March 13th, 2020 Negotiation Session

Notes contributed by Communications Committee member Dr. Ben Bunting, Humanities and Social Sciences

Note: The original notes from which this summary was written include a disclaimer that reads “the audio connection was very bad, and it was difficult to make out many details (including who was speaking).”

OT-AAUP proposed two articles during this session: Severability and Non-Tenure Track Promotion.

The session began with a discussion of the Labor Management Committee article. This discussion began with the OT-AAUP team seeking a clarification as to how committee members would be chosen. The Oregon Tech team explained that both the president and OT-AAUP would have the opportunity to choose members. The Oregon Tech team also clarified that committee meeting agendas will be set by both sides cooperatively before meetings.

The discussion of Severability was brief, with one additional change added (a 60 day time frame) based on input from the Oregon Tech team.

There was extensive discussion of the Non-Tenure Track (NTT) Promotion article. It began with the OT-AAUP team introducing the article as having been derived by the previous NTT policy developed by the RPT Senate committee and passed by Faculty Senate. It has been broadened and developed further since then.

There was no new discussion of Section 1 of the policy.

During consideration of Section 2 of the policy, the Oregon Tech team questioned the fairness of evaluating tenure-track faculty (TTF) and non-tenure-track faculty (NTTF) using, essentially, the same criteria. OT-AAUP responded that the guidelines differentiating the expectations for each track of faculty will be differentiated in the workload policy, not here.

There was no new discussion of Section 3 of the policy.

There was no new discussion of Section 4 of the policy.

Sections 5 and 6 were discussed next. The Oregon Tech team expressed concern that this policy removed the university’s ability to hire instructors on a temporary basis. OT-AAUP clarified that the policy allows for temporary hires, but requires that if that fixed-term hire is then extended that the individual is eligible for promotion. There was also a lot of discussion here regarding the differences between expectations for TTF and NTTF policies, and a clarification that the difference between Instructor I and Instructor II is to provide a rank for instructors who are hired in with a Bachelor’s degree but who might want to later move up the ranks by acquiring advanced licensing or a Master’s degree. OT-AAUP also explained that the move from Instructor I to Instructor II would entail “a different scope of work.” There was some discussion, also, about allowing a faculty member to move from NTTF to TTF without a national search. OT-AAUP argued that this is done often at other universities; the Oregon Tech team disagreed.

The Arbitration article was discussed next. The Oregon Tech team explained that the use of the word “withdraw” in Section 1 meant that once a claim is withdrawn (does not proceed to arbitration) it cannot be re-filed.

While discussing Section 2, the Oregon Tech team explained that they changed constraints on arbiters to limit travel costs, and that this does not affect the fairness of the process. The OT-AAUP team requested clarification on the use of a number of terms, and the Oregon Tech team provided it. There was no further discussion.

The next negotiation session took place on April 6th, 2020.

Proposed Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Faculty’s 2019-2020 COLA

During the February 28th bargaining session, our faculty bargaining team proposed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in response to Dr. Naganathan’s previous offer regarding the 2019-2020 COLA.

This MoU stipulates that Oregon Tech faculty with an appointment of greater than or equal to .5 FTE will receive a 4.05% COLA retroactive to January 1st of this year for twelve month faculty or February 1st of this year for nine month faculty. The MoU also stipulates that all other salary matters for this and future years will continue to be discussed as part of the ongoing negotiations.

As of March 5th, the administration has not yet responded to the proposed MoU.

To view the full text of the MoU, click here.

February 28th, 2020 Negotiation Session

Notes contributed by Negotiating Team member Dr. David Johnston, Natural Sciences

On Friday, February 28, the OT-AAUP and Oregon Tech bargaining teams met for the second session of the sixth round of negotiations.

Chief Negotiator Cristina Negoita was unable to attend this session, so Prof. Stephen Schultz acted as the OT-AAUP Chief Negotiator for this session.

The OT-AAUP team began the session by presenting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), regarding the lack of faculty COLAs this year, to the Oregon Tech team. A copy of the MOU can be found on the OT-AAUP website. In the Memorandum, OT-AAUP proposes that faculty be given a 4.05% COLA for the 2020 fiscal year, in order to maintain “real wages”. The MOU expires on March 6th, so the Oregon Tech team will need to respond by that date. The Oregon Tech team had some questions about how the OT-AAUP team arrived at the 4.05% figure, and this was discussed for a few minutes. The OT-AAUP team took it as a positive sign that the Oregon Tech team was asking questions and engaging on this issue, rather than just putting the MOU aside.

