UO, faculty union agree on 2-year contract



EUGENE, Ore. — Faculty members at the University of Oregon will get raises of about 6 percent in each of the two years of a contract negotiated between the school and its new faculty union.

The agreement comes 17 months after the 1,800-member United Academics union representing UO faculty was certified by the state Employment Relations Board. The union plans an Oct. 8 ratification vote. The contract would be in place through June 2015, the Eugene Register-Guard reported Thursday.

Bargainers said they worked hard to reach agreement before classes start, on Sept. 30.

“On the whole, it was not the sort of contract that people walk away from kicking the dirt and saying, `We should have gotten more on all of this stuff,”‘ said philosophy professor Scott Pratt, a United Academics bargainer. “Both sides felt we really accomplished something.”

UO President Michael Gottfredson released a prepared statement that hailed the tentative deal as a “fiscally responsible agreement that rewards excellence and invests in our faculty.”

The proposed raises still leave UO faculty salaries behind those at similar universities, he said.

“We’ll begin to catch up,” Pratt said. “And faculty will begin to know they’ll be rewarded for outstanding performance — unlike the history of the last decade, where raises were occasional and all over the place, and the structure was not clear.”

Under the contract, untenured faculty members will remain on one-year contracts, but the university would be required to give reasons in writing for why it chose to not renew an instructor’s contract, Pratt said.

The university also would be required to notify instructors by May 1 whether their contract would be renewed the following fall — or the university would pay salary for every day it failed to give timely notice, Pratt said.