Bargaining Update, 2/16

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On the heels of Monday’s outrage, the LEO bargaining team and lecturers supporting us in the room managed to channel our fury into frankness. While the room was polite, team leaders expressed opinions and arguments more candidly and without as much sugar coating. In case you missed it, you can find Kirsten's closing statement from Monday night here, and below is a gem from that:

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But before we get to that, a shout-out to the departments that have been consistently bringing the heat via visible lecturer presence: Romance Languages and Literatures, English Language Institute, Stamps, and Sweetland Center for Writing. This isn’t to say that many lecturers from other departments haven’t been showing up, but the four listed above have been truly stalwart. We celebrate everyone who comes, and we’d love to celebrate you and yours!

On to the business. Today we worked on Appointments (XI), which we discuss below, as well as Layoff & Recall (XII), Professional Development (XXIV), and a couple of MOUs, which we’ll talk more about when we make more progress over the coming weeks.

We started the day by returning our counters to admin’s most recent Appointments proposals. First, we returned our original language about supporting departments’ ability to grant lecturers more prestigious  working titles--explicitly, Teaching Professor (at units’ discretion). We frankly stated that being unwilling to grant the title of Teaching Professor runs counter to the U’s professed desire to recruit and retain the best talent.We continue to work toward finding more reasonable remediation processes. For example, while we accept that at times another major review following a successful remediation may be necessary and/or advisable, we propose leaving that decision to the units, rather than the administration.

After lunch we heard from three witnesses in direct response to the offensive salary “proposal” offered by admin on Monday--two students, one lecturer. Recent graduate Neala Berkowskigave an extended version of her address to the Regents from last month, directing her comments to the admin bargaining team, she repeated her claim, “Lecturers bend over backwards for their students and you literally give them scraps.”Hoai An Pham, fourth year RC student who set up a change.org petition in support of our demands, drew an unambiguous line in the sand when she promised, “Without lecturers, our university stops. And student allies are willing to stop this university until our lecturers get paid.” Andrea Cardinal, a lecturer in Stamps, spoke about the value her work as a professional artist and designer provides to her students--whom she doesn’t want to leave, even though she could reap significantly more as a freelancer than the fruits of our reasonable salary proposals.

Finally, Bob King, lecturer in the RC, in a follow-up to Kirsten’s closing statements on Monday, addressed how both low pay and low job security were significant issues that the admin would be morally wrong to ignore. He reiterated the anger and outrage we all felt on Monday, and pointed out that while we know the admin bargaining team doesn’t “hold the purse strings,” and that nobody “wants to be angry with you individually,” he exhorted them to pass on the multiple stories they’ve been hearing in bargaining to solicit their superiors for real offers.

Altogether, these witness testimonies exemplified LEO’s newly galvanized spirit of candor in the bargaining room. We hope to see you there next week, pen in hand, steel in heart. Palmer Commons, 4th & 6th floors, 9am.

--Your bargaining team

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