The last few weeks have been challenging. Many of our members are facing furloughs, workshare programs or layoffs. Many more are uncertain about the future.
There is one thing we do know: The burden of lost revenue cannot fall on the lowest wage workers – women, people of color, immigrants, and members of our community. Administrators must share the responsibility.
We understand that COVID-19 has resulted in a significant loss of revenue for public universities, and we want to work collaboratively with university administrators to address that. But these institutions are part of the public sphere in Oregon. Universities receive millions of dollars in State funding, and they have a responsibility to protect the jobs in our communities that those dollars create. Layoffs, furloughs and workshare programs should be a last resort. Highly paid administrators, coaches and executives – often recruited from out-of-state – must share the responsibility and shoulder their fair share of the burden.
They need to hear that SEIU members won’t settle for anything less than shared responsibility. A good start would be to extend the COVID-19 LOA we signed in March. We can’t let them balance the budget on our backs.
SEIU Local 503