Fall 2018 Week 6 Newsletter

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GTFF 3544 Newsletter

Upcoming Events ~ News

Current Membership Level: 78%

Upcoming Events

Keep an eye out for events through email, on our Facebook page, and on our calendar!

  • E-Council Meeting
    All Stewards, Caucus Chairs, and other union leaders are invited to the second Executive Council (E-Council) Meeting of the year. Snacks and drinks provided. 
    Date: Thursday, 11/1 (Week 6)
    - Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm
    - Location: GTFF Office 
    (609 E. 13th Ave.)
    - Contact: Nikki Cox (organizing@gtff.net)
    Does your department not have a
    Steward? Are you interested in becoming a union leader? Contact Nikki Cox and come to this meeting!

  • Mathematics GE Happy Hour
    Come meet with other GEs in your department, learn more about the union, and relax at the end of the week!
    - Date: Friday, 11/2 (Week 6)
    - Time: 5:15pm
    - Location: Falling Sky in the EMU
    - Contact: Ilan Weinschelbaum (ilanw@uoregon.edu
  • Disability Access Caucus Meeting
    [discuss the plan moving forward for the caucus in general and for bargaining]
    - Date: Friday, 11/2 (Week 6)
    - Time: 5:30pm - 6:30pm
    - Location: GTFF Office (609 E. 13th Ave.)
    - Contact: Emily Sutton (
  • Bargaining Committee Meetings
    Want to play a direct role in bargaining this year? Nominate yourself or someone you know to be on the Bargaining Committee! This is the group who will sit at the table with the University and write contract proposals over the next year.

    - Days: Mondays
    - Time: 5:30pm
    - Location: GTFF Office (609 E. 13th Ave.)

    - Contact: Mike Magee (president@gtff.edu)

  • Environmental Justice Caucus Meeting
    Learn what the EJ Caucus has been up to and what they plan to do in the future!
    - Day: Monday, 11/5 (Week 7)
    - Time: 5:30pm
    - Location: Pegasus Pizza (790 E. 14th Ave.)

    - Contact: Nick Theis (ngtheis@gmail.com) or Sam Ault (sault@uoregon.edu)

  • VOTE
    The last day to vote in Oregon is Tuesday, 11/6. Find the closest ballot drop box to you in
    Eugene and throughout the state. If you plan to vote in another state via absentee ballot, find your voting deadline at Vote.org.

  • First Bargaining Session & Kick-Off Rally
    All are invited to the first session of this bargaining cycle from 11 to 2 in the EMU! Wear your union swag and come show your support for an awesome contract! Join us later for a rally with GTFF members from the last 40 years at a rally to kick off bargaining efforts at 3 in front of Johnson Hall.

    - Day: Friday, 11/9 (Week 7)
    - Time: 11:00am - 2:00pm | 3:00pm
    - Location: EMU Crater Lake Rooms | Johnson Hall

    - Contact: Mike Magee (president@gtff.edu)

  • 40th Anniversary Celebrations
    Come celebrate GTFF's anniversary with members from the past 40 years! See below for more details.

    - Days: Friday, 11/9 - Saturday, 11/10 (Week 7)

    - Contact: Ellen Gillooly-Kress (operations@gtff.net)
  • Contract Action Team (CAT) Meeting
    Interested in communicating information about the bargaining process to fellow Members and plan collective actions to pressure UO to take our priorities seriously? Join us at the second CAT meeting of the year!

    - Date: Thursday, 11/15 (Week 8)
    - Time: 5:30pm
    - Location: GTFF Office (609 E. 13th Ave.)

    Contacts: Nikki Cox (organizing@gtff.net) and Kayleigh Peterman (member.communications@gtff.net)



Since Last Time

Union Members have participated in the following events since the last newsletter:
  • Spooky Crafting Queerly
    GEs made spooky crafts, brainstormed costume ideas, and gathered suggestions for future Queer Caucus events.

  • Bargaining General Membership Meeting (GMM)
    We packed the room and discussed our bargaining priorities! (See below for more details.) 
  • Contract Action Team Meeting
    Members of the CAT formulated the proposed bargaining platform acronym RAISE (see below for more details).
40th Anniversary Celebrations

This marks GTFF's 40th year of fighting for GEs at the UofO! There are lots of events planned to celebrate our longevity and connect with members from the past:
  • Happy Hour
    Join GTFF members from across the decades and throughout the country to commence the celebrations! 
    • Friday, 11/9
    • 5:00pm - late
    • Rennie's Landing (1214 Kincaid St.)
  • Speakers and Panels
    Hear from past and current GTFF members, fellow union leaders, and labor organizers from across the nation. Topics include the formative years of the GTFF, the future of higher education, and how to apply knowledge from the past to our current struggles.
    • Saturday, 11/10
    • 9:30am - 4:30pm
    • EMU Crater Lake Rooms & Lease Crutcher Lewis Room
  • Banquet
    Enjoy a catered event with fellow GTFF members and special guest speakers Jane McAlevy (author of No Shortcuts) and Mary Cathryn Ricker (Executive Vice President of American Federation of Teachers). Tickets are available at $15 for members and $25 for all other guests.
    • Saturday, 11/10
    • 7:30pm - 9:30pm
    • EMU Crater Lake Room

For more information, visit the 40th Anniversary website.
Register using the form below: 

Bargaining Updates

The Bargaining GMM was held on Friday, 10/19. Here are some highlights:
  • Among the Spring 2018 GMM, last term's E-Council meetings, department meetings, and the bargaining survey, the membership has proposed over 200 unique bargaining ideas.
  • The Bargaining Committee (the group that will be writing contract language and directly negotiating with the university) has been holding strategy meetings every week or so since mid summer. This group of individuals was unanimously approved by membership vote. There may be more opportunities for additional people to join the BC as time goes on, particularly if they can speak to areas that are not currently represented on the team (e.g., parents' needs, disability access, humanities GEs' issues). While the BC negotiates on behalf of the membership, it regularly reports to E-Council, and the membership makes the final decision to ratify or reject the final contract.
  • BC members gave reports from the six subcomittees:
    • Equity & Inclusion Report - Michael Hurst
    • Money Report - Curtis Dlouhy
    • Health Insurance Report - Amy Robbins
    • Housing Report - Adam Morse
    • Bureaucratic Report - Alberto Lioy
    • Professionalization Report - Youssef Benasser
  • Members gathered together in small groups to discuss these reports and develop a few succinct principles that could be used as the bargaining platform.
    • We want to be able to refer back to these guiding principles throughout the bargaining session to know how to proceed.
    • Ideally, a catchy phrase or acronym could be created from these principles to use as an advertising tool, similar to CGE's. 
  • Through lots of debate, members voted on the following actions:
    • Have the BC sort through ideas from this meeting and code them into clear principles.
    • Give the BC's list of principles to the Contract Action Team to create an acronym from them.
    • Have the membership vote on the bargaining platform and acronym via survey.
  • For more details from the Bargaining GMM, please contact Kayleigh Peterman (member.communications@gtff.net).

Informed by the Membership and designed by the Bargaining Committee and the Contract Action Team, the proposed Bargaining Platform is

We R.A.I.S.E. each other up!

  • Recognition and Development
  • Accountability, Transparency, and Participation
  • International Student Advocacy
  • Safety, Equity, and Inclusivity
  • Economically Fair and Dignified Standard of Living

The full Bargaining Platform can be found here:

Last Friday (10/26), the Bargaining Committee met with the university's negotiation team to develop ground rules for negotiating throughout the rest of the bargaining cycle. These ground rules will be solidified soon and may be available upon request.
Members of the Bargaining Committee preparing to set ground rules.

First Bargaining Session
The first official bargaining session will be held next Friday, 11/9 from 11:00am to 1:00pm in the Crater Lake Room (EMU)
All are invited to attend!

During bargaining sessions, we expect three overall groups:
  • GTFF's Bargaining Committee
  • The university's negotiating team, including Peter Fehrs, Missy Matella, Mark Lonergan, & Janet Woodruff-Borden
  • Observers, hopefully clad in GTFF swag and filling every seat!

Some things to remember:
  • During the last bargaining cycle, we won raises, cultural competency training, and protections of our past wins.
  • What wins a good contract is putting pressure on the university. UO is terrified of the power we have (last bargaining cycle, they utilized an outside legal counsel).
  • Our sister union, SEIU, is in bargaining too. Look out for opportunities to show solidarity with one another throughout the following year.
Know Your Contract

Our Collective Bargaining Agreement, in Article 10, Section 9, guarantees certain disability accommodations for all GEs: 
The University shall provide an employment disability accomidations process for all GEs.
  •  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the reasonable accommodation process will be covered as part of the GE orientation provided by the Graduate School.
  • All GEs shall receive information in initial offers of employment to access necessary and reasonable employment accommodations for a variety of disability needs covered 21 by the ADA including but not limited to chronic health conditions, physical disabilities, mental health disabilities, learning disabilities, and/or any other conditions. The University shall attempt to put into place workplace accommodations before the beginning of employment if advance notice is provided. A list of the types of workplace adjustments that might constitute reasonable accommodation shall be provided to employees when first seeking accommodations.
  • The University shall, when feasible and agreeable to the GE, take steps to reduce duplication in the accommodation processes covering a GE’s student and employment accommodation needs. Both employment and student disability accommodation offices shall inform GEs of the availability of both kinds of accommodations and will, upon request of the GE, work collaboratively with the other office to integrate the accommodation implementation process.
  • Denials of employment disability accommodations, including when denials are based on the anticipated costs of the requested accommodations, shall be resolved through the GTFF grievance procedure at the discretion of the GE to optionally begin at Step 3.
The rights and privileges of GEs at UO are fought for and won through bargaining! In order to best represent our members, we need input from everyone, including you! 

Involvement Opportunities

  • 40th Anniversary Celebration Day-Of Help
    Volunteers are needed to assist with registration of attendees, transportation of supplies, and other tasks during the weekend of the celebration.
    Dates: November 9-11
    Contact: Ellen Gillooly-Kress (operations@gtff.net)
  • Serve on a University Committee 
    Represent fellow GEs on any of the following committees through the university. Use this as a venue for real change and/or as a way to bulk up your C.V.!
    Contact Mike Magee (president@gtff.net) for more details
    • Graduate Student Assistance Fund Advisory Committee
      This group meets once per term to review the Assistance Fund and its operations, provides an annual report with recommendations to the president, and reviews appeals at the request of a student whose award has been denied. Members with families or experience with this fund are particularly encouraged to apply.  
    • Incoming GE Training Committee
      This group researches and plans the Cultural Competency Training all new GEs receive, as part of our Collective Bargaining  Agreement (Article 9, Section 12). This training was something we bargained for during the last cycle, and we want to ensure that it is the best it can be. Members with experience relevant to this area are particularly encouraged to apply.
    • Policy Advisory Council
      This group meets monthly and plans to review university policies related to Drug-Free Workplace, Telecommuting, and Family Support and Childcare Support. Members with an interest in policy analysis are particularly encouraged to apply. 
  • AFT-OR Co-Op Housing Workgroup
    At last year's convention, a resolution was passed by AFT-OR (one of our parent unions, the Oregon chapter of the American Federation of Teachers) to provide seed money for members to create housing co-ops. AFT-OR is looking for members to join a working group to implement this resolution -- especially those who have experience with co-ops. The full text of the resolution can be found here.
    Contact: Devin Hunter (president@hcu4671.org).
  • Office Cleaning
    Volunteers are always welcome to help keep our office and meeting space clean. Due to increased activity among our members, the office could use more cleaning than usual! Possible tasks include organizing, dusting, mopping, and dropping off cans and bottles at a nearby bottle drop. If you are interested, stop by during office hours and let someone know you'd like to help!

AFT-OR 2018 Scholarships and Awards
  • Shirley J. Gold Scholarship
    The Shirley J. Gold Scholarship of $1,500, awarded to an AFT-Oregon member who is pursuing higher education at an accredited higher education institution.
  • Carl J. Megel Scholarship
    The Carl J. Megel Scholarship of $1,500 will be awarded to an AFT-Oregon member’s child or grandchild who is graduating from high school and is enrolling in an accredited higher education institution.
  • Albert F. Shanker Scholarship
    The Albert F. Shanker Scholarship of $1,500, awarded to an AFT-Oregon member’s child or grandchild who is already attending an accredited higher education institution. 
  • Deirdre Mackey and Grace Misztal Scholarships
    Two $1,500 Scholarships for Post-Secondary Education. One awarded to members and the other available to a member’s dependent who are members of a marginalized community and/or demonstrate that their studies will work to advance the cause of social justice and the ending of discrimination. Click here to read more about Deirdre and Grace.
  • John Connor Memorial Award
    This award recognizes an individual member who exhibits the selfless, spirited enthusiasm and devotion to causes of the union which serve as an inspiration to fellow activists. These qualities were demonstrated in John Connor, a member of Local 2277 (PCCFFAP) and an active political action volunteer.
  • Outstanding Contribution to Public Awareness
    This award is open to any resident of Oregon, including AFT-Oregon members. This award recognizes an individual in Oregon who has contributed to the public’s general awareness or who has raised the level of public debate in furtherance of the goals of AFT-Oregon in matters of education, health, public services, labor or other current issues of importance to the membership. 
  •  Local Awards for Excellence in Communications
    There are three categories:
    • General Excellence
      Recognizes general excellence in writing, editing, content, layout and design; including best story, editorial, photos, art or graphics.
    • Best Website 
      The site should be easy to maneuver, be graphically interesting, and provide valuable information to members and site visitors. 
    • Best Use of Social Media
      Engages members and provides valuable information for all site visitors.
Locked Out of One's Life

