OUS Bargaining Update – September 15th, 2013

After two long days of bargaining, we’re disappointed to report that management has not moved away from their proposal to cut steps in half and made no other improvements to their proposals.

Our bargaining team decided today to delay the start of a strike until Monday, September 30. We’ve done this for two reasons. First, we want to capitalize on the inspiring momentum that has been building among members, students, and faculty on campuses, such as last week’s announcement of support by the Oregon Students Association, the American Federation of Teachers-Oregon, AAUP, and many other individuals and groups. Secondly, we want to allow more time to reach a settlement while still keeping the threat of a powerful strike on the first day of class out there.

We return to the bargaining table this Wednesday at the University of Oregon.  Here’s how you can continue to push for a fair contract for yourself and your coworkers:

1. Attend a Picket Captain training to learn more about the strike plan, and to pick up materials.

2. Don’t buy-in to scare tactics or rumors.  Here are a couple of questions we’ve heard a lot lately:

Can I be permanently replaced for striking?
There are no examples of Oregon public employers doing this.  Should OUS attempt to create that precedent:
a) Our bargaining team would insist that any settlement be contingent on a return for all workers.
b) There is no doubt that our student, campus, and legislative allies would join us in pressuring OUS to abandon this approach.

Will SEIU Local 503 sanction or fine members who cross picket lines?
It is important that everyone participate in a strike action so that we can win the best settlement as quickly as possible. Though it’s disappointing when members choose to undermine their bargaining team and their colleagues by continuing to work during a strike, Local 503 has never sanctioned members for scabbing.

3. Stay informed by reading our FAQ for info about your rights, about strike stipend pay, and how those who special assistance can apply for funds from the union’s Hardship Fund.

In Solidarity,

Marc Nisenfeld, PSU (Chair)
Helen Moore, EOU
Bob Klem, OIT
Donna Stevenson, OSU
Rob Fullmer, PSU
Bob Sexton, SOU
Kurt Willcox, UO
Angie Barry, WOU

SEIU Local 085