Coronavirus Update 3.18

Coronavirus Updates:

Spring Contracts, Zoom Office Hours, Social Networks and More!

Leaders in the GTFF are working tirelessly to ensure that members get correct information quickly. We’re available as resources during this incredibly stressful and uncertain time--see below for a schedule of Zoom office hours. As a labor union, our concerns are of course the working conditions and future provisions made by the university as the COVID-19 response continues to unfold. Just as important to us, however, is that the GTFF remains a space for connection, communication, solidarity, and collective action. While we’re social distancing, we’ll continue to create and maintain a community of support among grad workers. 

We are the union and the union is all of us. During our remote instruction time, we want to make virtual space for frustration, resistance, solidarity and hope. Just because our office is temporarily closed doesn’t mean our hearts are!

You can expect to see weekly email updates from us (more frequent in the case of significant changes). Other and intervening information and resources will be available on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and updated on the GTFF Coronavirus Updates webpage.

If you have questions, concerns, or just want to talk to someone (or if you’re considering being a part of union leadership next year/proposing bylaw changes this spring), please “stop by” leadership Zoom office hours.

We’ll be available:
  • Mondays and Tuesdays from 10-11am and 2-3pm
  • Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12-1pm and 4-5pm
  • Fridays from 10-11am, 12-1pm, 2-3pm, and 4-5pm
You’ll find us in this Zoom meeting!


We are in conversations with the university administration and continue to push to make sure our well-being and that of all campus workers and students is being protected and prioritized in the response to COVID-19. As we know what this looks like in more concrete terms, we will share it!

Below are a few updates/clarifications to keep in mind. Remember, you can always find up-to-date information on the GTFF Coronavirus Updates page.

Spring contracts and tuition waivers

Spring contracts have begun. While things are in constant flux at the moment, neither we nor HR currently anticipate any loss of pay or tuition waivers for the upcoming term. We'll keep everyone updated with any further information we receive.

From HR’s Missy Matella:
“The current measures should not result in a loss of income for GEs. I can, however, see situations where GEs will be asked to perform their work differently based on changes to a course or discussion section associated with academic continuity measures.”


Remote instruction, workload, and resources

A quick reminder: the university is moving to remote instruction for at least the first few weeks of spring term. While this policy so far is not incredibly detailed, we do know that the university is not expecting instructors to convert their courses to fully online instruction.

Looking for further resources/need help with remote teaching strategies? The Chronicle for Higher Ed is forming a Facebook group for educators. For UO-focused resources, check out TEP’s blog and Request Help sidebar option.  The TEP blog also has a GE-specific set of resources, intentionally geared toward discussion sections and labs. The Provost’s Office has also put together a description of the plan and some resources.

As we head into spring and this period of remote instruction, we should all remember to track our hours—no one is obligated to work more than their FTE, no matter the changes the UO is asking. Here are some suggestions for some handy apps that allow you to organize your tracked time: Clockify, Toggl.

Talk to your supervisor about expectations of your remote instruction work in advance, if possible. If you have concerns about overwork or your work environment, you can direct them to your department steward or the lead steward for your area.

Lead Stewards
Arts and Education: JP Lempke
Humanities: Rhiannon Lindgren
Natural Sciences: Blake Parris
Social Sciences: Isabella Clark

Looking for ways to stay connected in our community?

Socialize online!
Join us on the GTFF Slack channel and on the new GTFF Social Distancing Discord! Let’s stay in touch and de-stress with each other as much as possible (while social distancing). 

Get involved with mutual aid
As GTFF members, we are proud to be integral parts of our local community. Folks in this community are starting to organize online around mutual aid resources and how to safely work to survive this turmoil together. Please reach out to Rhiannon Lindgren or Michael Marchman if you are interested in helping to organize GTFF participation in this important effort.

Check the GTFF Coronavirus Updates page or GTFF social media for the most current information about the COVID-19 crisis and resources for GEs.

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