Letter from the President:
“We are not just dollar signs to be cut. We are hard workers and we deserve to be treated as such.”
Today, the university’s bargaining team finally brought their first economic counter of this whole bargaining process. In doing so, they’ve ignored every attempt we have made to communicate our needs, interests, and priorities regarding health care, a living wage, and protections for vulnerable GEs, especially GEs with families, international GEs, LGBTQIA+ GEs, and GEs with disabilities and other health concerns.
Their frankly insulting counterproposal remains true to their original package structure, taking money from health care (for a 20% reduction to their contribution) and student fees to artificially inflate overall salary numbers, which they propose to raise 1% annually (a 0.2% or $12/term increase from their original proposal), which is not enough for a Cost of Living Adjustment. Your bargaining committee has previously made it clear that this is not a structure in which we can negotiate—or so we had thought. Clearly, the message hasn’t been received.
At today’s session, members of your Bargaining Committee told the university in no uncertain terms what their insulting, disappointing proposal means to us.
“What this proposal tells us is that you’re not serious about making a deal. Your proposal has violent ramifications for our members, especially regarding health insurance. I just can’t believe you aren’t more ashamed to sit across the table from us today after giving us this insulting counter.”
– Larissa Petrucci
“You are doing bodily harm to our members. You ignore that. You ignore the testimonials. You ignore people who bring up very personal stories about their struggles. It’s your responsibility to explain why buildings are more important than our members.”
– Rita Ludwig
“I want to call shenanigans on the idea that there is no money.”
– Andy Labuza
“This is a package that attacks international students.”
– Juan Ospina
“You’re smart people. You know exactly what you’re doing with this proposal. So my question to you is this: How dare you? How dare you threaten to take away my ability to see a therapist, how dare you take away my son’s health care, while sitting at this table telling me you care? We are not just dollar signs to be cut. We are hard workers and we deserve to be treated as such.”
– Michelle Dreiling
We will file for mediation at the earliest possible opportunity, as table bargaining with the UO has not been and continues not to be productive. This puts us on a timeline for action—action that we’ll all need to be involved with going forward. Bargaining is not won at the table, it’s won by the actions of the general membership, and now is the time to bring the pressure.
Talk to your colleagues about bargaining! Make sure they know what’s happening. Talk to your students! Make sure they understand the position that the university has put us in.
There will be an Emergency Bargaining Meeting of the general membership to discuss our timeline for bargaining and collective action on
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Be there! Bring your colleagues! All GTFF members are welcome!
We will be discussing our options coming up to put pressure on the university. We need to make saying “no” too costly in money and reputation in order to get a “yes” from the administration. And we need everyone to help us make that happen!
The university isn’t backing down from their insulting package proposal that cuts our health insurance by 20% and requires us to pay them more money to work for them. We’re moving to mediation, which puts us on a timeline of collective action. Be at the emergency bargaining meeting on Wednesday April 10 from 6-8pm in PLC 180, and get involved in the fight for a better contract!
President of the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation