Impact Bargaining Update: Progress, but no full agreement yet

At the April 9 bargaining session, the Board of Trustees’ (BOT) bargaining team offered a counter-proposal to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) our bargaining team proposed last week. The teams are not yet in full agreement, but they are making progress.
Most significantly, the BOT team has agreed to include in a final MOU the provost’s proposal of a one-year extension to the probationary period for faculty who are tenure-accruing or permanent-status-accruing. This means that once the MOU is ratified, the extension will become legally binding, and faculty may file a grievance if it is not applied fairly and evenly.
Perhaps the most significant disagreement lies in the area of performance evaluations:

  • We propose that there be no negative impacts on a faculty member’s performance evaluation during the COVID-19 health emergency, when teaching and research have been—and will continue to be—significantly disrupted. There may be positive impacts, particularly regarding teaching. 
  • They propose that disruptions caused by the emergency be acknowledged by department chairs and directors in the normal course of performance evaluation, and that faculty amend their annual activity reports to explain how the emergency has affected their teaching and research. 

We think our proposal is fairer, as it will not rely on discretion and interpretation, which may vary considerably from unit to unit. And we think it is easier to implement, which is an important consideration at a time when all faculty, including chairs and directors, must continue to deal with enduring and emerging disruptions.
The next bargaining session will take place on Thursday April 16 at 3:00 p.m. I encourage you to attend this meeting, which is open to the public. Here is the Zoom link:

— Raúl Sánchez, Chapter President