Negotiation Updates

The Universities' Bargaining Team firmly believes in transparent negotiations. We will post our summaries of the negotiations along with occasional links to proposals or tentative agreements within approximately one week from the last day of the negotiations session.  Hopefully our posts will have the effect of opening negotiations to everyone.

Below is the schedule of negotiations that the parties have agreed to so far and summaries of the negotiation sessions that have already occurred.  Please check back here for summaries of future negotiation sessions.

 

Schedule:

September 23 & 24: Oregon State University (Cascades)

October 7 & 8: University of Oregon

October 21 & 22: Southern Oregon University

November 16 & 17: Portland State University 

December 2 & 3: Western Oregon University 

December 16 & 17: Oregon State University

 

Summary of Negotiations:

September 23 & 24.

The Universities and Union met Thursday and Friday, September 23 and 24, to kick-off negotiations for a successor collective bargaining agreement.  The atmosphere during the two days of negotiations was upbeat and positive.  The session began with each member of the bargaining teams providing an in-depth introduction of themselves and the Universities’ Bargaining Team appreciated getting to know the new Union team members as well as learning more about those returning from the last round of negotiations. 

Following introductions each party gave an opening statement that reflected their priorities and challenges.  The Universities opening statement can be found here

The parties worked most of Thursday on finalizing ground rules for the negotiations.  In a commitment to working on a respectful bargaining process, the parties’ agreed to include a Code of Conduct as part of the final Ground Rules.  This is the first time in recent history that the parties committed to a Code of Conduct and it appears both parties are eager to enjoy a productive working relationship. 

On Friday, the parties exchanged a number of proposals.  The Union presented changes to the parking, mutual respect, holidays, and differential pay articles.  They also presented a Letter of Agreement on Pandemic Recognition Pay.  The Universities provided mostly clarifying changes to the non-discrimination, payroll procedures, position descriptions, and safety/health articles. 

The parties’ agreed to several dates and locations to continue the negotiations, all of which can be found above.  The next session is set for October 7 and 8 at the University of Oregon. 

  

October 7 & 8.

The Universities and Union met Thursday and Friday, Oct. 7 and 8 to continue negotiations.  A great deal of work was done by both teams as they entered these negotiations and during each teams’ caucus time, and was supported by the exchange of proposals addressing changes in 20 separate collective bargaining agreement articles or letters of agreement.    

Most notable of proposed changes sought by the Universities’ bargaining team includes restructuring Article 18: Grievance and Arbitration to require a greater exchange of information at the lowest level of the grievance procedure. The Universities seek this change as they have a strong interest in seeing disputes be resolved at the lowest level, without needing to escalate a grievance through the steps or to arbitration.  Additionally, to insure consistent compliance with certain statutes, the Universities’ bargaining team proposed that certain investigations, such as those within Title IX, must follow procedures outlined within that statute and its regulations, not the collective bargaining agreement. However, in the event that a Title IX investigation may result in an employment action, related provisions in the collective bargaining agreement would be followed. 

The Universities’ bargaining team also proposed changes to Article 8: No Strike/No Lockout.  The changes sought are to identify prohibited work stoppages during the term of the collective bargaining agreement; require picketing to occur only after expiration of the agreement; and make certain that the no strike language applies during negotiations that occur while the agreement is in place. The last change will provide the Universities more flexibility to pivot in response to necessary changes due to certain events, like the pandemic. 

Other articles presented by the Universities’ Bargaining team, related to negotiations procedures, personnel records, discipline and discharge and trial service articles.

The Union presented changes to articles related to legislative action, bereavement leave, overtime, and employer rights. 

As negotiations progress and the parties continue to exchange proposals, some matters may involve more in depth changes that could be viewed as controversial or invoke unenthusiastic reactions. In their opening statements last month, and as conveyed in agreed to bargaining ground rules, the Universities and Union bargaining teams agree to maintain respect for each other and the process in order to actively listen to underlying reasons for proposed changes and engage in conversations and achieving solutions that will improve outcomes and adherence.

The parties are set to meet next week, Oct. 21 and 22, at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. 

 

October 21 & 22.