issues on our campus.

The amount of money we proposed for the two merit pools stayed the same in FY16 (1.5%), but increased slightly in FY17 (1.75%). While we recognize that it is better for faculty merit to be rewarded as soon as possible, we increased merit money in the second year because we are trying to be mindful of the administration’s concern about a possible deficit this year. That said, we continue to believe that these differences reflect priorities. According to Howard Bunsis, the UO should realize a $6-7 million surplus this year.

We maintained the amount of money we propose for salary floors, although we split the 10% increase to the floors over the two years. We still think they should come up 10% over the two years, as our minimums are well below those of our comparators. We again rejected their proposal that they be allowed to pay visiting (“adjunct”) only 80% of the rate of Career faculty. We maintain that “adjuncts” have the same workloads, teach the same classes, and perform the same tasks in labs, so there is no reason to pay them less.

Our total package of raises came down 1% from our last proposal, which would mean an average raise in the first year of 3.5%. We told the administration team that we are very hesitant to go below this level, especially given the intransigence we continue to see on major non-salary concerns (see above). We reminded the administration team that Jamie Moffit had presented us information that showed the AAU peers gave their faculty an average raise of 3.4% last year. Anything less than a 3.5% increase for our faculty puts us in danger of once again falling further behind our comparators, something we just cannot let happen.

Both parties agreed to take a break for the rest of June and to resume bargaining in July. Our team hopes that the short break will provide enough time for a reexamination of positions and we can wrap up bargaining well before the start of classes in the fall.

Sign the Petition: Budgeting for UO’s Academic Reputation

Budgets reflect and set priorities. Unfortunately, UO’s investments in our core academic mission remain uninspiring. Our institution needs a reminder from those of us who do the teaching and research that the university’s budget needs recalibration, not talk of austerity for academics while athletic department was top in the nation on revenues last year. This makes no sense.

In an effort to communicate our concern about budget priorities, United Academics has written up a petition, addressed to Susan Gary, the faculty representative on the UO Board of Trustees.

We want every UO faculty member who sees this note to read and sign our petition, then share it widely. Together, we can reinforce a positive change to uphold and renew the UO’s long-term academic standing.

Link to petition: http://goo.gl/forms/LYt8i8CINQ

Final petition with signatures can be found here.