General Meeting, Feb. 4 2020

The Winter 2020 General meeting was held on February 4. Faculty attended on the Klamath Falls campus (Dow E237), the Portland-Metro campus (Room 209) and over Skype.

Statement by the Vice President (Yasha Rohwer)

Yasha thanked Ben Bunting for putting a lot of work into updating the union website. Ben updated many of the navigation links and tools throughout the site, including adding a Google Calendar to track negotiation sessions (with Skype links to those events), a proposal tracking page to view negotiation progress, and information about the bargaining team. Within those resources, faculty can find the status of all proposals — the text of the proposals themselves, counterproposals offered by either side and whether or not they have been agreed to by both sides.

Yasha also announced that Elections will be occuring near the end of Winter term. Nominations will be sought in February, and the elections themselves will run in March. The union executive committee will also survey faculty on their negotiating priorities moving forward to ensure we have the most current understanding of everyone’s values.

Statement from the Negotiating Team (Cristina Negoita)

Cristina gave a brief rundown of negotiations so far, centered on the proposals available on the website. Many proposals have been exchanged, but tentative agreement hasn’t been reached in many places.

Cristina noted that the bargaining “clock” in Oregon runs for 300 days following the opening of negotiations. Ours will end on September 30, 2020. If a contract is not settled at that point, we will need to bring in an outside party to finish negotiations.

Cristina discussed the current method for writing articles/proposals. Where possible and desirable, current OIT policy is being used as the basis for proposal language. Otherwise, faculty with subject-matter expertise are being consulted for specific proposals.

Update on the Status of Chairs

Cristina outlined the current status of the Chairs bargaining unit. When the faculty union first formed, the administration argued that Chairs held a managerial role and could not unionize with the rest of the faculty. Following that, a hearing was held to determine the status of chairs: they were decided to be managerial and therefore not eligible to join a bargaining unit. That decision was appealed to the state labor board, who decided that chairs can form their own bargaining unit (under ORS 243 .682 .2). The administration has appealed this ruling as well, but the labor board’s decision stands until the appeal is heard.

For now, while the Chairs need to act as their own bargaining unit, they may combine their negotiation efforts with the faculty unit, they may join the existing executive committee and they may share most or all of the faculty contract. In effect, the Chairs’ bargaining unit may look like the faculty unit except for some additional articles in their contract.

Encouragement for Participation

Cristina reminded the attendees that all negotiation team members, all stewards, all executive committee members, all article writers and everyone else who has done work with or for the faculty union are OIT faculty volunteering their time in this effort. Faculty are invited to participate in union activity as stewards, proposal writers or attendees in negotiation meetings. All meetings are open to the public, whether by physical attendance (see announcement emails as sessions come up) or over Skype. Attendees are not required to announce themselves unless they are acting as press.

Q&A Session

Bargaining Sessions

  • Bargaining sessions are scheduled for long blocks of time in the middle of the day. Can faculty drop in for a short time and just watch? Can others drop in?
    • Yes! If you’ve only got 20-30 minutes to spare, you can still drop in to watch negotiations. These sessions are open to the public, so students and others may watch as well. No one is required to announce themselves or explain their presence (aside from press, who must announce themselves).
  • Are Chairs going to be a separate bargaining unit? What does that mean?
    • According to the rulings so far, Chairs are their own bargaining unit. However, they can negotiate at the same table as faculty and they can join our existing organizational structure (i.e., have a representative on the executive committee, share a building steward with the rest of the faculty). Because faculty rotate into and out of Chair positions regularly, it would make sense that we would have very similar contract language. Those organizational decisions are yet to be made by the OIT Department Chairs.
  • Is the administration negotiating in good faith?
    • Generally. Some actions have been done in bad faith or otherwise presented unfairly. For instance, the issue of changing our 2% COLA from settled policy into a negotiating point was first raised by email to the negotiating team at the end of a negotiating session, with seven days of time for the team to respond. The same issue (minus quite a bit of negotiation context) was then brought to the faculty at large in an all-faculty email two days later. While the administration has an interest in settling our contract before the 300-day clock expires, and at times they actively work towards mutual agreement, moments like this do occur.
  • The administration is expected to maintain the “status quo” during negotiations. Are they allowed to make arbitrary adjustments to Workload Units?
    • We need to be careful when these changes occur or seem like they are about to occur. It is up to us to call out those changes. It is bad form to change policy during the period of negotiations, but it is illegal to change working conditions.

