OUS Bargaining Update – August 19th, 2013

Management proposals to take away long-held rights of classified employees were finally resolved this week, and workers’ rights were protected! The many member calls, demonstrations, email messages, purple-ups, and delegations to management had an effect: We held the line on layoff, seniority rights, and overtime while strengthening protections against contracting out of workers’ jobs! Beating back these take-aways made it possible for more bargaining to occur over economic issues, and we made some progress. But management’s proposals still do not fit with our vision for the kind of university system Oregon needs.

  • OUS shouldn’t be a poverty-wage employer. Management’s wage proposal leaves more than 1,200 classified workers eligible for food stamps.
  • OUS should honor the sacrifices of classified workers over the last four years, rather than insisting on cutting down the step system and offering miniscule raises.
  • Instead of taking financial pressures out on classified employees and students, OUS should recover lost income from the banks who helped crash our economy with misleading and fraudulent financial practices.
  • OUS should focus resources on classrooms and student and faculty services instead of high-salaried administration.

Union Team Declares Impasse and Calls for Strike Authorization Vote

Because management’s approach still falls far short of what members deserve and need, our bargaining team declared impasse. Declaring impasse does not stop bargaining or mediation but it is a required step under the law, along with a 30-day cooling off period, before there could be a strike. To that end, the bargaining team has asked members to give it authorization to initiate a strike should it be necessary to win a just agreement.

Member activity on campuses is heating up

More than 200 members, students, and faculty came out for a spirited Solidarity Rally at U of O, and a similar-sized group at PSU marched to the VP of Finance and Administration’s office and asked her to tell the OUS Management Team to take a fairer stand in bargaining. Members are signing strike petitions at an increasing pace, and the awareness of the issues is growing.

What Can I Do?

Our next bargaining session will be August 22 and 23 at Oregon Tech.

SEIU Local 085