UA, university reach agreement on a tentative contract

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The University of Oregon and United Academics, the union representing faculty, have reached a tentative contract agreement.

UA will take the tentative agreement to its membership in the coming weeks.

“We are very pleased to have reached a tentative agreement that strengthens both tenure-track faculty and career faculty employment as well as financial investments to support caregivers,” said Janet Woodruff-Borden, executive vice provost for academic affairs. “The successor contract supports our faculty and the critical work they do supporting academic and research pursuits.”

The tentative agreement, which builds on the previously agreed-upon multiyear salary increase plan for all faculty members, achieves several important goals. It strengthens career employment by providing continuous employment reviews with salary increase opportunities and establishes a new rank, teaching professor, which will be accompanied by opportunities to advance universitywide teaching practices and pedagogical innovation. It also commits to an internal salary equity study for career instructional faculty members.

Additionally, it invests in resources to support caregivers by establishing a fund to incentivize local care providers to launch or expand services in exchange for reserving space for UO families, provides membership access to Care.com and creates a fund to provide financial assistance for faculty members who incur additional child care or caregiving expenses related to university travel.

Finally, the terms of the agreement enhance the tenured faculty experience through clearer guidelines for tenure and post-tenure reviews, generous and consistent course load expectations around sabbaticals, and continued discussions around the tenure-reduction plan to enhance the transition to retirement.

“I am incredibly grateful to the members of the university’s and UA’s bargaining teams for their many hours of work to reach a tentative agreement,” said Mark Schmelz, chief human resources officer and associate vice president. “We have achieved an agreement that meets the needs of the university and our faculty members while remaining good stewards of student tuition and taxpayer dollars.”

In the months ahead and following a successful ratification vote, the Office of Human Resources will provide more details about the important changes to the contract and the implementation process.