Spring 2019 Week 4 Newsletter

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GTFF 3544 Newsletter

Upcoming Events ~ News

Events, Bargaining FAQ, New MOIs, GTFF Sweatshirts, & more!

Be sure to read all the way to the bottom!

Upcoming Events

Keep an eye out for events through email, on our Facebook page, and on our calendar!
  • UO Budget Town Hall
    Wear your GTFF shirts and help to disseminate information about how UO’s budget priorities will affect GEs at this town hall hosted by Provost Jayanth Banavar and Vice President for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt.
    Monday, 4/22 (Week 4) 
    Time: 2:00pm
    EMU Gumwood Room (1395 University St.)
    Contact: Nikki Cox (organizing@gtff.net)

  • Bargaining Committee Meetings
    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
  • GTFF Bylaw Amendment Conversation
    We will be discussing the state of the bylaws and additions to them, especially incorporation lead stewards.
    DayMonday, 4/22 (Week 4)
    Time: 6:00pm
    Falling Sky in the EMU (1395 University St.)
    Contact: Ricardo Friaz (grievances@gtff.net)
  • Last Day to Vote on Political Endorsements
    The Executive Council has voted to recommend endorsements for Deanna Chappell Belcher and Measure 20-301  to the general membership. Click here for a brief description of the candidates. Click here to access the ballot. Please participate by 3:00pm on this day.
    Day: Tuesday, 4/23 (Week 4)
    Time: 3:00pm
    Trevor Brunnenmeyer (political.education@gtff.net)
  • Contract Action Team Meeting
    Come hear how the CAT plans to support our bargaining efforts. All Stewards should attend -- all members are welcome! We are all the CAT!! Please RSVP.
    Day: Tuesday, 4/23 (Week 4)
    Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm
    Location: GTFF Office 609 E. 13th Ave.)
    Contact: Nikki Cox (organizing@gtff.net) and Kayleigh Peterman (member.communications@gtff.net)

  • Share Why We Don't Share: Improving University Reporting and Support Workshop
    Please join the Survivor Support Caucus (formerly the TRUST Caucus) for an evening of discussion, support, and brainstorming how to improve support for Graduate Students who experience discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence. This is an inclusive event, and we encourage folks from underrepresented groups on campus to attend. We value a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and identities! Food and drinks will be provided! Please RSVP.
    Day: Wednesday, 4/24 (Week 4)
    Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm
    Location: GTFF Office 609 E. 13th Ave.)
    Contact: Emily Beecher (trustcaucus@gmail.com)

  • Teaching Environmental Justice: An Interdisciplinary Workshop
    The EJ Caucus and TEP are collaborating on a series of workshops that are taking place soon.The workshops are aimed at teaching environmental justice in contexts, disciplines, and topics where it may not normally be considered part of the curriculum. 
    Days: Wednesday, 4/24 (Week 4) and Wednesday, 5/1 (Week 5)
    3:00pm - 5:00pm
    72 Prince Lucien Campbell
    Contact: Nicholas Theis (ntheis@uoregon.edu)

  • First Mediation Session
    Nothing in our ground rules prevents it, so let's continue to PACK THAT ROOM! 
    Can't attend the full session in person? Tune in to our livestream at twitch.tv/gtff3544 and follow along on social media with the hashtag #GradsRAISEUO!
    DayFriday, 4/26 (Week 4)
    Time: 10:00am - 5:00pm (tentative)
    Location: Room 271, The Franklin Building (1715 Franklin Blvd.)
    Contact: Mike Magee (president@gtff.net)
  • Equity and Inclusion Committee Meeting
    Anyone interested in issues of equity and inclusion are welcome, including Caucus Chairs and Members. We will discuss about how to improve inclusiveness in caucus and union activities, and in our community livings.
    Day: Tuesday, 4/30 (Week 5)
    Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm
    Location: GTFF Office (609 E. 13th Ave.)
    Contact: Hyunsoo Lee (equity@gtff.net)
  • May Day
    The event commemorates International Workers’ Day and features speakers from labor unions on campus and allies such as Young Democratic Socialists (YDSA) and Labor Education and Research Center (LERC).
    Day: Wednesday, 5/1 (Week 5)
    11:00 am - 1:00 pm (tentative)
    LocationEMU Amphitheater (1395 University St.)
    Contact: Rajeev Ravisankar (external.relations@gtff.net)

