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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

UT AAUP "Updation"

Forgive the format change, please--Bloggie

To: Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty
From: Linda Rouillard, Vice President, UT-AAUP
Date: December 15, 2014
We recently reported that the BOT had filed for fact-finding. Now, they want to return to the table with a mediator. The first meeting with the mediator takes place on Wednesday, December 17.
Here is a summary of recent BOT proposals for tenure/tenure-track compensation and health benefits

BOT proposal in August 2014
BOT proposal (last, final) on September 26, 2014
Back Pay
                a 3% increase in 2014, 1% in 2015, and 1% in 2016 - a total of 5% across-the-board for the next three years
                $2000 applied to base, then 2.7% in year 1, followed by 2% in year 2, and 2% in year 3

                a total of 1.5% for Merit over three years and 1.5% for Faculty Excellence Awards over three years

                no merit pay, but a possible extra 1% in year 2, and 1% in year 3, should there be a 2% increase in enrollment

Health Care
                employee contribution to health care would increase to 20%
                employee contribution to health care would increase to 20%
Summer Teaching
                capped at $2800 per credit hour
                capped at $2800 per credit hour

As we reported in our two members' meetings in early September 2014, the majority of members responding to our survey about the BOT August 2014 proposal indicated that they would not be willing to accept a contract with such provisions.
Faculty hired since 2010 have seen no raises since their arrival. Faculty members who have devoted their careers to UT have had no raises in 4 years because the Jacobs' Administration, with the BOT's blessing, was determined to beat down the union.
On the other hand, the BOT has allowed administrators to richly reward each other. In fiscal year 2013-2014, as the Administration continued to drag out our negotiations, the BOT approved over $3 million in pay increases for approximately 240 individuals. More specifically, the BOT
    gave the VP/General Counsel a $29,040 raise or a 15% increase;
    moved an Executive Associate Dean to an Associate Vice Provost position---at an additional cost of $35,000 or a 23.3% increase;
    promoted an Associate Dean to an Associate Provost with a salary increase of over $41,399 or a 40% increase;
    promoted a VP for Medical Affairs and Associate Dean to Chief Operating & Clinical Officer and Senior Associate Dean - accompanied by a $45,000 raise or a 14% increase;
    promoted the Associate Dean of the College of Medicine to Interim Dean -added cost of $102,770 or a 65% increase.
If UT's budget can handle these kinds of increases, it can afford to recognize the hard work of the faculty.
The $3 million in pay increases to anyone but union faculty would fund close to a 6% raise for our 600 bargaining unit members whose total salaries were approximately $51 million in FY2014.
Our UT-AAUP 2008-2011 contract provided 3% annual raises. No raises in 4 years at 3% of $51 million amounts to $6.12 million. Administrators have had this money long enough; it's time to share.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that it seems to be legally possible to have some of the provisions of the old contract in force, but not all of them: specifically the yearly 3% salary increase has not been honored, there has been no merit pay, etc. And, to state the obvious, the pay increases administers have awarded themselves have been paid for out of faculty pockets, i.e. by not granting any pay increases the past few years the administrators have funded their own pay increases. On a related topic, I do think it was a very bad move in the last contract to have summer pay figured out as a basic 10% of the faculty member's yearly salary per class. There are a lot of lower level classes taught during the summer and faculty with high two figure and even three figure salaries were taking home 10k for teaching a class a lecturer was teaching for 1/3 of that. If faculty are going to be receiving that kind of pay for a class, the class should be an advanced undergrad or grad class, not a 1st or 2nd year class. What's more, such high salaries ate up the funds available for summer teaching. I have no problem with a flat rate for summer teaching and the 20% health contribution bump, but the rest is just ka ka as far as I'm concerned, and needs to be renegotiated.

Anonymous said...

Remember, a rising tide raises all boats. It is never a good idea to settle for less in an attempt to "equalize" pay against someone else who makes more. Someday you will be a senior faculty member and you will have given away your future higher income when it counts the most (the highest years that determine your pension amount).

Anonymous said...

