Friday, October 28, 2011

Longest Day in Bargaining Yet

Today is bargaining session 13 between PSU-AAUP and PSU. We were originally scheduled to bargain from 9am to noon. It is now 2:30 and we are in a caucus waiting for the administration to respond to our last economic proposal.

We did, finally, get the excel spreadsheet that administration was using to cost our proposals. We were disappointed to find it to be so simplistic to be unusable. They have been pointing to this template as their guiding mandate from OUS. We can't understand how the template can guide anything. They are now promising to bring back their calculations why our proposal is too high at 3:30. We are displeased that we, still, can not replicate their calculations and will have to trust their math and their motive. This proved disasterous in 2009-11 bargaining when PSU pleaded poverty and ended up having their most profitable year in history- banking an unexpected $18 million.

Management seems to be more motivated than ever to settle. They called to schedule a mediator last Friday and mediator Robert Nightingdale is tentatively scheduled to come December 14. While at first we thought this was a bad thing and reflective only of management's animus against their employees, we now see the tentative date as perhaps an opportunity. Perhaps they are motivated to settle today because their threat of bringing in a mediator ultimately fell flat when we got his email with dates.

What remains startling to us is how management is so insensitive to the impact of their proposal on individuals. For such a large percentage of the bargaining unit PSU's last proposal will be a pay cut. PSU had record profits again this year of $54 million and faculty have gone 3 years with no salary raise and a 5 month paycut. These are people who create knowledge, perhaps one of our faculty members will create Oregon's next growth industry. It is ridiculous to alienate these people with stagnation and paycuts, especially when they can commad so much more in the national marketplace. Those who do leave increase their salary by more than 50% on average.

The only Higher Education leader to understand this with the import it warrants is UO President Richard Larriere. We applaud his bold action, his leadership, and his vision.

More later.