  • Last Day for Officer Nominations and Bylaw Amendment Proposals
    If you're interested in submitting an amendment to the GTFF Bylaws or a nomination for 1 of next year's 10 Executive Board officers, this is the last day to email VP for Operations Ellen Gillooly-Kress.
    Thursday, 5/2 (Week 5)
    Contact: Ellen Gillooly-Kress (operations@gtff.net)
  • EMU Work-In
    Please bring your research, grading, students, or any other GE responsibilities. Let’s make our work visible, showing we are workers too! Be sure to wear your union gear! Check out the Facebook event here
    DayFriday, 5/3 (Week 5)
    Time9:30am - 4:00pm
    LocationEMU Fishbowl
    Contact: Blake Parris (blakeparris16@gmail.com) and
    Larissa Petrucci (lpetrucci10@gmail.com)

  • Bargaining Teach-In
    GEs are encouraged to give a 3- to 5-minute lecture about bargaining before or after their class/lab/discussion session. Materials will be provided, including a “How to Talk to Undergrads about Bargaining” sheet, a PowerPoint slide with key info, and buttons for your students!
    DayWeek 6
    Contact: Nikki Cox (organizing@gtff.net) and Kayleigh Peterman (member.communications@gtff.net)

  • Oregon Education Association Day of Action
    Eugene School District teachers will join their counterparts across Oregon for a planned walkout next month to protest the lack of K-12 funding from the state. Let's wear #RedforEd this day in solidarity with K-12 educators!
    DayWednesday, 5/8 (Week 6)
  • Pacific Northwest Labor History Association (PNlHA) 51st Annual Conference 
    Come, share, and celebrate labor history at the 2019 Pacific Northwest Labor History Association conference at the Portland State University Conference Center and Hotel on May 3-5, 2019. The theme is “General Strike 1919-2019: Radicalism, Repression, and Solidarity.” Register here.
    Friday, 5/3 - Sunday, 5/5 (Week 5)
    LocationPortland, OR
    Contact: Rajeev Ravisankar (external.relations@gtff.net)

  • 2019 AFT-OR Convention
    Every other year, local chapter affiliates of AFT-OR (our parent union) gather for convention. At convention, local chapters connect to organize and mobilize; vote on resolutions and state bylaw changes; elect members of the AFT-OR executive board; and join together in celebration of solidarity. Did you know that GTFF is bringing 11 of the 18 resolutions to be considered to the convention this year? A list of resolutions to be considered this year can be found here.
    - Dates: Friday, 5/3 - Sunday, 5/5 (Week 5)
    - Location: Sunriver, OR

    Contact: Ellen Gillooly-Kress (operations@gtff.net)
  • E-Council Meeting
    All Stewards and Caucus Chairs should attend -- all members are welcome!
    Please RSVP
    Day: Wednesday, 5/8 (Week 6)
    Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm
    Location: GTFF Office (609 E. 13th Ave.)
    Contact: Nikki Cox (organizing@gtff.net)

  • Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE) Brew-Off
    The CGE Brew-Off is a homebrew competition between the graduate employee unions at Oregon State University (CGE), University of Oregon (GTFF), and Portland State University (GEU). Brewers brew, attendees vote — and may the best beer (or cider, or wine, or mead, or kombucha…) win! All proceeds go the the Linn Benton Food Share.
    DaySaturday, 5/11 (Week 6)
    LocationCorvallis Elk’s Lodge (1400 NW 9th St. Corvallis, OR)
    ContactEllen Gillooly-Kress (operations@gtff.net)


All 10 Executive Board positions will need to be filled for the 2019-2020 year! Interested in running for office? Learn more about the E-Board positions in the GTFF Bylaws.

Nominations will be accepted until May 2
Elections will be held in Week 8 (May 20-24)
Elected officers will shadow current officers from Week 9-onward
Leadership changes over on June 15


Become a Steward!

Want to get more involved but not quite ready for the E-Board? Consider becoming a Steward in your department!

Many Stewards will need replacing as they graduate or transition into other union roles. Stewards are the lifeblood of our union--without them, we would be powerless! Learn more about what Stewards do in the GTFF Bylaws or by talking to this year's Stewards!

Departments will hold Steward elections in Week 8.
If you are interested in running, get in contact with your department Stewards or with VP for Organizing  Nikki Cox (organizing@gtff.net)!

GTFF Sweatshirts!

Just in time for spring! Please fill out the form below if you are interested in ordering a sweatshirt with our logo on it. It will be just like our tshirts, but as a black hoodie. 


