LOA on Student Consultation Hours (2023-2024)

On October 23rd, Provost Coll shared a letter titled “Academic Affairs Return 2024” which laid out WOU’s expectations for staff and faculty to limit remote work whenever possible.

In this letter, Provost Coll stated that NTT faculty “who do not have service or advising responsibilities” would be exempt from the requirement of holding one hour per week of scheduled office hours in-person and on-campus, but changing any WOU faculty’s workload in this manner is likely to be a violation of the CBA.

While WOUFT appreciates and shares Provost Coll’s focus on student success, and feels this violation was accidental, the CBA defines scheduled office hours as a part of teaching for all covered faculty—not as part of service or advising. We are also leery of a stopgap measure that might have unintended impacts on faculty’s ability to connect with students over instruction-related questions, making it harder for students to succeed academically.

As a result, we have worked with the provost on a formal Letter of Agreement (LOA) about office hours, which you can find on the provost’s web page or on our website.

Ultimately, WOUFT wanted to approach the issue of office hours and fair compensation for faculty more holistically—all faculty teach students and support student success and contact hours are one way we do that. Our CBA has always defined contact hours as what is outlined in Article 7, Section 4.A.5.  

We want to move towards a contact hours policy that is student-driven and supports equitable faculty workload, taking advantage of the range of modalities and technologies that are afforded to us now. So we landed on the LOA signed above, which provides greater flexibility for all instructors based on student need connected to course modality. 

We hope to refine this further during bargaining, and we’re committed to making workload and compensation for all faculty, including those classified as NTT faculty, a priority during bargaining. We also hope this LOA provides faculty more flexibility in the meantime in working with and supporting students.

Please reach out if you have any questions.

Thank you!  Your WOUFT Executive Council

WOUFT Listening Sessions

In preparation for bargaining, WOUFT Executive Council is holding listening sessions with NTT faculty and chairs.

The WOUFT Executive Council invites all faculty, NTT and TT, to attend any of the following listening sessions so that we can better understand your needs and priorities as we go into bargaining. You do not have to be a member of WOUFT to attend these sessions!

October 12: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
October 25: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
November 17: 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

All listening sessions are held on Zoom. Please contact Melanie Landon-Hays, WOUFT President, for access.

As a bargaining team, a primary focus of our deep dive into the contract is to look for places of inequity and lack of transparency that we might fix in the upcoming bargaining session. Your insights could be helpful. As you know, bargaining is a negotiation with administration, and we aren’t promised we will get our “asks” when we bargain so we won’t provide false hope, but we will provide real hope that conscientious conversations that are well considered do make a difference in bargaining to move our contract forward.

WOUFT Fall General Membership Meeting

WOUFT will hold its fall membership meeting via Zoom from 3:30-5:00 on Thursday, October 12th.

The first portion of the meeting is open to all and will include:

  • Introduce Union leadership and our goals for the year
  • Invitation to new members, restructuring steward program for Winter
  • New website features and updates
  • Update on faculty listening sessions
  • Update on working with AFT-Oregon and our political focus
  • Introduce interest based bargaining
  • Audit progress

There will also be members-only updates on political donations and TRU advocacy.

We look forward to seeing you!

Bargaining Update: February 21, 2023 CBA Extension

WOUFT and WOU Administration agree to extend the current CBA for one year for reasons outlined in a joint statement from both Melanie Landon-Hays (WOUFT President) and Jesse Peters (WOU President):

WOU Community,

We are pleased to report that the administration and WOUFT have reached an agreement to extend the current CBA for one year. This means that we will not engage in a full bargaining session until the next academic year. During a year with numerous major activities taking place (Accreditation Visit, Legislative Session, Budget Cuts. Etc.), an extension provides the campus with some breathing room. Additionally, this is a year of transition with six new BOT members, a new President, a new VP for Advancement, and a new Director of Government Relations. Additionally, we are searching for a new Executive Director of HR and a new Provost. Next year, the campus will be in a much clearer position with regards to leadership and budget, so there are benefits in waiting to engage in a full bargaining session.

We would both like to thank all of the people engaged in this honest discussion about extending the CBA. Particularly, the WOUFT bargaining team and Carson Campbell provided ideas and suggestions in a spirit of collaboration and transparency. We hope this agreement signals a positive step for our WOU community.

Thanks again to all involved.
Jesse & Melanie
Jesse Peters, President of Western Oregon University
Melanie Landon-Hays, President WOUFT 

Article 16 ratified!

The results of the Article 16 ratification vote were as follows:

Yes 97%

No 3%

Here are the terms:

Tenure and Tenure Track Non-Tenure Track
21-22*      One step** + .5% COLA3.5%
22-23*** One step** +1.5% COLA 2.75%
*effective first pay period after ratification/**steps vary in amount (1-6-2.1%)/***effective 09/16/2022

WOUFT President, Melanie Landon-Hays praised the bargaining team and union members afterwards: “I would like to thank the entire WOUFT Bargaining Team for their long, hard work in this bargaining. I also appreciate the efforts of the many WOUFT members who helped in other ways.”

You can read more about the entire bargaining process on the Collective Bargaining Page.

Article 16 Tentative Agreement Ratification Vote

Now that we have tentatively agreed to Article 16, we are requesting your attendance at a special Zoom meeting on Thursday, January 20th at 4 pm to discuss the changes to Article 16 and answer any questions you may have. We will do this in preparation for ratification.

A draft of the amendments to Article 16 will be made available in advance of the meeting, so please watch for additional emails from WOUFT regarding ratification.

To ratify Article 16, we’ll be using the online voting system, “Election Buddy”.  This will be activated during the meeting, but you can vote whether you attend the meeting or not.  You’ll receive instructions for voting via your WOU email address once the vote is activated. 

Voting will conclude at 6 PM on Friday, January 21st.

WOU Budget Report from LERC (September 2021)

In 2021, WOUFT asked Mark Brenner, an economist with the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center, to review the finances of WOU. The goals for the report were twofold:

  1. To update and extend the financial analysis conducted by Dr. Howard Bunsis the prior year.
  2. To evaluate the University’s claims of financial hardship and their decision to lay off faculty.

You can read the entire report at WOU Budget Report (September 2021).