The Oregon Tech team then presented their counter Non-Discrimintation article. Notably, the Oregon Tech team had once again removed political beliefs and participation in political events as a class protected from discrimination by the university, arguing that those are, currently, not classes protected under state or federal law. It continues to be the position of the OT-AAUP team, that the Non-Discrimination article does NOT need to be limited to classes only protected by law. The OT-AAUP team stated they would discuss the article and likely present a counter at the next session.

Following this exchange, the OT-AAUP team presented three articles; Personnel Files, a counter to Oregon Tech’s proposal of January 30, Position Descriptions, and Release Time, both new articles.

The teams briefly discussed the Personnel Files counter, and the Oregon Tech team asked several questions, centered mostly around logistics.

There was some productive discussion concerning the Position Description article. Both Parties agreed that all bargaining unit members should have a Position Description for their role; however, there was some discussion over whether it should be a policy or placed in the CBA. It was the OT-AAUP team’s position that it should be placed in the CBA in order to provide faculty an opportunity to file a grievance if they feel their position duties are being changed unfairly, while the Oregon Tech team felt it should be left up to the Administration to determine position descriptions, especially in the case where duties may have to be reassigned quickly. The Oregon Tech team said they would discuss the article and present a counter at a later time.

Lastly, the parties discussed the Release Time article. The majority of the discussion focused around the last section of the proposed article, which states that faculty service to the Association be counted as service to the University, in matters of evaluation, promotion, and tenure. It continued to be the position of the Oregon Tech team that by “awarding” service to faculty who are active in the OT-AAUP, they would be discriminating against faculty who are opposed to the Association and, as such, do not wish to participate in the Association. In response, the OT-AAUP team stated, that since many of the areas that now fall under the umbrella of the CBA, such as compensation and promotion, used to be areas under the purview of Faculty senate, for which service was acknowledged for faculty members participating in faculty senate, it is logical to acknowledge service to the Association. The Oregon Tech team argued that, since Faculty Senate is a part of the University, whereas the Association is a separate entity, it makes sense to acknowledge service on behalf of Faculty Senate, but not on behalf of the Association. Furthermore, the Oregon Tech team went on to state that the interests of the Association, which works on behalf of the faculty, were separate from the interests of the University. The Oregon Tech team took great exception to this, and argued that the interests of the faculty, who are an integral part of the University, are very much part of the interests of the University. Additionally, the Oregon Tech team made it clear that this issue is very important to their membership, and it would not be going away.

The next bargaining sessions will be Thursday, March 12, 9:00 – 11:00 am, and Friday, March 13, 2:00 – 5:30 pm.

February 27th, 2020 Negotiation Session

Notes contributed by Negotiating Team member Dr. David Johnston, Natural Sciences

The Oregon Tech and OT-AAUP bargaining teams met on Thursday, February 27 for the first session of their sixth round of negotiations.

The session began with both parties Tentatively Agreeing (TAed) to (and signing off on) the Distribution of Agreement article, which had been discussed at the January 31st session.

The Oregon Tech team then presented counter proposals on the Preamble and Severability articles. The parties TAed the Preamble, but the OT-AAUP team wished to discuss, internally, some of the changes made to the Severability proposal.

The OT-AAUP team then presented three new article proposals; Progressive Discipline, Grievances, and Arbitration. There was an extended discussion around the Progressive Discipline article, particularly in light of the fact that there is, currently, no formal Discipline policy for faculty. A majority of the discussion took place around how to balance the privacy of individual faculty with the interests of the Association knowing when and how many faculty members are being disciplined. Although no formal resolution was reached, both parties acknowledged that it was an important and delicate subject, and agreed to bring some ideas back to the table after caucusing with their teams. Additionally, the OT-AAUP team stressed that, in addition to the right of a faculty member to ask to have an Association representative present during an investigatory meeting, the Association would like to include the right of a bargaining unit member to have an Association representative accompany them to ANY disciplinary meeting.

There was very little discussion about the Grievances and Arbitration proposals, other than some questions about proposed timelines, as they are fairly standard in most CBAs.

