Update #28

Working Together To Advance The UO Commitment To Excellence

Barbara Altmann, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Professor of French
September 18, 2013

After 10 months at the bargaining table, the University and the faculty union, United Academics, have reached a tentative agreement on a first-time contract.

Both sides worked diligently to craft an agreement that will strengthen the University of Oregon well into the future by:

  • Investing in faculty. Tenured and tenure-track faculty members will receive an average pay increase totaling 11.9% and non-tenure-track faculty members will receive an average pay raise totaling 12.4% through fiscal year 2015. Those raises will be part of a careful and responsible budget that must meet many other needs within the institution.
  • Rewarding excellence. While all faculty members will receive across-the-board increases, the contract includes additional merit increases for faculty upon promotion or to recognize outstanding achievement. Tenured, tenure-track as well as non-tenure-track faculty will receive a minimum 8% salary increase upon promotion. Full professors can receive an increase of up to 8% at their first six-year post-promotion review. The tentative agreement also ensures the integrity of the promotion and tenure process.
  • Promoting research. UO policies addressing academic freedom will now specifically include research as well as classroom instruction, reaffirming the principle that faculty must be able to pursue controversial subjects without fear of censorship or retaliation. The tentative contract also compensates faculty on sabbatical with 100% of salary when taken for one quarter, up from 85%.
  • Improving job security for non-tenure-track faculty. The university has offered non-tenure-track faculty longer contracts.

Much of the discussion this past year has centered on shared governance. Importantly, the agreement supports that principle in several places as well as clearly assures non-tenure-track faculty members a role in governance.

When we began, the University had three basic goals for this process:

  • Enhance the University’s attractiveness for all its constituencies – from students to staff to alumni, supporters, and the community at large.
  • Encourage and reward the highest quality teaching, research, and community service.
  • Maintain a responsible and sustainable financial structure.

This tentative agreement achieves those goals. We are not finished, of course. There is still work to be done to be sure that the language in the agreement is clear.  Members of the bargaining unit will hold a vote next month to ratify it. Watch this page for updates or answers to frequently asked questions.

Through these months, we have achieved an open and productive relationship with United Academics that will serve us well in the future as we work together to ensure the University of Oregon advances its commitment to excellence.

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