January 13, 2023
- We met with the administration yesterday and had a productive bargaining session
- Your work last semester pushing the administration to bargain seriously continues to pay off
- We made progress on job security, academic freedom, and other issues
- The administration continues to resist accepting basic standards for health and safety
We met with the administration’s bargaining team yesterday and had another productive session, building on our progress in December. This new energy at the bargaining table is a response to your work last semester to push the administration to bargain seriously.
We asked them a number of questions about their recent responses to our job security proposals, and we received answers that will allow us to formulate our response and continue working toward an agreement on these issues. We are optimistic about making progress on longer contracts and significant improvements to the renewal process for part-time and full-time non-tenure-stream faculty.
The administration also presented a counterproposal on academic freedom. This is the first time they have agreed to put real academic freedom protections into enforceable contract language. This is a core protection for our work, so it is significant that they have finally come to the table with a serious proposal. We will review their proposal and develop a response shortly.
We also had a productive discussion about an article on union rights, which spells out our union’s ability to communicate with faculty, hold meetings on campus, and access relevant information.
Finally, the administration presented language on health and safety that continues to disappoint us. We have made progress toward an agreement on many parts of this article, but we remain apart on the core standards protecting our workplace health and safety. Pennsylvania public sector workers are not covered by OSHA, and the Commonwealth does not have an equivalent law protecting workers like us, but the administration is still asking us to accept their assurances rather than agree to language ensuring a baseline of protections. This is an important priority and we will continue working to move them to a more reasonable position.
We will work with the Council of Representatives to review and respond to the administration's proposals. We hope you will reach out to your Council rep or CAT member with questions and ideas.
Again, our ability to win improvements at the bargaining table, on fundamental issues like job security and academic freedom, is due to the broader faculty showing the administration that you support these goals and will take steps to achieve them.
Your bargaining committee
Tyler Bickford (chair), Professor, English, Oakland
Nicholas Bircher, Part-time Professor, Nurse Anesthesia, Oakland
Lauren Collister, Faculty Librarian, ULS, Oakland
Lech Harris (secretary), Part-time Instructor, English, Oakland
James Hill (archivist), Visiting Assistant Professor, History, Oakland
Haitao Liu, Professor, Chemistry, Oakland
Sabrina Robinson, Part-time Instructor, Slavic, Oakland
Valerie Rossi (clerk), Teacher, Falk Laboratory School, Oakland
Evan Schneider, Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy, Oakland
Paul Scott, Assistant Professor, Health and Community Systems (Nursing), Oakland
Jeffrey Shook, Professor, Social Work, Oakland
Stacey Triplette, Associate Professor, Spanish, Greensburg
Abagael West, Teaching Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, Oakland