The Oregon Tech team stated that they would review the articles and propose counters at a later date.

The parties concluded the session by discussing OT-AAUP’s No Strike/No Lockout counter proposal. The Oregon Tech team expressed some concern about a change of language in the new counter, but the OT-AAUP team explained that the intent behind the change was only to consolidate the language, not to eliminate any of the previous actions. The Oregon Tech team stated they would review the proposal and counter at a later time.

January 31st, 2020 Negotiation Session

Notes contributed by Negotiating Team member Dr. David Johnston, Natural Sciences

On Friday, January 31, the OT-AAUP and Oregon Tech bargaining teams met for the second session of the fifth round of negotiations.

The OT-AAUP team presented counter proposals on Distribution of Agreement and Preamble, as well as a new proposal on Sabbatical Leave.

The teams began with discussion of the Association’s new proposal on Sabbatical Leave. The biggest concern the Administration team had was over a provision in OT-AAUP’s proposal that would require the university to earmark enough funds every year to support at least 12% of all faculty eligible for a sabbatical that year. Otherwise, there were a few clarification questions, and the Oregon Tech team said they would discuss the article further in a future caucus.

Afterwards, both parties looked over the Associations counter proposals on Distribution of Agreement and Preamble. Both parties agreed, in principle, with the language in both proposals and agreed to look them over one more time in caucus.

The Oregon Tech team then presented their counter proposals on Severability and Notices & Communication. Of note, the Oregon Tech team had removed all language around encrypting emails in the Notices & Communication article, arguing that if the intention of the encryption was to ensure privacy, it would do little good if it were sent to the wrong person. Since OT-AAUP’s team member with the most expertise in this field was not present, the teams agreed to hold off on tentatively agreeing to this article.

The OT-AAUP team agreed, in principle, with the language in Oregon Tech’s Severability counter, but stated they would like to make it more clear.

After returning from a caucus, the OT-AAUP presented a counter proposal on Severability and the Oregon Tech team presented counters on Distribution of Agreement and Preamble.

The OT-AAUP team stated that they would like to look over the Preamble one more time before reaching tentative agreement. In particular, there was discussion over the apparent refusal of the Oregon Tech team to agree to being referred to as “the Employer” in certain parts of the CBA. Unfortunately, there was no resolution on this matter.

However, the parties did reach tentative agreement on the Distribution of Agreement article.

The Oregon Tech team then expressed concern that the Severability counter proposal that was presented was significantly different than the previous proposal, and, as such, were not prepared to agree to it. For their part, the OT-AAUP team stated that they felt the language was essentially the same, and that they were merely citing a Oregon Statute which governs Severability in labor contracts. The OT-AAUP team expressed hope that the Oregon Tech team would reach the same conclusion on closer inspection. The session adjourned at 6:00 pm.

The next bargaining sessions will be Thursday, February 27, 8:00 – 11:00 am, and Friday, February 28, 2:00 – 6:00 pm.

January 30th, 2020 Negotiation Session

Notes contributed by Negotiating Team member Dr. David Johnston, Natural Sciences

The Oregon Tech and OT-AAUP bargaining teams met on Thursday, January 30 for the first session of their fifth round of negotiations.

Brian Caufield, Oregon Tech’s chief negotiator was at the Portland-Metro campus, and was joined by his colleague Christine Meadows, Assistant Director of Labor Relations at USSE. Dave Groff, General Counsel for Oregon Tech, joined as an observer.

The OT-AAUP team began the session by reading a statement drafted by Chief Negotiator, Cristina Negoita. The full text of the statement can be found on the OT-AAUP website. In summary, the statement reaffirmed the Associations position that, as part of current policy, the faculty expect, and should get, a 2% raise, WITHOUT needing to agree to any conditions. Additionally, we conveyed that many of the faculty are severely dismayed by the administration’s disregard for current policy and willingness to treat the faculty unfairly. We asked that these concerns be communicated directly to Dr. Naganathan. After, once again, stating their position that they believe Oregon Tech has acted within its rights, the Oregon Tech team agreed to convey our concerns directly to Dr. Naganathan.

The parties then began discussion of the proposals that both parties thought were close to agreement.

The OT-AAUP team presented counter proposals on Non-Discrimination and Notices & Communication.

