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.

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