The $2000 in the second offer looks like an attempt to address one of the critical issues for the union and members: no raises of any sort for the last 3 years. For the lowest salaried faculty, this has cost them $4500, and clearly the $2000 bump proposed by administration, given the largesse granted fellow administrators, should have been, and was, rejected.

Anonymous said...

@8:16, A huge percentage of faculty hired in the past two decades are not in the retirement system. Most of us have the alternate plan. In fact, the UT-AAUP, the administration, and the state seem to forget about us except when it comes time to rob our retirement accounts to pay the people currently in the state system. For those of us in the alternate retirement plans, we need the money now. This is the only retirement money that we get.

Anonymous said...

UT AAUP has done little for those in the alternate retirement plans. Where is the education to administration on this issue? I've spoken to deans and administrators who had no clue on this. Does UT and the state not realize that there will be a generation of faculty who will delay retirement until they are no longer healthy enough to work (raising salary and health care costs)? These people will not be able to afford to retire in their 60's. Most will not get much if any Social Security and their $200-300k retirement accounts will be all the money that they have.

Anonymous said...

"Interesting that it seems to be legally possible to have some of the provisions of the old contract in force, but not all of them: specifically the yearly 3% salary increase has not been honored, there has been no merit pay, etc."

That is because in the previous contract (as in past ones) the annual base and merit increases were tied to specific years (for example it would state "August 2009" in the contract), thus the contract terms could be kept in place after it ended without specific salary increases. It has been standard in previous years that both parties would agree to keep contract provisions in place once expired and negotiations were on going.

Anonymous said...

I was hired in the last two decades and in STRS as are many of my colleagues, do we have any idea how many faculty are in either retirement plan>

Anonymous said...

You elected not to be in STRS. It was your choice. Now you are regretting it. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

7AM: Those people made a decision based on one set of rules. The state changed the rules of the game in 2013. These faculty members were harmed and given no chance to adjust their decision. Do you not see where they would find it unfair?

Anonymous said...

Will people who are no longer at UT get back pay for the time they worked without a contract or raise?

Anonymous said...

Of course! Any those who died of embarrassment or from excessive eye-rolling while serving under the Jacobs Regime will be disinterred and rehired with back pay and given their old desk jobs back. And, their burial fees will be paid in full. Sadly, those who were cremated and scattered to the winds are dumb out of luck as UT-AAUP can only be expected to do so much.

Anonymous said...

From my reading of the info provided by the UT-AAUP the salary increases and new admin salaries listed DO NOT include the golden parachute given to Jacobs (which I understand to be, basically, a lifetime thing) and I'll bet that if all of Jacobs expenditures were brought into the light of day the numbers would be double or triple. I'm happy with the job UT-AAUP is doing on my behalf in these negotiations - they recognized the administration was bluffing with it's take it or leave it fact finding ploy and I think a better offer will be forthcoming. Our reps spend a lot of time and energy in these negotiations and don't receive a fraction of the compensation they should receive given what they have been put through. It's always easy to blame the messengers, but everyone needs to keep in mind that it's the administration that is at fault here. They stalled initially to give that senate bill destroying unions a chance to pass and then they kept stalling, hoping to exhaust the funds and patience of the union. What I really wish for is an independent audit of the last few years.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Coach

Anonymous said...

All due respect: JdS Convenes a Meeting of the Five Academic Families to Broker a Holiday Peace Accord

How did things ever get so far? I don’t know. It was so unfortunate – so unnecessary…

I would like to thank all the members of The Academic Commission and our other various associates from around the country for agreeing to attend this important academic peace summit.

We are pleased to welcome the Dons of the Five Academic Families – Don Vinnie “The Soprano” Caruso from the Arts, Don Dante “The Little Inferno” Notabene from the Humanities, Don Joey “The Shrink” Cognoscenti from the Social Sciences – as well as Don Carmine “The Mechanic” Maserati and Don Pauli “The Mad Scientist” Vermicelli representing our friends in STEM.

We are also honored to have representatives from our assorted associates in the professional schools, Don Louie “Fuggedaboudit” Omerta from Law, Don Anthony “The Big Sleep” Soporifico from Pharmacy – and all the rest of the Dons, Consigliari and Capos.