The Oregon Tech team passed counter proposals on Preamble, Distribution of Agreement, Personnel Files, and No Strike/No Lockout.

Of note, the OT-AAUP team retained their language in the Non-Discrimination article to include harassment and retaliation. Additionally, the OT-AAUP team retained the language to include political affiliation and political activities as a protected class. The Oregon Tech team had no immediate questions or concerns, but stated that they would need to discuss the proposal in caucus.

The Personnel File proposal that Oregon Tech passed was a counter to OT-AAUP’s proposal from December 5. The OT-AAUP team had no immediate questions or concerns, and agreed to discuss it in their caucus.

The parties then agreed to adjourn for the rest of the session and discuss the articles that both parties felt were closest to reach tentative agreement on; namely, Preamble, Distribution of Agreement, Severability, and Notices & Communication.

January 31 negotiation notes can be found here.

January 17, 2020 Negotiation Session

Notes contributed by Negotiating Team member Dr. David Johnston, Natural Sciences

On January 17, 2020, the OT-AAUP teams met for the second session of their fifth round of bargaining.

Matt Search, Associate Professor of Communications, joined the OT-AAUP bargaining team as an alternate and will be transitioning to a full time team member when Chelsea Gustafson, Assistant Professor of Natural Science, goes on maternity leave.

The teams began the session by discussing the 2% raised that the University had offered the faculty the previous day. The Oregon Tech team informed the OT-AAUP team that the administration was willing to give the Association one more day, till the end of business on Wednesday, January 22, to respond to the University’s offer. The OT-AAUP team once again expressed their concern that the Administration was attaching a condition to the 2% salary increase; namely, that by accepting the offer, the Association was agreeing NOT to bargain further over compensation for the 2020 calendar year. The OT-AAUP team argued that since a 2% COLA is part of the Faculty Compensation policy, and that the University must continue to follow current policy while in negotiations, it would seem that Oregon Tech MUST give a 2% salary increase. In response, the Oregon Tech team stated that all was required was them to offer the 2% increase, but because compensation is a mandatory subject of bargaining, they could essentially make the offer however they pleased, and that they were giving OT-AAUP the same offer that had been given to OSU, during their negotiations. The OT-AAUP team stated that they would need to confer with the OT-AAUP executive committee, and agreed that the chief negotiators would continue the discussion over email.

The OT-AAUP team presented four counter proposals, Distribution of Agreement, No Strike/No Lockout, Outside Activities, and Preamble, and one new proposal, Academic Freedom.

The Oregon Tech team presented three counter proposals, Non-Discrimination, Preamble, and Totality of Agreement.

The teams began by discussion OT-AAUP’s No Strike/No Lockout counter proposal, and the Oregon Tech team stated they agreed with most of it, but would have to look at it further and might propose a counter at a later time.

Discussion then turned to the Distribution of Agreement counter proposal. The Oregon Tech team agreed that it was much clearer than the first proposal, and agreed with the language in principle, but would need to go over it one more time with the entire team before begin ready to TA it.

The teams then moved on to discuss both Preamble counter proposals (linked separately above). Oregon Tech’s proposal did not include any language around purpose or motivation for the CBA, and the OT-AAUP team once again stated that they believed it was important to incorporate these statements, mainly as a tool to communicate with others reading the CBA. The Oregon Tech team said they would need to talk about the Preamble some more, amongst themselves.

OT-AAUP then presented their counter to Oregon Tech’s Outside Activities proposal. As mentioned in the previous bulletin, the OT-AAUP team explained their concerns with Oregon Tech’s language, and that the counter proposal was written to ensure that Oregon Tech is any bargaining unit member’s primary employer, but that the University had very little control over what a faculty member did outside their jobs, as long as it did not affect their performance at work. The Oregon Tech team did not have any questions about the counter proposal, but said they would discuss it.

The teams then discussed OT-AAUP’s Academic Freedom proposal. There were mainly clarifying questions from the OT-AAUP team, after which they said they would discuss it amongst themselves.

The teams then moved to discuss Oregon Tech’s proposals, starting with the Preamble counter. The Oregon Team felt that, since the OT-AAUP Preamble counter was more encompassing, they would discuss that as a team and work off of that proposal.

The teams then discussed Oregon Tech’s Non-Discrimination counter proposal. The Oregon Tech team explained that they were not comfortable including protection for classes that were not protected by law, and so they removed the inclusion of Political Affiliation as a protected class. Additionally, they had removed langauge around harrasment and retaliation, and only included discrimination. The OT-AAUP team felt that it was important to keep that language, and said they would discuss this article and likely present a counter proposal at a later time.

Both teams agreed in principle with Oregon Tech’s Totality of Agreement counter proposal, and suggested that this might be TA’ed at the next meeting.

Lastly, the teams discussed Oregon Tech’s Notices and Communications proposal from December 6. After some clarifying questions and discussion, it was agreed that encrypted email would be the primary means of communication between the Association and the University, with each party requesting a read receipt. The OT-AAUP team agreed to write up the counter proposal for the next meeting.

Before adjourning, the Oregon Tech team suggested each team look over articles they felt were getting close to being TA’ed and that the teams would start with those proposals next time, to which the OT-AAUP team agreed.

January 16, 2020 Negotiation Session

Notes contributed by Negotiating Team member Dr. David Johnston, Natural Sciences

On January 16, 2020, the OT-AAUP and the Oregon Tech negotiating teams met for the first session of their fifth round of bargaining.

First, the parties agreed to keep a joint spreadsheet indicating which proposals had been passed, and by whom, so that both parties are on the same page when it comes to what has been passed and received.

Then the Association team asked to discuss an email that was sent to the OT-AAUP team by Oregon Tech. In the email, the University offered the faculty a 2% raise for the 2020 calendar year, with the condition that, if accepted, the faculty could not bargain for any additional compensation for the remainder of the 2020 calendar year. Furthermore, OT-AAUP, as the designated representative of the faculty, had only until the end of business on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, to accept or decline the offer. The OT-AAUP team expressed their concern over the very short time alloted to make a decision which would financially impact all of the faculty, and requested that the Oregon Tech team ask Dr. Naganathan for an extension. Additionally, the OT-AAUP team asked why the University felt it was necessary to add the restriction of no further bargaining in 2020. In response, the Oregon Tech team simply stated that they were following the same procedure that had been used during Oregon State University’s negotiations. The OT-AAUP team was not satisfied with this answer, but agreed to move on to discuss the proposals that each team had prepared, as both teams would need to discuss the proposed raise with their respective constituents.

The OT-AAUP team presented two new proposals, Distrubtion of Agreement and No Strike/No Lockout, as well as one counter proposal on Non-Discrimination.

The Oregon Tech team also presented two new proposals, No Strike/No Lockout and Outside Activities.

The teams began by discussing OT-AAUP’s counter proposal on Non-Discrimination. The Oregon Tech team was uncomfortable with including classes that are not normally legally protected, in the Non-Discrimitnation article. In response, OT-AAUP pointed out that the Non-Discrimination article in the CBA can be broader, and the inclusion of protection for certain classes, such as political belief, was important for the faculty and consistent with the culture at OIT. The Oregon Tech team said they would discuss the article in caucus and most likely present a counter proposal at a later time.

The teams then discussed OT-AAUP’s Distribution of Agreement proposal. Both parties agreed that the OT-AAUP team would clarify some of the language and present a counter proposal the following day.

The teams then moved to discuss both No Strike/No Lockout articles (linked separately above). Overall, the articles were mostly the same, as this article is fairly standard in all CBA’s. The OT-AAUP team had some concerns over the Oregon Tech teams inclusion of termination in the list of consequences for faculty participating in an illegal strike. The OT-AAUP team agreed to present a counter proposal at the next meeting, which would include some of the language from the Oregon Tech proposal, specifically concerning the Association’s responsibility to prevent and/or stop an illegal strike.

Lastly, the teams discussed Oregon Tech’s Outside Activity proposal. The OT-AAUP team was disturbed by the wording Oregon Tech chose for this article. As understood by the OT-AAUP team, the purpose of the Outside Activity article is to emphasize that a bargaining unit member’s main responsibility is to Oregon Tech, and that other employment, if permissible, is secondary. However, the OT-AAUP team expressed their concern that, based on the wording of Oregon Tech’s proposal, it seemed the University was trying to exert control over ALL aspects of a faculty member’s time, even time that is considered personal. The OT-AAUP team state they would work on a counter proposal to present at the next meeting.