October 17, 2019 Negotiation Session

Notes contributed by Negotiating Team member Dr. David Johnston, Natural Sciences

October 17, 2019 was the first meeting between the OT-AAUP and the Oregon Tech bargaining teams. The main agenda of the meeting was to begin discussion of Negotiating Ground Rules and to set times for the next several meetings. OT-AAUP was represented by Chief Negotiator and Mathematics Professor Cristina Negoita, CSET Associate Professor Phil Howard, MIT Professor Stephen Schultz, Information Systems Librarian Karen Kunz, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Chelsea Gustafson, and Instructor of Physics David Johnston. Oregon Tech was represented by Chief Negotiator and USSE Labor Relations Director Brian Caufield, Assistant Director of Human Resources Sandi Hanan, Associate Dean of ETM Brian Moravec, Assistant Vice President Stephanie Pope, Dean of ETM Tom Keyser, and Associate Provost Abdy Afjeh. Jim Bakken, AAUP Pacific Northwest Lead Organizer, served as an advisor to the OT-AAUP negotiating team.

Oregon Tech President Nagi Naganathan, Provost Joanna Mott, and Vice President of Finance Brian Fox were present at the beginning of the meeting to express their support for the bargaining process, their appreciation for the service of members of both negotiating teams, and their faith that the bargaining endeavor will be successful.

After team introductions, the parties began discussion of the ground rules proposed by each team. The teams agreed, in principle, to many of the common procedural items put forward in both proposals, with both teams agreeing to work on the specific language in future counter-proposals. For instance, both teams agreed that all team members as well as all observers and all invited presenters will conduct themselves professionally and in a manner keeping with that expected from members of the university community.

The Oregon Tech negotiating team proposed that all bargaining sessions be held in executive session, and that the number of observers allowed by each team be limited in number. Additionally, their proposal called for all observers to be invited, and for each team to provide the other with a list of all invited observers prior to a bargaining session. The OT-AAUP team did not agree to this proposal. Instead, they proposed that all bargaining sessions be open to any who would like to attend, and that prior notice of observers was not necessary. The parties did not reach an agreement on this point, so it will continue to be negotiated at future sessions.

The OT-AAUP negotiating team proposed that any OT-AAUP union service, and, in particular, service on the OT-AAUP negotiating team be considered as service to the university for the purpose of faculty and staff performance evaluations. Additionally, the OT-AAUP team proposed that each member of the bargaining team be granted a 3-workload-unit-per-quarter reduction for the duration of the negotiations. The Oregon Tech team suggested that the workload reduction request might be better included in substantive proposal discussions after Ground Rules have been established. The Oregon Tech team said they would discuss the service request with administration, leaving the issue to be debated at the next meeting.

Both teams agreed to future meetings on the following six days:

  • Thursday, October 31, from 3 – 5 pm;
  • Friday, November 1, from 8 – 10:30 am, and from 2 – 4 pm;
  • Thursday, November 14, from 3 – 6 pm;
  • Friday, November 15, from 8 – 10:30 am, and from 2 – 4 pm;
  • Thursday, December 5, from 2 – 6 pm; and
  • Friday, December 6, from 8 – 10:30 am, and 2 – 4 pm

Overall, all OT-AAUP Negotiating Team members felt that this first session was positive and encouraging, and are hopeful that future sessions will be equally productive.

Good morning colleagues!

After some last minute rescheduling before the start of the term (for which we’d like to congratulate our SEIU colleagues on achieving a historic contract!), the Oregon Tech chapter of AAUP is set to begin negotiating ground rules this coming Thursday, October 17. The negotiation will run from 2-6pm in Room 402 at Portland Metro and the Sunset conference room in Klamath Falls.

During these meetings, our negotiation team will bargain on behalf of all faculty. As such, negotiation sessions are open to all faculty who wish to attend and observe. Future meetings will alternate locations, but we will always have a Skype link connecting both campuses. In this first meeting, any faculty wishing to observe will need to do so physically from either Room 402 or Sunset. We hope that future negotiation sessions will be more accessible by our Chemeketa, Seattle and online colleagues and will push for those considerations in our ground rules.

