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.

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