And most of all we would like to thank our esteemed Capo di Tutti Capi, Don Sonny “Door Test” LoSpecchio, for convening our meeting here today.

But first, please allow me to introduce myself to those of you who may not know me. My name is Benny “JdS” Sobeleone. And just to show how far back our friendship goes, below is a brief clip showing my own first meeting with Sonny and The Commission – before I made my bones with La Famiglia Academia:

So now on to matters of business. What is the source of all our troubles? Some of you have accused me of being a maverick and of not respecting the rules and traditions of La Academia Nostra.

My associates and I have been called racist and sexist and bigot and fascist. We have been accused of being against higher education and the arts, humanities and social sciences and against women and minorities and gays and the poor and the working class and against social justice and equal rights and everything else – and of being a shill for extremist right wing views.

Nothing could be further from the truth. We have also been falsely accused by gossips and rumor mongers of various personal transgressions.

All of these accusations are false – based on misrepresentation, misunderstanding and lies. My harsh criticisms of education and the arts, humanities, political correctness and so on have all been made because my associates and I care about the greater good of everyone – of all people and all groups of people.

What many of you do not know is we have also been harshly critical of certain fundamental views commonly held by conservatives. But our criticisms have been focused primarily against the academic left because the members of La Famiglia Academia tend to be myopic with regard to their own deeply engrained biases, prejudices and erroneous leftist politically correct ideologies – and desperately in need of objective honest criticism.

So where is my guilt? When did I ever refuse an accommodation – except this one time? And why?

Because I believe all this Marxist-Feminist Postmodernism and all the political correctness and the identity politics nonsense – I believe all of this is bad for business – bad for everyone – bad for all the different academic families and identity groups – dividing them all internally against one another and dividing all of us externally against one another.

Identity politics tends to recreate the Hobbesian “red in tooth and claw” law of the jungle – a modern Tower of Babel where nobody can communicate in a reasoned and civilized manner with anyone else and where all are up in arms against all.


Anonymous said...

Respect 2.

We used to speak of human rights – now we speak only of women’s rights, or minority rights, or worker’s rights or gay rights – only the rights of specific identity groups aligned against others – focusing on our differences rather than our common humanity which binds us all together.

I believe this is destroying us and will continue to destroy us and our thing – La Academia Nostra – as well as our great nation in the years to come.

And I believed that then and I believe that now. Witness this video clip of our very own Don Salvatore “Badda-Boom Badda-Bing” Vitti, having a sit-down with one of our friends from the Cultural Enforcement Division.

As you will see, our friend tells Dean Vitti point blank that taking down postmodern academic scores can simply no longer be condoned:

I mean, this is not like the old days of the traditional arts, humanities and social sciences and the other areas of academia.

Everyone was willing to go along with all that – even with the old Two Cultures divide and the sometimes admittedly quaint and idealistic old fashioned academic pretensions.

But when it comes to these postmodern pseudo-intellectual narcotics and the pseudo-academic and even old school traditional disciplines selling them to the young and to the general public – this even our good friends will not condone.

The troubles all began in the 1960s when some of the Young Turks began defying the old guard and turning our thing – our respectable La Famiglia Academia enterprise, into a cynical, politicized social engineering experiment, diploma mass production operation and Marxist-Feminist Postmodern indoctrination and cattle drive industry.

Keep movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them students movin' Rawhide!
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just rope and throw and brand' em,
Then give ‘em a degree at the end of their ride.

Then, as we all know, things really got out of hand during the 1980s, during the heyday of the Dapper Dons and Deans of Deconstruction. And it was all downhill from there.

So, what did JdS do? We spoke plainly and truthfully about these regrettable developments.