During our negotiation days, we invite faculty to wear red or white (AAUP’s organizational colors) in a show of support for our negotiation team, even if the time or location of the negotiation meeting means you cannot attend. All visible support shows that we are a united faculty at Oregon Tech and helps strengthen our negotiation team’s bargaining position.

Following this and all negotiation sessions, you can expect a recap of proposals offered and any agreements made. Follow the progress of our negotiations at OregenTechAAUP.org!

In Solidarity,

Matt Frye, OIT-AAUP Secretary, on behalf of the OIT-AAUP Executive Board
Mark Clark, OIT-AAUP President
Yasha Rohwer, OIT-AAUP Vice President
Kevin Pintong, OIT-AAUP Treasurer
Andria Fultz, OIT-AAUP Member at-Large
Kyle Chapman, OIT-AAUP Member at-Large

General Meeting – September 24, 2019

Agenda

1) Welcome (Mark, Executive Committee President)

2) Update on Summer Activities (Mark)

a) Preparation for contract negotiations – more from Cristina
b) Training at AAUP Summer Workshop

3) Status of Department Chairs (Mark)

a) Hearing complete
b) Waiting for ruling

4) Executive CoPlans for Fall Term (Mark)

a) Information distribution about contract negotiations
b) Organizational development

i) Refining of bylaws
ii) Determination of dues structure

5) Contract Negotiations (Cristina, Negotiating Team)

a) Communication about contract negotiation
b) Revision of bylaws, election processes
c) Determination of future dues structure

 

OIT AAUP Newsletter 1.2 — Pre-Convocation News

Good morning colleagues!

As we get ready for the start of the next academic year, your faculty union has a short newsletter for you! As announced in the previous newsletter, the Faculty Union Negotiation Team issued a Demand to Bargain over the summer. The date for initial negotiations regarding ground rules has been set for September 26, during the interim week between Convocation and the first week of classes.

Early this term, a general Faculty Union meeting will be announced (with access for Portland-Metro and Online faculty). This meeting will include more information about the bargaining process and what faculty can expect from their union in the coming year. While we were unable to schedule a time during Convocation, we will strive to make this meeting as accessible as possible for all faculty.

And, in related news, OIT Staff organized under the Service Employees International Union (SEIU, local 503) are currently negotiating their contract as well. We are invited to wear purple on their negotiation days to show support and solidarity for our co-workers. If you would like to show your support, the OIT-AAUP Newsletters this term will include their negotiation dates as well as ours.

We’ll see you all next week!

In Solidarity,

Matt Frye, OIT-AAUP Secretary, on behalf of the OIT-AAUP Executive Board
Mark Clark, OIT-AAUP President
Yasha Rohwer, OIT-AAUP Vice President
Kevin Pintong, OIT-AAUP Treasurer
Andria Fultz, OIT-AAUP Member at-Large
Kyle Chapman, OIT-AAUP Member at-Large

OIT AAUP Newsletter 1.1 — Bargaining!

Good morning colleagues!

Earlier this summer, the Faculty Union Negotiation Team issued a Demand to Bargain to the university administration. While our union was officially recognized last year after the card campaign, the union executive committee was still gathering input from the larger faculty body regarding the issues that mattered most to them.

Over the past year, the executive committee, negotiation team and a research committee reviewed the contracts from other AAUP faculty unions across the country, sought input from AAUP leadership and communicated with members of the newly formed faculty union at Oregon State University. We continue to seek faculty input for contract articles as negotiation goes on, but as our administrative structure settles into place, we believe it’s time to get the ball rolling on bargaining.

The negotiation team issued their official Demand to Bargain, preferencing dates in August to set the initial ground rules for negotiation (a necessary “syllabus day” for how both sides of the negotiating table should expect the process to proceed). We have not settled on a particular date to begin yet, but the administration’s response suggests that negotiations will begin just before the start of Fall term.

Faculty will receive invitations to attend negotiation sessions (in person or remotely) as those dates are set.

In Solidarity,

Matt Frye, OIT-AAUP Secretary, on behalf of the OIT-AAUP Executive Board
Mark Clark, OIT-AAUP President
Yasha Rohwer, OIT-AAUP Vice President
Kevin Pintong, OIT-AAUP Treasurer
Andria Fultz, OIT-AAUP Member at-Large
Kyle Chapman, OIT-AAUP Member at-Large

Announcement of OIT AAUP Quarterly Public Meeting!

Hello Fellow Oregon Tech Faculty!

Oregon Tech AAUP is committed to having quarterly meetings to keep you up-to-date on the work we are doing.  You are all invited to our Oregon Tech AAUP Spring Quarter 2019 Quarterly Meeting. 

We are meeting on Tuesday, April 16th, 2-3 p.m. in Owens 224.  All faculty are encouraged to attend.  If you are not located on the Klamath Falls campus, or if you are located on the Klamath Falls campus but unable to attend in person, a Skype link for the meeting was sent to all OIT faculty email addresses on April 1. 

At this meeting, President Mark Clark will share an update on union activities; he will then facilitate an open discussion about our upcoming contract negotiations.   

As always, your Oregon Tech AAUP representatives will be there to answer any questions you may have as we prepare for our first contract negotiations. 

We hope to see you on Tuesday, 4/16, at 2!

Update on Faculty Union Activity, 2/13/19 (Union President Mark Clark)

Sent via email to all OIT faculty on February 13, 2019:

Dear Faculty Colleagues;

I want to take this opportunity to update you on the activities of your faculty union, Oregon Tech AAUP.  Following the approval of our bylaws and the election of officers at the end of the Fall term, your Executive Committee has been working to establish our union’s structure and to prepare for negotiating our first contract.

The members of your Executive Committee are:

                President: Mark Clark, HSS

                Vice-President: Yasha Rohwer, HSS

                Secretary: Mathew Frye, COM

                Treasurer: Kevin Pintong, CSET

                At Large, Klamath Falls Campus: Kyle Chapman, HSS

                At Large, Other Campuses: Andria (Andie) Fultz, COM

In addition to the Executive Committee, we have established three standing committees: Membership, Communications, and Elections. If you are interested in serving on one of these committees, please let me know.

I am happy to report that Cristina Negoita from our Mathematics department has agreed to serve as our head of the contract negotiating team. She will be joined on the team by Chelsea Gustafson from Natural Sciences, Phil Howard from Computer Systems Engineering Technology, Kari Lundgren from Communication, and Steve Schultz from Medical Imaging Technology. The team is currently undergoing training, and we plan to initiate contract negotiations in the near future.

As part of our preparations for negotiations, we circulated a faculty survey on issues related to bargaining. I would like to thank all of the faculty members who participated. I would also like to let you know that you will have the opportunity to participate in an open forum on issues related to our contract. This meeting is scheduled for 2-3:00 PM, Tuesday, February 26, 2019 in CU Bailey/Thielsen. An announcement for this meeting that includes a Skype link will be sent to you via separate email.

For faculty at our Portland Metro Campus, I will be holding an open forum in Wilsonville room 124 from 5-6:00 PM on Monday, March 18, 2019. I will be there in person, and look forward to seeing you there if you are able to attend.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns related to union activities. You can contact me at my Oregon Tech email address, or if you prefer, you can reach me at my private email, klamathheritage@gmail.com, or call or text me at (541)591-9762.

All my best to you, and I look forward to serving you as your union President.

Dr. Mark Clark
President, Oregon Tech AAUP

Election and Voting Results

The election and voting results from the end of Fall term 2018 are in! You can find the official results posted on ElectionBuddy here, and they are reproduced below. 61 faculty members voted in this process.

We continue to encourage faculty involvement in union activity. In the coming months, we will ask for input in the negotiation process, and as the faculty union takes on appropriate roles, opportunities for committee and other service work will arise.

President: Mark Clark (unopposed, 100% of vote)

Vice President: Yasha Rowher (70.7% of vote)

Secretary: Matt Frye (unopposed, 100% of vote)

Treasurer: Kevin Pintong (unopposed, 100% of vote)

At-Large Representative, Klamath Falls: Kyle Chapman (58.2% of vote)

At-Large Representative, Non–Klamath-Falls: Andria Fultz (unopposed, 100% of vote)

Bylaws Approval: Approved (98% of vote)