Grievances Updates

GEs in Political Science and the School of Music and Dance have filed grievances this week. Both of them have to do with Article 10 of our contract, which concerns health, safety, and work environment.

GEs in Political Science are filing a grievance demanding access to equivalent facilities as faculty, which is a provision in our contract.Specifically, they are asking for access to clean water in light of the water quality in PLC.

GEs in the School of Music and Dance are demanding access to WiFi in their office space, as well as no more than two GEs assigned to a desk, which is also clearly outlined in our contract.

Contact grievances@gtff.net if you’d like to be involved in supporting these grievances or have questions about the contract.
Meet Our New Member Organizers!
Amanda Sikirica

I'm a second-year GE in Sociology and am a Steward in my department. I'm interested in environmental sociology and am a member of the Environmental Justice Caucus.

JP Lempke

I'm a first-year GE in Music Theory with interests in musical silence, recent experimental concert music, electronic media, sound design, and sonic studies. I was recently made a Steward!


The Member Organizer Institute (MOI) is a 3-month intensive paid training program in partnership with our parent union AFT-OR that teaches organizing skills through real-world experience in concert with staff and local leaders. This program capitalizes on one of our most valuable resources--our members--to help build union power and activism. The goal of the institute is to train union members to build power, grow our membership, engage current members in our union and ensure the long-term sustainability of our local by having members trained to continue their organizing work and help develop other members after participating in the institute.

Bargaining FAQ

Not in the know about this bargaining cycle? Confused about the terminology being thrown around? Unsure of how to talk to students and faculty about bargaining? Check out the "Bargaining FAQ" page on our website: http://gtff3544.net/bargaining-faqs/.

If faculty or your undergrads want to know how they can help support GTFF, you can encourage them to
  • Communicate with other faculty and administrators on campus in support of GE bargaining
  • Post on social media using the #GradsRAISEUO and #thankyourGE hashtags
  • Write “Letters to the Editor” of the Daily Emerald and other local publications in support of GEs
  • Get involved in our #thankyourGE video campaign—you or they can record a short video about the experiences they’ve had with GEs in their courses and post it on social media
  • Roll out to GTFF informational pickets, work-ins, and other public GTFF events

Keep in mind the following:
  • The faculty union (UAUO) starts bargaining next year, and they may face a similar situation—let them know that GTFF stands in solidarity with them!
  • The university will likely try to frame this as a question of tuition increases, trying to pit your undergrads against us (the “greedy grad students”). Let your students know that we’re simply asking for a living wage and health care and remind them that all university administrator and faculty salaries are available to the public. Share with them what a typical (and very busy!) day looks like for you!
  • You are definitely allowed to talk about the union and our bargaining efforts to your undergrads (so long as it isn’t during work time)! As long as your sharing of union information doesn’t distract from your class, you are in the clear. Be careful though about doing this during class time, since that could be grounds for discipline if you’re using work time to talk union with students – to be safe, do this before or after class time.
  • Department heads are considered “managers,” and shouldn’t discuss bargaining with you because they can be seen as representatives of the university. Other folks? Chat with them!

Call for Bargaining Testimony

Why is R.A.I.S.E. is important for me, you, us?
We are asking Members to share testimonies, stories, statements, or interviews related with bargaining proposals put forth by the GTFF and by UO.

Opportunities to share your story include live testimony at the bargaining table, video recordings of interviews, and signed or anonymous written reflections.

We are especially seeking input on the following areas:
Challenges of parenting as a GE
Challenges faced by International GEs
Challenges finding/affording quality housing

Your contribution is extremely crucial in furthering the bargaining process, since collective statements of our members are the main power in this journey.   
To share your story, contact: 
Mike Magee (president@gtff.net)
Hyunsoo Lee (equity@gtff.net
Kayleigh Peterman (member.communications@gtff.net)
Are you interested in helping out with bargaining?
Contact Nikki Cox (organizing@gtff.net) and Kayleigh Peterman (member.communications@gtff.net)!
Know Your Contract

Our Collective Bargaining Agreement, in Article 10, Section 2, ensures that GEs have reasonable access to certain workspace elements: 

c.) Access to Computers

  • Easy and reasonable access, at least during standard working hours, to computers equipped with software typically provided other departmental staff and as it relates to GE assignments. Departments may send out requests to determine if computers will be utilized by GEs for work duties, and if by mutual agreement they are not being utilized, they may be removed.
  • Easy and reasonable access to internet necessary to carry out work assignments.

d.) Access to Telephones (for all GEs with duties requiring phones, or upon GE request)

