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.

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