Benefits to Union Membership

Union membership has a number of benefits for both all Graduate Employees and individuals. Click here to join your union now, and read below to find out more about union benefits!

Being a member of a union helps us all:

  • Be united in large numbers together as we campaign and bargain for issues such as protecting our healthcare, fighting for higher wages, and keeping the benefits and protections outlined in our Collective Bargaining Agreement (our contract with UO, which union members won together through organized, collective action).
  • Have a stable budget for programs like the Mutual Aid Fund/International Student Hardship Fund, employing union staff (our Benefits Administrator and Staff Organizer), and legal fees for grievances (we have won many grievances in recent years, which both protected GEs and led to lasting policy changes at UO).
  • Build hardship funds and potential strike funds as we look forward to a bargaining year in financially difficult times for many. In the 2019 bargaining year, UO tried to cut our healthcare and other vital programs; high membership allowed us to fight back. Being ready to organize and to strike if needed helps us defend past wins and work towards better pay and working conditions for the future.

There are also more individual benefits. On top of the benefits and supports inherent to the structure of our Union (check out our Cost Savings Calculator), Full Members and Associate Members* enjoy the following:

    • Participation in General Membership Meetings (GMMs), Caucuses, and Committees, where official business occurs alongside opportunities for fellowship—with free food and beverages
    • Voting in leadership elections, resolutions, changes to the budget and bylaws, and – above all – ratifying our contract with the university
    • Free GTFF swag like t-shirts, hats, buttons, stickers, and koozies
    • Invitations to social events
    • Access to the GTFF office equipment, including the computer, printer, copier, and fax machine
    • Local discounts
    • Member discounts from our parent unions, AFT and AFL-CIO:
        • 15% off on most AT&T Wireless plans
        • PDX airport parking
        • Portland Art Museum
        • Up to 25% off car rental
        • Hotel discounts

* If you are currently not a GE, but have been or plan on receiving a GE position in the coming term, consider becoming an Associate Member.

Click here to learn how to sign up for union membership!