  • Easy and reasonable access to telephones necessary to carry out work assignments
  • Access to voicemail or other messaging service

e.) Access to Office Supplies, Photocopies, and Printouts

  • GEs working under the direction of an instructor of record (as teaching assistants, lab leaders, or discussion section leaders), administrative GEs, and research GEs shall have access to supplies necessary to accomplish the tasks associated with their assignments as directed by their supervisors. These shall be available at no personal cost to the GEs and does not preclude limitations placed upon the supervisors or instructors of record.
  • GEs working as instructors of record shall have limits on quantity and out-of-pocket costs for necessary supplies that are substantially similar to other instructional staff with comparable instructional assignments in the department. Access to these supplies shall be available at least during departmental standard working hours.

f.) GE Assistance

  • Departments with GEs who work as instructors of record shall specify how GE assistance for the instructor-of record GEs shall be apportioned.

g.) Kitchen Facilities

  • Access to the same or similar facilities as other faculty and staff in the department.
  • When no kitchen facilities exist, GEs and/or the Union have a right to request kitchen facilities.
h) Lactation Rooms
  • GEs who are nursing shall be afforded appropriate access to secure, private, and sanitary lactation space, other than a public restroom or toilet stall. The university will make reasonable efforts to ensure that such spaces are in close proximity to a GE’s primary work space. If private and secure, lactation spaces may include the GE’s work area or a childcare facility. The university shall provide at minimum five (5) permanent lactation spaces on the Eugene campus. GEs employed at a facility other than the Eugene campus may request a lactation space.
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!
Sign up to give your testimony!

Caucus Corner

With the goal of creating more safe, inclusive, and "RAISE"d environment, our caucuses and diverse community members are working hard to present testimonies to bargaining sessions and bring together voices of underrepresented members.  

Disability Access Caucus
At our 4/12 meeting, we discussed on updates and issues related with accessibility improvements and bargaining. We have a meeting are scheduled for 5:30pm on Friday, 4/26 in the GTFF Office (609 E. 13th St.). Please feel welcome to attend whether you identify as having a disability or want to be an ally to our community.

Survivor Support Caucus (formerly the T.R.U.S.T. Caucus)
Though we know that harassment, discrimination, and other forms of sexual violence happen on university campuses, reporting often doesn’t. There are many reasons why we don’t report, including not want to share our experiences, not feeling safe to share, fear of retaliation, and misunderstandings about reporting processes. Graduate students in particular may experience difficulty navigating reporting or support services and options, especially when we find ourselves in between our roles as teachers, researchers, and students. 

As part of Sexual Assault Awareness month, the Survivor Support Caucus of the GTFF (former TRUST Caucus) and the Sexual Violence and Prevention (SVP) Office are putting together a ‘Share Why You Don’t Share’ workshop, where we can come together and discuss are concerns about reporting policies and practices at the UO, and develop solutions for support. We will be joined by Rachel Kovensky, a Graduate Employee employed in SVP to provide resources, support, and clarity over common misconceptions and confusion about reporting policies at the UO.

Please join us for an evening of discussion, support, and brainstorming how to improve support for Graduate Students who experience discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence. This is an inclusive event, and we encourage folks from underrepresented groups on campus to attend. We value a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and identities! 

Food and drinks will be provided!  
Please RSVP to trustcaucus@gmail.com (Emily Beecher)

Interested in joining a caucus? Email the Caucus Chairs:
Disability Access Caucus Kylen Gartland
Environmental Justice Caucus Nick Theis & Sam Ault
GEs of Color Caucus Youssef Ait Benasser
International Caucus Sanan Moradi
Parents' Caucus Amy Rowland
Queer Caucus Tzula Propp
Survivor Support Caucus Emily Beecher
Women's Caucus Vacant
Workers’ Caucus Ricardo Friaz (interim)

AFT Academics Survey

AFT Academics wants to hear from you! They are organizing across the country and want to know what you think. Please fill out this survey: 
If you want to get involved, please let us know--we are happy to follow up with you.

AFT Academics is a new national union of academic workers. We are dedicated to creating a just, sustainable, and engaged academy by empowering the people who make it run. Through solidarity, direct action, and legislative efforts we can win on the issues that impact academic workers, our students, and our communities.

AFT Academics is a project of the American Federation of Teachers. The AFT is 1.7 million members strong, and the largest higher education union in the United States at over 250,000 members in colleges and universities across the country. Learn more about the AFT here.
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