2021 Bargaining Diary

June 21, 2021:  Bargaining Session Report

Our latest bargaining meeting with the Oakland team was Friday, June 18, 2021. Oakland responded to some of our earlier proposals and submitted several new proposals to us. There was discussion between the teams and we will be responding at a future date.

This diary post is our longest to date; there were several proposals put on the table by Oakland that would have significant impacts on faculty working conditions.

New proposals by Oakland:

On the proposal to remove  department chairpersons from the Bargaining Unit, we have already informed Oakland that we do not wish to entertain such a proposal.  (Note: This  subject is not a mandatory topic of bargaining.) We will be reviewing the other proposals above and responding to them. 

Oakland presented counter-proposals to two of those we presented on May 26:

We are in the process of reviewing their responses.

We did TA a few more simple language items:

The two teams are set to meet again Wednesday, June 23rd.

 

June 10, 2021:  Bargaining Session Report

We met again across the (Zoom) table with the Oakland team on Wednesday, June 9, 2021.

Before going into what happened this week, a note about the process:  The final goal of bargaining is to reach a Tentative Agreement which will then be submitted to our membership for ratification.  Along the way, both sides may reach agreement on one part of the overall agreement and tentatively agree on, or “TA,” that item.

This week, we made a TA with Oakland’s team to leave the following unchanged: Articles I, III, VI, XXII, XXIII, XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX, XXX, XXXI, XXXII, and XXXIII and Appendices C, D, E, F, H, and J.

Oakland responded to two of our initial proposals and introduced one of their own:

 

June 3, 2021:  Bargaining Session Report

We met again across the (Zoom) table with the Oakland team on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. We expanded on proposals we introduced last week and presented two new items to the Oakland team. Oakland did not bring any proposals to the table. Below are the items we proposed this week:

 

May 27, 2021:  Report on First Bargaining Session

We met across the (Zoom) table with the Oakland team on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. We presented several items to the Oakland team. Oakland received our proposals but indicated they were not prepared to respond. They did not bring any proposals to the table.

Bargaining an agreement includes dealing with a wide range of issues. As we spent Winter Semester listening to you all, we heard a variety of concerns. There are, of course, the ever-present economic issues. There are also procedural matters that have an impact on our ability to do our work and problems that have arisen for faculty over the years of our current Agreement that we work to resolve.

Bargaining is a long process. All things in bargaining will be subject to constructive back-and-forth between the two teams. For our first proposals, we selected initial items that, in principle, should not be controversial, though we expect negotiation on the particulars.  Below are the items included in our initial proposals along with brief descriptions:

 

May 24, 2021

Bargaining has begun.  This past Friday, May 21st, we had an initial meeting with Oakland's team to discuss scheduling and ground rules.  Oakland's chief negotiator is Robert Boonin of Dykema Gosset PLLC and the other team members are Joi Cunningham, Peggy Cooke, Judy Didion, and James Hargett.

Wednesday we will be going to the table with our first proposals.  As promised at the Bargaing Rally, we will be keeping you informed about what we are doing in a transparent and timely fashion.  Expect new information to be released this week.

Thank you all for your continuing support.

 

May 6, 2021

Dear Bargaining Unit Members:

In preparation for bargaining, we commissioned a financial analysis of Oakland University from the national AAUP. Dr. Rudy Fichtenbaum, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Wright State University and past president of the national AAUP, conducted the study. His analysis, covering the period from fiscal years 2014–⁠2020, is posted on the OU AAUP chapter web site (direct link http://oaklandaaup.org/res/FinancialReport_OU2021.pdf). We encourage everyone to take some time to read this analysis as it offers a thorough review of Oakland’s financial situation, provides a straightforward explanation of the various components of the university’s financial statements, and makes informed comments about the possible financial effects of the pandemic.

This report confirms that Oakland’s financial state is strong.  Oakland's net assets (the difference between assets and liabilities) have grown steadily and consistently from 2001 to 2020. Of course, the full financial impact of the pandemic is not yet known, but the university came into the pandemic well-positioned to weather the crisis, and federal Covid-19 stimulus funds have undoubtedly offset some of the lost revenue.