As those who attended the Bargaining GMM may be aware, one of our international Members has been affected by recent changes to immigration law. After visiting family over summer break, this person has been kept from returning to the U.S. due to delays in visa processing. Since the beginning of the academic year, they have been unable to teach classes, progress in their degree, earn an income, pay bills, or do any of the things they would normally do in Eugene.
GTFF has been in contact with this person throughout and has used every power and connection it has to ease the issue. Members in Philosophy wrote an open letter to UO's leadership to pressure the university to assist, ultimately helping to secure a tuition waiver and rent payments (paid by the International Affairs Office) for the duration of this predicament. The Executive Board also looked into legal resources and called on the Graduate School to offer further assistance.
Most recently, our Executive Board contacted our parent union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT-National) to seek assistance. AFT was able to provide free legal counsel to our member, and in addition, contacted Senator Merkley's office, which has agreed to inquire at the relevant embassy to let them know there is congressional interest in our member's application and what the explanation is for the indefinite delay.

Union membership means solidarity. As a result of the efforts of Members of this union, someone's life may be directly improved. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this effort thus far. Stay strong and keep fighting.

Your Guide to the 2018 Oregon Ballot Measures

There will likely be five ballot measures on the November ballot—dealing with housing affordability, sales taxes, state budgets and revenue bills, sanctuary state status, and public funding for abortion.

  • Measure 102: “Allow Municipal Bonds for Affordable Housing Amendment”
    This ballot measure is intended to allow cities (primarily Portland) and counties to vote to use bond revenues to pay for privately owned affordable housing. Currently, local bonds are not allowed to be used to pay private companies. This is a legislative referral which means that the legislature approved this to go to a vote on the November ballot and is primarily supported by the Portland City government. It is meant to serve affordable housing needs in Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah counties. Our parent unions support this measure.

  • Measure 103: “Ban Tax on Groceries Initiative”
    This ballot measure is intended to amend the Oregon constitution to prevent any city or local taxes on the sale of and corporate distribution of groceries (defined as any raw or processed food or beverages intended for human consumption with the exceptions of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana). This particular initiative cuts two ways: The measure is mainly supported by grocery lobbies which pose that supporting the measure will prevent regressive taxes on basic necessities which most impact financially vulnerable and food insecure households. Supporting the measure, however, may also allow grocery corporations to avoid paying taxes on the sale and distribution of groceries in the state of Oregon (which is a much more substantial tax revenue).  Our parent unions oppose this measure.
  • Measure 104: “Definition of Raising Revenue for Three-Fifths Vote Requirement Initiative”
    This ballot measure is intended to amend the Oregon constitution to require a three-fifths supermajority vote for any legislation that increases revenue through changes in tax exemptions, credits, or deductions. This measure is primarily supported by business coalitions and may make it much harder for the legislature to eliminate evident tax loopholes. Our parent unions oppose this measure.

  • Measure 105: “Repeal Sanctuary State Law Initiative” (formerly Initiative Petition 22)
    This ballot measure is intended to repeal the state’s 1987 sanctuary law (Oregon Revised Statute 181A.820) which currently limits cooperation between local and federal law enforcement and ensures that local law enforcement focus on local issues. This measure is supported by anti-immigrant committees formed within the last year. Our parent unions oppose this measure.
  • Measure 106: “Oregon Ban Public Funds for Abortions Initiative”
    This ballot measure is intended to amend the Oregon constitution to reduce access to abortion by eliminating the use of publicly funded healthcare plans (used by public employees and Medicaid recipients) if those insurance plans cover abortion. Currently, locals bargain for their healthcare coverage options and the constitution allows for the use of state-funded healthcare plans to be used for abortion when the procedure is approved by medical professional. Our parent unions oppose this measure.
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