U of Oregon Faculty Reach Tentative Agreement on First Contract

The University of Oregon United Academics faculty union (http://uauoregon.org/) reached tentative agreement on its first contract with the UO administration last week, after 10 months of negotiation. Union members will vote October 8 on ratifying  the agreement. [Update: the contract was approved in that vote, on 10/08/2013.] The two-year agreement covers more than 1800 faculty and other academic employees. It guarantees:

– salary increases averaging about 12% in place by Fall 2014,

– increased promotion raises,

– minimum salary levels for non-tenure track faculty, and multi-year contracts for many of them,

– robust protections for academic freedom and free speech, and

– that the University will continue paying 95% of the cost of health insurance premiums for eligible faculty and dependents.

The salary program strongly emphasizes merit. Raises include 1.5% per year across the board increases for everyone, for three years, with the remainder of the increase distributed through annual merit pools, plus some for equity.

“Fundamentally, this contract is about transparency and making policies enforceable at the University of Oregon,” noted Deborah Olson, an Instructor in Special Education and member of the United Academics negotiating team. “We organized as a union because faculty at UO want a voice and a vote on the important policies the affect our work. This agreement achieves that.”

Members will vote soon to decide their union dues. The University of Oregon will make a substantial contribution to the costs of negotiating the first contract.

This tentative agreement shows the progress a union and university administration can make when they sit down together to solve important problems. We call on the administration at UI-Chicago to demonstrate a similarly positive attitude and settle their long-running contract negotiations with the UIC-United Faculty union!

More detail on the U Oregon contract: http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/files/2013/01/FAQ-9.23.13-vzht2r.pdf

Published by Susan Davis

I teach in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois.

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