December 6, 2019 Negotiation Session

Notes contributed by Negotiating Team member Dr. David Johnston, Natural Sciences

On December 6, 2019, the Oregon Tech and OT-AAUP negotiating teams met for the second session of their fourth round of negotiations.

The OT-AAUP team presented their counter proposals to Preamble, Severability, and Totality of Agreement.

There was some discussion over the language that OT-AAUP added to the Preamble article, as well as over some of the language OT-AAUP removed from the Severability article. OT-AAUP explained that the added language was meant to help set the tone for the agreement, to remind all parties why the faculty voted to unionize, and emphasize that all parties are devoted to the improvement of the University. The Oregon Tech team was concerned that additional language could provide an avenue for faculty in the future to file a grievance against the University. Both teams agreed to present a new Preamble counter at the next negotiating session.

As to the Severability proposal, the OT-AAUP team felt it was prudent to keep the Severability article short, as many of the points in the original proposal are covered under Oregon State law. There was a brief discussion over whether it was best to include language from the statute. The Oregon Tech team stated they would review the issue and present a counter proposal at a later time.

The Oregon Tech team agreed, in principle, to the Totality of Agreement counter proposal, but said they wanted to discuss it one more time.

The OT-AAUP also presented a new proposal, Personnel Files, which dealt with the ability of faculty to have access to their personnel files stored both by Human Resources and the Provost’s office. The Oregon Tech team asked for some clarification around the timelines and type of information that was kept in these files. The teams agreed that the Oregon Tech team would review this article further and present a counter at a later time.

The Oregon Tech team presented a counter to OT-AAUP’s Non-Discrimination proposal. The Association team was concerned that the counter referenced current OIT policy, and voiced their concern regarding the administration’s “flexibility” when following or applying current policy. OT-AAUP said they would review Oregon Tech’s proposal and would likely counter at the next session.

The Oregon Tech team also presented a proposal on Notices & Communications, which deals with how the University and the Union should exchange official notices. The Oregon Tech proposal called for email to be the primary means of communication. There followed some discussion about the reliability and security of email. It was decided that the OT-AAUP team would propose a counter at the next session.

Lastly, the teams agreed on meeting times for the Winter 2020 term. The teams will meet on January 16 & 17, January 30 & 31, February 13 & 14, February 27 & 28, and March 12 & 13.

*In an email conversation from December 12, 2019. It was decided to cancel the February 13 & 14, due to the New Wings Registration event.

December 5, 2019 Negotiation Session

Notes contributed by Negotiating Team member Dr. David Johnston, Natural Sciences

On December 5, 2019, the Oregon Tech and the OT-AAUP bargaining teams met for the first session of their fourth round of negotiations. Maureen De Armond, Oregon Tech’s new Associate Vice President of Human Resources, joined the Oregon Tech team, replacing Sandi Hanan. During this session, the teams exchanged their first set of proposals, beginning the 300-day, mandatory bargaining clock.

The OT-AAUP team presented Association Rights, Definitions, Non-Discrimination, and Recognition.

The Oregon Tech team presented Preamble, Successor Agreement, Severability, Statutory Compliance, and Totality of Agreement.

The teams spent most of the session introducing their articles and asking clarifying questions of the opposing team.

The teams agreed in principle to the language of Oregon Tech’s Successor Agreement proposal, but could not TA the article, as dates need to be filled in once the CBA has been finalized.

Both teams felt that the Recognition proposal was straightforward, but the Oregon Tech team requested a few clarifications be incorporated, the OT-AAUP team did not object.

Additionally, the teams agreed that the Definitions article would be a running document, which could be added to when necessary.

The OT-AAUP team said they would prepare counter proposals to Oregon Tech’s Preamble, Severability, and Totality of Agreement, and the Oregon Tech team said they would prepare a counters to OT-AAUP’s Non-Discrimination and Association Rights, but that it would most likely be several sessions before the counter to Association Rights was ready.

The OT-AAUP team, along with our AAUP representative, Sarah Lanius, felt that the Statutory Compliance article proposed by the Oregon Tech team was extraneous and unwarranted, as it is does not appear in any of the other Oregon University CBAs, and the only purpose it seemed to serve was to limit the rights of the Association. As such, the OT-AAUP team will not respond to this article, effectively rejecting it.