United Academics and UO reach tentative agreement on first collective bargaining contract

EUGENE, Ore. -- (Sept. 18, 2013) – The University of Oregon today announced a tentative agreement with the faculty union, United Academics, on a first-time collective bargaining contract. The contract is effective upon ratification next month and effective through June 30, 2015. 

"Our students benefit from the talents of professors who share their knowledge and passion for research and scholarship every day and this first contract reflects a fiscally responsible agreement that rewards excellence and invests in our faculty – strengthening the University of Oregon for all of our community," said UO President Michael Gottfredson. “ I look forward to continuing to work together to advance the UO as a premier public research university and a campus community that attracts and retains teachers, scholars and researchers who represent the highest levels of accomplishment and innovation in their fields."

United Academics was voluntarily recognized by the university and certified as the exclusive representative of the faculty bargaining unit in April 2012.  The bargaining unit includes approximately 1800 faculty members, including tenured, tenure track, non-tenure track and adjunct faculty at the university. The bargaining unit does not include law school faculty, faculty who are administrators and faculty who are supervisors. The university and United Academics held their first bargaining session in November 2012.

The terms of the agreement include:

  • Investing in faculty. Tenured and tenure-track faculty members would receive an average pay increase totaling 11.9 percent and non-tenure-track faculty members would receive an average pay raise totaling 12.4 percent through fiscal year 2015.
  •  Rewarding excellence. While all faculty members will receive across-the-board increases, the contract includes additional merit increases for faculty upon promotion or to recognize outstanding achievement. Tenured, tenure-track as well as non-tenure-track faculty would receive a minimum 8 percent salary increase upon promotion. Full professors would receive an increase of up to 8 percent at their first post-promotion review. The tentative agreement also ensures the integrity of the promotion and tenure process.
  • Promoting research. UO policies addressing academic freedom will now specifically include research as well as classroom instruction, reaffirming the principle that faculty must be able to pursue controversial subjects without fear of censorship or retaliation. The tentative contract also compensates faculty on sabbatical with 100 percent of salary during the first quarter, up from 85 percent.
  • Job security for non-tenured faculty. The university has offered non-tenure-track faculty longer contracts and a specified role in department governance.
  • PERS “pick-up.” The university and the union reached an agreement regarding the 6 percent PERS “pickup” should state law change.
  • Subsidized health care. Ninety-five percent of the cost of health insurance premiums will be paid by the university for the employee and all dependents.
  • Tuition discounts for dependents. Faculty already receiving a discounted tuition benefit for one dependent child attending an Oregon state university would qualify for discounted tuition for a second child enrolled in an undergraduate program at the University of Oregon.

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Brown, UO communications, 541-346-3185, julbrown@uoregon.edu

Note: The University of Oregon is equipped with an on-campus television studio with a point-of-origin Vyvx connection, which provides broadcast-quality video to networks worldwide via fiber optic network. In addition, there is video access to satellite uplink, and audio access to an ISDN codec for broadcast-quality radio interviews.