Objection to proposed bargaining unit
We object to the inclusion of tenure-track faculty (TTF) in the proposed bargaining unit set forth by United Academics of University of Oregon, AAUP/AFT, AFL-CIO, on the following grounds:
(I) The proposed unit of employees is very broad, with different roles and functions within the University. These include full-time, part-time, and retired faculty, as well as faculty primarily engaged in research, others engaged in instruction, and some engaged in both. It is difficult to envision a single entity effectively representing the needs of all of these heterogeneous constituents. Moreover, the plan to include Officers of Research requires exclusion of TTF members who supervise ORs, but the mobility of faculty in and out of "supervisory" status, such as rotating terms as department heads, makes the composition of the proposed union unworkable.
(II) Employment decisions within the TTF are peer reviewed and are therefore fundamentally different from other proposed members of the bargaining unit. For example, TTF members make hiring, promotion and retention decisions about their peer TTF members. Non-TTF members are not typically involved in this type of decision making process, and in fact are commonly reviewed by TTF members.
(III) The proposed unit excludes Principal Investigators with supervisory authority and faculty in the School of Law. The basis for excluding these groups is unclear and inconsistent. Principal Investigators and faculty in the Law School have both a research and instructive role in their employment that is almost identical to other active tenure-track faculty members. Tenure track faculty included in the bargaining unit are more comparable to this excluded group than they are to other members included in the proposed unit such as Non-TTF faculty.
(IV) The manner in which TTF members are compensated is heterogeneous and not conducive to collective bargaining. Many TTF members trade-off salary with research and lab funding, so a one-size-fits-all collective agreement will limit TTF members' ability to make these decisions individually. Any attempt to standardize compensation contracts through a collective process will reduce the valuable flexibility that is built into the current system.
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