We asked our academic friends and associates “Why would you buy into all that Marxist-Feminist Postmodern Theory gobbledygook anyway?” Almost invariably, we received the same answer:

We confronted the elitist academic bullies, who believe themselves above question and above accountability – who brandished their academic status and credentials like medieval clerics, to control and intimidate the people:

We exposed the egregious mismanagement of some of the academic families:

We condemned the blatant sophistry, intellectual dishonesty and lies:

We called for transparency and helped uncover the nefarious activities of the campus and community Facebook Mean Girls and other assorted academic demagogues:

We exposed academic phonies, charlatans and fakes…

…and deflated their pretensions: Yes, Dr. Poseur, your Marxist-Feminist Postmodern theories are all very impressive…

And to those who continue blowing academic mumbo-jumbo voodoo smoke –pronouncing priestly PC incantations and casting postmodern theoretical evil spells to impress and intimidate the cowering natives – we said:

Believing the pen to be mightier than the sword, we launched an artillery barrage of well-referenced blog posts and deployed a fearsome arsenal of humor and parody…


Anonymous said...

Respect 3

And to those who continue blowing academic mumbo-jumbo voodoo smoke –pronouncing priestly PC incantations and casting postmodern theoretical evil spells to impress and intimidate the cowering natives – we said:

Believing the pen to be mightier than the sword, we launched an artillery barrage of well-referenced blog posts and deployed a fearsome arsenal of humor and parody…

We initially attempted to provide an alternative voice through open, conventional means – but the PC Thought Police soon tracked us down…

So we tried to fight for truth justice and the American way of life even after being forced underground:

We tried to save the day any way we could …

And tried to do the right, heroic thing – to save the damsel Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom, from the clutches of the nefarious purveyor of postmodern relativism, Snidely Whiplash:

But let’s face it – there are those among us who have difficulty thinking outside the box and accepting new ideas…

…and those who can tend to over-react to healthy constructive criticism…

And there are those among us who are simply more difficult to reason with than others…

And with people like this it is admittedly sometimes necessary to take a stand…

…and on occasion to resort to the regrettable application of even more persuasive methods…

Such unfortunate misunderstandings have caused some to demonize us and cast us in an unflattering light…

At times we felt misunderstood and unappreciated…

…and on occasion very alienated and alone…

We went to sometimes extraordinary lengths to try to extricate ourselves from the tangled web of lies:

We battled the evil forces of gossip and memetic epidemiology…

We could not abide the manic, ranting psycho-babble from the postmodern minions…

And for all this our methods were summarily condemned as “unsound”.

We even tried to get out…

…but alas…

There are those who may never understand us or forgive us for speaking inconvenient truth to power. To them we can only say: “It’s not you, it’s me…”

And so… given our long and contentious history, I hoped that we could come here and reason together – and as a reasonable man I am willing to do whatever is necessary to find a peaceful solution to our problems… and to remain inside the circle of trust…

So it is agreed – the various Deans can instruct their respective academic families and soldiers to trade in Marxist-Feminist Postmodern Theory among themselves in their own territories if they must – because after all we believe in free speech and the free expression of ideas – and we are not totalitarian Marxist central planners.

But the PC ideological narcotics trade will be respectable and controlled and politically correct propaganda will not be sold to the young in schools and universities.


Anonymous said...

Respect 4

You talk about vengeance. Will the continued use of divisive inflammatory rhetoric and playing the race and gender cards and deploying other unscrupulous identity politics tactics undo the misdeeds and injustices of the past. No. This will only perpetuate the unnecessary and un-American divisiveness among the different groups who make up the great American democratic melting pot.

So, again in the interest of the greater good and in the spirit of human kindness and understanding, I hereby forgo the right to vendetta for all the many unjust personal and professional slanders and indignities we have suffered at the hands of the PC Thought Police and Campus and Community Mean Girl Facebook Gossips and other assorted community hate mongers, who have misrepresented and maligned and slandered us over the years.

And I have selfish reasons. I intend to systematically clear my name and the name of my family against any and all false charges and accusations which may have been brought against us – none of which have been formally made or formally substantiated – but only widely circulated by false rumor mongers, believing and spreading false lies about us for no other true reason than that they and their leaders could not prevail against us fairly and openly in the civil forum of reasoned public intellectual discourse – and so they resorted to underhanded lies and gossip.

But I am a superstitious man – and if after we have made our peace here today, some unhappy accident should befall me or members of my family… if one of us should “accidentally” be hit in the head by a falling piece of postmodern art – or if we should be struck by a dialectical materialist bolt of lightning, or if we should be chased down a blind alley by someone driving a car with a “Well behaved women seldom make history” bumper sticker…

…Then I am going to blame some of the people reading this blog – and that I do not forgive.

