July 29, 2020 Negotiation Session

Notes contributed by OT-AAUP bargaining team member Dr. David Johnston, Natural Sciences, with minor edits by Communications Committee Member Dr. Ben Bunting, Humanities and Social Sciences

The OT-AAUP and Oregon Tech negotiating teams met on Wednesday, July 29, to continue the third bargaining round of the summer. OT-AAUP presented a proposal on Annual Evaluation of Faculty, and the Oregon Tech team presented a counter-proposal on Workload.

Workload
The Oregon Tech team went first and presented their proposal on Workload. It should be noted that timing of the presentation of this proposal seemed to closely align with the Associations notification to Oregon Tech of its intention to file an Unfair Labor Practice suit with the Oregon Employment Relation Board, over Oregon Tech’s unilateral implementation of changes in established workload guidelines. Furthermore, since the Administration’s proposal was almost entirely based on the “new” workload guidelines put forward by the Provost’s Office, coupled with the fact that the Administration’s team seemed unprepared to answer basic questions about their proposal, the OT-AAUP team felt that the timing was more than a mere coincidence. It is impossible, here, to adequately convey the disappointment felt by the Association’s Bargaining team at the Administration’s proposal, although hardly surprised, given their attempt to implement almost identical guidelines outside the bargaining process. Some of the more egregious points of Oregon Tech’s Workload Proposal was the attempt to increase the 9-month 1.0 FTE for tenured/tenure-track faculty from 39 WLU to 45 WLU, the discontinuation of counting Student Advising as part of WLU, in spite of the fact that some faculty advise upwards of 40 students, and the inclusion of a mandated 5 office hours per week. Lacking from the proposal was a definition of exactly what 1 WLU was, when the Association Team asked about this, the Administration’s team responded that it was a management right to define that, and would do so at a later time. As mentioned previously, when the Association team pressed for further explanations about the intent behind some aspects of the proposal, the response from Oregon Tech’s bargaining team was that they would have to review their notes and would discuss the Association’s comments and concerns in caucus.

Annual Evaluations of Faculty
After the caucus, the OT-AAUP team presented their proposal on Annual Evaluations of Faculty. The Association’s team explained that it was the intent of this proposal to retain current University Policies, but to ensure that they were being followed and applied consistently, and that the Evaluations were tied directly to criteria for Promotion, for both tenure and non-tenure track faculty, and Tenure, as this has sometimes been an issue in the past. The Association further clarified that it was not the intent of the proposal to set or define the criteria, merely to establish that those criteria needed to be clearly conveyed to faculty members that Annual Evaluations needed to be tied to those and only those criteria. The Administration’s team stated that they felt this proposal could be entirely permissive, but said they would discuss it further in caucus.

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