June 1st, 2020 Negotiation Session

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

For this session, the OT-AAUP team proposed two articles: Personnel Files and Workload and Overload Compensation.

The Oregon Tech team proposed one article: Sabbaticals.

The session began with discussion of the Sabbaticals proposal. There was discussion as to why the article, as proposed, excluded NTT faculty from taking sabbaticals. The OT team said that faculty who don’t have a research emphasis (like NTT faculty) don’t need to take sabbaticals. OT also argued that approval for sabbaticals should be at the sole discretion of the Provost. Next, OT asked the union how salary would be calculated if someone was approved for sabbatical, but then changed the timeline. The OT-AAUP team pointed out that cutting the already low rate that faculty are paid for sabbatical makes them less likely to apply for the “full,” three-term sabbatical. After discussion of examples, the OT team suggested that they would be willing to reconsider the pay rate put forth in the article. OT’s version of this article says that faculty cannot use a sabbatical to finish a degree. Both sides discussed this; OT-AAUP asked why this wasn’t allowed, and OT explained that finishing a degree was “personal leave” that does not benefit OIT. The OT-AAUP team disagreed, arguing that there is already a precedent for faculty using sabbatical time to finish degrees here. OT used the same argument to deny that sabbaticals can be used to take one-year visiting positions. Finally, the OT-AAUP team argued again that incentivizing our faculty to take a sabbatical in order to get their terminal degree would be to the university’s benefit.

There was very brief discussion about the Personnel File article, and then the OT team decided to discuss it in caucus.

There was a slightly longer discussion of the Workload article. This came after discussions of the article’s content and supporting information from members of the OT-AAUP team. OT-AAUP had not generated a costing document for their proposal yet; the OT team said they planned to do this. The OT-AAUP team emphasized during discussion that they want to find a way to meaningfully quantify a minimum required amount of non-instructional workload.

The next negotiation session was held on June 8th, from 10am until 2pm. Notes from this session will be posted shortly.

Letter From The OT-AAUP Bargaining Team In Response To The Employer’s Refusal To Bargain

As you may already know, our negotiating team has experienced a number of frustrations due to the obstructionist nature of the administration’s response to their attempts at negotiation. In particular, the team is concerned about the administration’s refusal to bargain articles on Intellectual Property, Appointments (Academic Rank), Promotion For Non-Tenure-Track Faculty, and Position Descriptions.

The OT-AAUP team has prepared a letter expressing their objections, which you can view at the link, or embedded below:

Letter from Faculty Leadership to Oregon Tech

Site Updated Through 4/27!

Hi all, this is Ben, from the OT-AAUP Communications Committee. Our group fell a bit behind on keeping the site updated early on in the COVID-19 outbreak, but rest assured that our negotiation team and OT-AAUP group did not stop working toward our first CBA in that time.

I’ve recently updated the site with bargaining session summaries from the sessions held on 3/13, 4/6, 4/13, 4/20 and 4/27. You can find those on the bargaining updates page.

I’ve also updated all the articles proposed during those sessions on our spreadsheet, which is here.

If you’re able to attend any of our upcoming negotiation sessions on 5/11, 5/18, 6/1, and 6/8, it would be much appreciated, and there’s information on those sessions (including Zoom links) on our calendar page.

Lastly, we have a new logo! It’s been added to the homepage on our site, and I’m sure you’ll be seeing it around elsewhere virtually (and later on) on our campuses:

As always, use the contact form to let us know of your questions or concerns.

Keep safe and healthy out there!

April 27th, 2020 Negotiation Session

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

 For this session, OT-AAUP proposed four articles: Notices of Appointment, Management Rights, Progressive Discipline, and Association Dues.

The Oregon Tech team proposed three articles: Notices and Communication, Recognition, and Academic Freedom.

Notices and Communication was discussed first. The Oregon Tech team summarized some minor changes, and the OT-AAUP team decided to discuss those changes in caucus.

Recognition was discussed next. The Oregon Tech team summarized their changes, and the OT-AAUP team asked that instructor rank be added to the first paragraph of the article, to include librarians who teach but who aren’t tenure track. The Oregon Tech team agreed to discuss this in caucus.

Notices and Appointment was briefly discussed next. The OT-AAUP summarized the article, pointing out that it spells out policy that is already in place at the university. The Oregon Tech team agreed to discuss in caucus.

Management Rights was discussed next. This began a lengthy discussion. The Oregon Tech team asked if the suggested changes indicated that OT-AAUP was waiving its right to bargain over material described in Section 2; the OT-AAUP said no. The Oregon Tech team asked that the wording be made more specific to better indicate what OT-AAUP wants to retain the right to bargain and what it doesn’t. There was also discussion over the difference between “faculty” as a group and “bargaining members” as a group, and how that difference bears on the article’s claim that Faculty Senate, but not OT-AAUP have the right to participate in defining the university’s mission. The OT-AAUP agreed to discuss further in caucus.

After this, there was a brief discussion about scheduling future meetings. It was agreed that the next bargaining meetings would occur on 5/11, 5/18, 6/1, and 6/8. Each day’s session will run from 10am until 2pm.

The next discussion was of the Progressive Discipline article. The OT-AAUP team summarized the changes to the article. The Oregon Tech team explained that “suspension for the length of an investigation” is not possible, and that a time frame must be specified. Oregon Tech decided to discuss further in caucus.

The Association Dues article was discussed next. OT-AAUP summarized the article. The Oregon Tech team expressed concern about the process described, wherein a member provides notice of cancellation of membership in the union to OT-AAUP, which then notifies Oregon Tech. The Oregon Tech team suggested that a yearly window be established during which any member wanting to cancel membership in the union must express their intent. The Oregon Tech team agreed to discuss further in caucus.

Next there was a brief discussion of the Academic Freedom article. The Oregon Tech team summarized a new version of the article that ignored the previous version submitted by OT-AAUP. After a few initial questions, the OT-AAUP team agreed to discuss the article further in caucus.

Next, both parties TAed the Notices of Communication article.

The Oregon Tech team then argued that it would not counter the articles on Intellectual Property, Position Descriptions, or Appointments, Academic Classification, and Rank, because in their view those subjects are permissive, not mandatory. Despite a number of questions and arguments from OT-AAUP, the Oregon Tech team maintained that these articles are permissive subjects, and are ultimately rights reserved only for management. OT-AAUP pointed out that other Oregon universities have articles covering these matters in their CBAs; nonetheless, the Oregon Tech team maintained its initial argument.

 The next negotiation session will take place on May 11th from 10am until 2pm. If you wish to join, a Zoom link is available on the OT-AAUP website’s calendar page.