Bargaining update; General meeting 1/12/2021 (Originally emailed to faculty on 12/14/20)

Dear colleagues,

As an unforgettable fall term wraps up, we’re writing with a few key union updates for you.

First, our next general meeting will be 1/12/2021 at 2 pm (Tuesday of Week 2). This meeting will serve as a follow-up to our meeting of 12/4/2020 and will cover updates to bargaining and what next steps will be necessary to win a strong contract. Please plan to attend this meeting if you can. Zoom information will be forthcoming in the new year.

Second, the negotiating teams met on 12/10/2020 and came to Tentative Agreement (TA) on Leaves, which is heartening. Less heartening was the fact that Oregon Tech Admin rejected our Benefits proposal, wherein we propose maintaining the status quo (95/5 split for PEBB contributions), as well as our Donated Leave proposal, as both of these proposals address issues related to health insurance and sick leaves, issues especially relevant during a pandemic.

Oregon Tech Admin did finally counter on Compensation and Workload (linked here), as well as on Outside Activities and Professional Development. Their proposals continue to ignore key issues to our members –e.g., no COLA, no definition of workload units, no post-tenure review raises, no geographic stipends–but do show a small amount of engagement in the process. Our team will, naturally, respond to these articles. We encourage you to read carefully through their proposals on Compensation and Workload.

As of now, the teams are scheduled to meet weekly throughout January.

Your bargaining team has now been in negotiations for over a year, and, while we have reached a few tentative agreements (Leaves, Grievances, Arbitration,etc), we remain far apart on the issues that are top priorities for faculty (Workload, Compensation, etc.). We hope to reach an agreement on our contract in the winter term, but winning a contract that ensures our contributions to the university are recognized will take all of us engaging in the process and supporting our bargaining team.

We wish you peace, joy, and solidarity throughout the holiday season and the new year!

Kari Lundgren, OTAAUP Secretary
On behalf of the OTAAUP Executive Committee

Dr. Sean St. Clair, President
Dr. Cristina Negoita, Vice President
Dr. Kari Lundgren, Secretary
Prof. Terri Torres, Treasurer
Prof. Andria Fultz, Portland-Metro At-Large Representative
Dr. Kyle Chapman, Klamath Falls At-Large Representative
Dr. Mark Clark, Immediate Past President

Day 3 of Mediation: Bargaining Update (Originally emailed to faculty on 11/13/20)

Colleagues,

Yesterday was the third day of mediation for our collective bargaining process, so we’re writing with a quick update. (Reminder: Bargaining updates from OTAAUP will always come from unite@oregontechaaup.org; emails from negoitiations@oit.edu are from the administration’s bargaining team.)

Unlike in past bargaining sessions, proposals are considered confidential during the mediation process, but we can share with you the following basic information about the day’s progress.

Parties exchanged the following articles:

  • Leaves
  • Discipline
  • Arbitration (ready to TA)
  • Fringe Benefits
  • Donations for Hardship Leave

We will continue the mediation process again next Thursday. Thank you for your continued support.

In solidarity,
Your OTAAUP Bargaining Team

Dr. Cristina Negoita, Chief Negotiator
Dr. David Johnston
Prof. Karen Kunz
Prof. Joseph Reid
Dr. Matthew Search
Prof. Stephen Schulz
Prof. Terri Torres

A win for faculty! ULP decision unanimously in our favor (Originally emailed to faculty on 10/29/20)

Colleagues,

We’re writing today to share with you good news: This morning, we received notice that the Oregon Employment Relations Board (ERB) ruled unanimously in our favor regarding the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) complaint we made this summer.

Per the official ERB order, “The Board found that Oregon Institute of Technology committed unfair labor practices in violation of ORS 243.672(1)(e) . . . . The Board also concluded that Oregon Tech violated the duty to bargain when it unilaterally eliminated stipends and release time.”

Here is the ERB’s full ruling.

In other words, we won!

Despite the administration’s use of thousands of dollars in an attempt to defend their actions, we have been vindicated.

As part of this decision, everyone who was impacted by the illegal change to the Stipend/Release model will be made “whole” by the university, with interest. Please let us know at unite@oregontechaaup.org if you were adversely affected by the university’s actions so that we can keep track of whether the university is fulfilling their legal obligation.

Additionally, as a result of this decision, these issues will return to their rightful place at the bargaining table, where faculty will continue to have a strong voice.

Thanks to our faculty’s efforts through the union, we were able to achieve this victory. Thanks for your continued support!

In solidarity,

Your OTAAUP Executive Committee
Dr. Sean St. Clair, President
Dr. Cristina Negoita, Vice President
Dr. Kari Lundgren, Secretary
Prof. Terri Torres, Treasurer
Prof. Andria Fultz, Portland-Metro At-Large Representative
Dr. Kyle Chapman, Klamath Falls At-Large Representative
Dr. Mark Clark, Immediate Past President

Bargaining Update: Day 1 of Mediation (Originally emailed to faculty on 10/29/20)

Colleagues,

Today was the first day of mediation for our bargaining process, so we’re writing with a quick update. (Reminder: Bargaining updates from OTAAUP will always come from unite@oregontechaaup.org; emails from negoitiations@oit.edu are from the administration’s bargaining team.)

Your OTAAUP bargaining team met with both the administration’s team and a state mediator from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm today.

Unlike in past bargaining sessions, proposals are considered confidential during the mediation process, but we can share with you the following basic information about the day’s progress.

Parties exchanged the following articles:

  • Academic Freedom
  • Leaves
  • Hardship Leaves (Donated Leaves)
  • Recognition
  • Arbitration
  • Fringe Benefits
  • Working Conditions

No tentative agreements (TAs) were reached, though some more or less productive discussion occurred on a variety of subjects.

We will continue this process again next Thursday. Thank you for your continued support.

In solidarity,
Your OTAAUP Bargaining Team

Dr. Cristina Negoita, Chief Negotiator
Dr. David Johnston
Prof. Karen Kunz
Prof. Joseph Reid
Dr. Matthew Search
Prof. Stephen Schulz
Prof. Terri Torres