But all that aside… let me say that I swear, upon the sacred holy breasts of Sofia Vergara, that I will not be the one to break the peace we have made here today.

I do not presume there will not be future contentiousness and disagreements And being a pragmatic man, I have accordingly taken all the necessary precautions against any such unforeseen contingencies or calamities – as is only befitting anyone associated with The Firm:

Expect the best, plan for the worst – as they say. So in closing, I leave you all in good faith and in the spirit of the holiday season – which enjoins each of us to embrace peace on Earth and good will towards all – and not to whack anybody at least until the New Year.

On behalf of La Famiglia Academia and the Commission of the Five Academic Families – I leave you with this holiday blessing:

May the Academic PC Thought Police Grand Jury always find insufficient evidence to indict you.

May you always be cleared of all the false charges brought against you by The Mean Girls, gossips, slanderers, bullies and Sowers of Discord.

And may all your academic enemies and cranky colleagues spend the New Year sleeping with the fishes – swamped with endless administrative meetings, tormented by incessant PowerPoint presentations, denied sabbaticals and drowned beneath torrents of meaningless bureaucratic busywork.

Happy holidays.

Cara Mia - Salud!


Anonymous said...

The UT-AAUP has a diverse membership and they also, as I recall, negotiate for the lecturers. Tenure track faculty have wildly different backgrounds, interests, salaries, retirement benefits, choose different health benefit plans, come from different generations, family situations, etc. No contract will or has ever pleased every single member since every single member has a different economic outlook. However I do agree that if, indeed, 2k was the admins nod to the last few years salary freeze, that number needs to be increased before a contract can be seriously considered. and I believe, most agree.

Anonymous said...

I've only followed the negotiations casually, as I don't know any of the negotiators personally and only used to chat with one in the halls or the fitness center. I used to see and talk with Mary Jane back in the day. However, from what I did know during the first year - two years of the negotiations, the old contract was much better than any of the contracts the administration offered. And I'm not ready to give up and admit I've been worn out and accept the conclusion "any new contract is better than no new contract." I believe we (faculty) do have leverage and our negotiators should use it to get a contract that both includes a decent back pay lump sum that exceeds the health care increase and a cost of living increase for the length of the contract. on UT AAUP "Updation"

Anonymous said...

Any updates on status of meetings of UTAAUP and management with mediator?

Anonymous said...

So, according to the Blade's Keith Burris, Nagi isn't a "liberal arts" kinda guy. He's a "prepare for the workplace" kinda guy.

I guess he's not heard from those employers who want graduates with those "liberal arts" kinda qualities!

Nagi would like to do for UT what he's done for engineering. Isn't that what Kapoor wanted to do?

Do we have to go through this again?

Anonymous said...

I strongly suspect that the administration is going to play out the academic year with no contract given the number of retirees. It is in their interest to not give raises to those about to retire. Next year, there might be a contract.

Anonymous said...

RE: Burris' column, he also said this of Nagi's possible presidency: "It would mean warmth, but maybe not fire. And UT needs fire." We've had fire aplenty here, thank you. How much scorched earth does Burris need? Or how many lives spun downward thanks to "You're fired" pink slips? I would trust UT to Nagi far more than I would trust Burris and his corporate masters to publicize the follies of this Board.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure the administration can drag out the no contract status for months. If mediation fails with no deal agreed to, we end up back in fact finding and if the fact finder produces a decision that either party rejects, UT can set the contract and UT AAUP can accept that our go on strike. Once mediation fails, the fact finding process could be completed with a month or two, you could be facing potential strike before end of spring term if it comes to that. Personally I am not sure enough UT AAUP members would vote to strike if they saw the late deal turned down by the UTAAUP leadership, but who knows. Of course in my view the UTAAUP and its members are crazy if they think that they will get any support from other unions or the public for a strike when the average UT faculty member makes $88,000 and has really good benefits, health care and pension (compared to the public and other union members in the community) even with the small rises and increase in heath care costs with the last offer.