The Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO), the elected student government at the University of Oregon, released a statement in support of the GTFF (original announcement here and a local copy of their letter is attached below). Our relationship with the ASUO is very important to the GTFF, as we both endeavor to improve the education and cultural climate at the University of Oregon. The ASUO joins the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP), United Academics (UA), SEIU sublocal 085, the University Senate to publicly call on the Administration to work with the GTFF in finalizing a fair contract for graduate employees.
These major constituencies (faculty, staff and students) all recognize the importance of graduate employees at the University of Oregon. The conditions in which GTFs work are the same conditions in which our students learn and in which research at the University gets done. Graduate employees having the option to heal after illness or injury and to bond with children they have added to their families directly improve the quality of their teaching and research. Graduate Employees can stop having to make the unfair decision of keeping their wages at the expense their own personal health, well-being and the quality of their work for the University. Salaries that meet the cost of living will immediately improve the ability of the University of Oregon to attract the best graduate students from around the world. No longer will prospective new grads choose other institutions where they can live without taking out loans or borrow money from friends and family just to afford rent and groceries. These policies better not just the lives of graduate employees, but also directly benefit the University of Oregon. Faculty, staff and students all recognize this – hopefully the Administration of the University of Oregon is beginning to understand as well.
The GTFF will rally in support of a Fair Contract NOW on Wednesday, Nov. 12 outside Johnson Hall at 11:30am. We encourage the community to join us and our supporters to remind the Administration of the importance of graduate students and how the policies we are fighting for are critical to the success of the University of Oregon.