BARGAINING

Bargaining Report #7 from Bargaining August 6, 2013

August 13, 2013 / Phil Lesch


At our seventh Bargaining Session, August 6, 2013, the PSU-AAUP Bargaining Team presented proposals for Article 17 (Academic Professionals) , Article 18 (Fixed-term and Research Faculty), New Article (Academic Quality), and New Article (Parental Leave and Catastrophic Leave Bank)

At the same session, the Administration also sent proposals for both Article 34 (Library Faculty Development Days)  and for Article 44 (Term of Agreement)

Other than our presentation of proposals that the Administration will consider, there was little else to report.  The librarians are considering the Administration’s proposal about their Development Days, and we will be making a counter-proposal.  We are eager to obtain better job security and longer notices for termination for both the non-tenure track faculty and the Academic Professionals.  We are working to secure parental leave and to expand leave options for catastrophic illness.  The Administration has opened numerous articles that they haven’t yet addressed with proposals.  Most significantly, our team has made several proposals that involve compensation, but the Administration believes that the time is not yet right for discussing financial matters.

NOTE:  Next Bargaining Session, September 10, 2013, 12:30-3:00 pm in Smith Memorial Center, room 296

Here are summaries of the day’s negotiations:

Article 17 (Academic Professionals):  Given the response from the Administration from our July 3 bargaining session we decided to propose changes one section of the article at a time.  In this last session, we proposed only to alter Section 5 of Article 17 with the focused purpose of extending the notice of termination.  The weak job market will require longer search periods for job replacement.  We had proposed that for Academic Professionals with 1 to 3 years of service be given 150 calendar days notice of termination.  This is an increase from the current 120 days notice, but a decrease from 180 days notice that we had proposed earlier.  For those members with 3 or more years of service, we proposed 270 days notice which is an increase from the current 180 days notice, but again, it is significantly reduced from the 360 days notice that we proposed earlier.

The Administration is considering our proposal.

Article 18 (Non-Tenure Track Faculty and Research Faculty):  Similarly, given the response from the Administration from our July 3 bargaining session, we decided to propose changes one section of the article at a time.  In this last session, we proposed only to alter Section 7 of Article 18 with the focused purpose of extending the notice of termination of appointment.  While we had proposed that non-tenure track faculty be awarded 3-year rolling contracts after 3 or more years of service, in the July 2 session, the Administration proposed the following notices of termination of employment: 

Less than 1 year of service                 30 days
1 to 3 years of service                        One full academic term
3 or more years of service                  Two full academic terms

The Administration’s proposal diminishes the periods of notice of renewal currently practiced.  On August 6, the AAUP Bargaining Team proposed that Notice of Termination be amended as follows:

Less than 3 years of service              4 academic terms
3 to 5 years of service                      6 academic terms
More than 5 years of service             9 academic terms

The AAUP Collective Bargaining Team also proposed that there be specific limits placed on the Administration’s mid-contract reductions of full-time non-tenure track faculty FTE.  The obligation of full-time faculty to devote themselves to their work at PSU should be reciprocated with PSU’s obligation to guarantee their contracts at least to the following levels of commitment:

Full Time (1.0 FTE) Non-Tenure Track Faculty Members shall not have their FTE reduced below the FTE amounts established below:

Less than 3 years of service                              0.75 FTE  unless otherwise requested by the faculty member
3 to 5 years of service                                         0.90 FTE unless otherwise requested by the faculty member
More than 5 years of service                             1.00 FTE unless otherwise requested by the faculty member

The Administration is considering our proposal.


New Article (Academic Quality):

We proposed a new article to our contract that explicitly addresses AAUP’s role in the continuing improvement of academic quality.  This article is intended to both involve and compliment the work of the Faculty Senate in this important regard.  We proposed limits to class size and student/instructor ratios; a reduction in faculty course loads; a return to 1999/2000 student-faculty ratios; a gradual increase to 80% of PSU faculty that will be tenure-related; and a gradual increase of faculty salaries toward 99% of the average of our comparators by 2019. 

We also proposed three separate task forces be established to develop recommendations for our next contract.  They are as follows:

Faculty Research Support Task Force:  2 from Faculty Senate, 2 from AAUP, 2 from Administration

Charge: Develop recommendations for the next contract to improve research support consistent with PSU comparator institutions.

Online Courses, Awarding of Credit for Prior Experience, and Intellectual Property Task Force:  2 from Faculty Senate, 2 from AAUP, 2 from Administration, 2 from Association of Students of Portland State University (ASPSU)

Charge: Develop recommendations for development, delivery, and compensation for Online Courses, for review of the awarding of credit for prior experience, and to develop policies for protecting intellectual property in all course development. 

Administrator Evaluations Task Force:  2 from Faculty Senate, 2 from AAUP, 2 from Administration, 2 from Association of Students of Portland State University (ASPSU)
Charge: Develop recommendations for the next contract to establish evaluation procedures and criteria for the evaluation of all administrators from Department Chairs to the President on regular time cycles.

At the August 6 session, the ASPSU student representative spoke in support of this article.

The Administration is considering our proposal.

New Article (Parental Leave and Catastrophic Leave Bank):

We proposed a new article that will bring PSU policy on leaves closer to those of other Oregon State Institutions of Higher Education.  Specifically, with one or two minor changes, we proposed the same parental leave benefits currently enjoyed by our colleagues at the University of Oregon.  We also proposed the establishment of a Catastrophic Leave Bank (CLB) similar to our colleagues at Western Oregon University.  The CLB proposal is identical to the proposal that our team developed collaboratively with the Administration two contracts ago.  It is intended to provide assistance to our members who, on the very rare occasion, have exhausted all other leave and still have to deal with a catastrophic illness of themselves or of a close family member.

The Administration is considering our proposal.

Article 34 (Library Development Days):

On July 3, AAUP proposed that Library tenure-track faculty have 15 research days and non-tenure track faculty 10 research days each year.  We also proposed that university closure days should not affect the librarians differently than other faculty in our bargaining unit.  They ought not to suffer the loss of vacation or salary due to university closure.  During the August 6 session, the Administration responded with their proposal that tenure-track faculty have 8 research days and non-tenure track faculty have 5 research days each year.  They denied our request that the Librarians have parity with other faculty during university closure.

The Librarians are considering this proposal, and we will address this article again.

Article 44 (Term of Agreement):

The Administration put forward a proposal to extend the new contract from the date of ratification through August 31, 2015.

AAUP is considering this proposal.

Next Bargaining Session #8, Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 12:30-3:00 pm, Smith Memorial Center, Room 296


SUPPORT AAUP BARGAINING: Please attend bargaining sessions.  Stay as long as you can.  Bring your colleagues, please.  Your presence makes a difference!