Spring 2019 Week 6 Newsletter

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GTFF 3544 Newsletter

Upcoming Events ~ News

Teacher Appreciation Week

Participate in Wednesday's solidarity action!

Upcoming Events

Keep an eye out for events through email, on our Facebook page, and on our calendar!
  • 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, PowerPoint slides with key info, a support petition, and buttons for your students!
    Days: Monday, 5/6 - Friday, 5/10 (Week 6)
    Contact: Nikki Cox (organizing@gtff.net) and Kayleigh Peterman (member.communications@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
  • 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. See the agenda here.
    Day: Thursday, 5/9 (Week 6)
    Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm
    Location: GTFF Office (609 E. 13th Ave.)
    Contact: Hyunsoo Lee (equity@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 and join K-12 educators at a rally in downtown Eugene!
    DayWednesday, 5/8 (Week 6)
    Time: 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: Eugene Saturday Market/Park Blocks (126 E. 8th Ave.)

    Contact: Rajeev Ravisankar (external.relations@gtff.net)

  • PAAWS Therapy Dogs at the Grad School
    Join the Family Issues GE Kris Wright for some de-stressing. Pet therapy dogs, they will be happy to see you, we promise! Held in the Grad School Lounge and outside on the lawn if weather permits. Family-friendly!
    Day: Wednesday, 5/8 (Week 6)
    Time: 1:00pm - 2:30pm
    Location: UO Graduate Lounge (
    1431 University St.)
    Contact: Kris Wright (

  • E-Council Meeting
    All Stewards and Caucus Chairs should attend -- all members are welcome! We'll be discussing bargaining strategy and discussing bottom lines. 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)
  • Disability Access Subcommittee Meeting
    Disability Access Subcommittee of the Bargaining team will have a meeting with UO Employee and Labor Relations staffs and UO ADA Coordinator. Please contact Disability Access Caucus chair Kylen, if you are interested in attending or information.
    Day: Thursday, 5/9 (Week 6)
    Time: 12:30pm - 1:30pm
    Location: EMU 140
    Kylen Gartland (disabilityaccessgtff@gmail.com)
  • Survivor Support Caucus Meeting
    Weekly meetings of Survivor Support Caucus are open to anyone interested in caucus agendas and survivor support activities! We will keep discussing and working to improve our survivor supporting environment!
    Days: Fridays
    Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm
    Location: GTFF Office 609 E. 13th Ave.)
    Contact: Emily Beecher (trustcaucus@gmail.com)

  • 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, 5/14 (Week 7)
    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)

  • Vote on Officers and Bylaw Amendments
    Look out for a voter's guide, coming out soon! 
    Days: Monday, 5/20 - Friday, 5/24 (Week 8)
    Ellen Gillooly-Kress (operations@gtff.net)

  • Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE) Brew-Off
    The CGE Brew-Off is a homebrew competition among 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. Sign up to brew or to volunteer!
    DaySaturday, 6/1 (Week 9)
    Time: 5:00pm
    LocationAvery Park Lion’s Shelter (1310 SW Avery Park Dr. Corvallis, OR)
    ContactEllen Gillooly-Kress (operations@gtff.net)
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. 

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 their testimonies related to bargaining proposals put forth by the GTFF and by UO. Opportunities to share your story include 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: 
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 29, Section 7, explains the use of Family and Medical Leave:

When a GE will be absent for a period of greater than five (5) consecutive working days (one week), they may be entitled to the Family and Medical Leave as described in this section. At the request of a GE, Unpaid Parental Leave can be utilized before paid sick days. 
  • Eligibility: Any GE who has been an employee of the University, as a GE, for at least one term preceding the term in which the leave is requested is eligible for leave according to the terms set forth in this section.
  • Provision: The GE shall be entitled to a total of twelve (12) work weeks of unpaid leave during any twelve month period for one or more of the following reasons: 
    • the birth of a child and in order to care for such child;
    • placement of child with GE for adoption or foster care;
    • the care of a spouse (or equivalent in accordance with Oregon state law), child, or parent of the GE if a serious health condition exists;
    • a serious health condition of the GE which makes the GE unable to perform their duties. In cases where such leave is five (5) weeks or longer in a single term, such leave may be taken in conjunction with an academic leave of absence.
  • After exhausting sick leave (or before exhausting sick leave in the case of parental leave), a GE who takes leave for one of these reasons has the right to shift duties and workload in a manner that allows the GE to take at least two weeks off (including sick leave) over the course of the GE’s full appointment period. If a GE exercises this right, duty and workload allocation will be determined under Section 6 of this Article. The foregoing two sentences do not affect a GE’s right under Section 6 to request additional adjustments to their duties and/or workload.
  • Notice Requirement The GE shall provide their employer with written notice not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date of requested leave, if practicable. In the case of an emergency or unforeseen circumstance, the GE must give a verbal notice to their employer within twenty-four (24) hours of taking leave. In the case of a serious health condition, the University may request medical verification from a healthcare provider and the GE must provide such verification within fifteen (15) days of the request.
  • Benefits Retention GEs appointed at .27 FTE or less shall retain their tuition waiver and the University shall continue to pay health care premiums during the duration of the GE's leave if the GE remains enrolled and has or will have performed works representing a minimum of .14 FTE during the term in which family and medical leave is taken. Salary will be adjusted to reflect changes in FTE. All other GEs will retain their tuition waiver and health care benefits if they have or will perform work representing a minimum of .16 FTE during the term in which family and medical leave is taken. Salary will be adjusted to reflect changes in FTE.
  • Job Protection After returning to work after taking leave under these provisions, a GE is entitled to be restored to the position of employment held by the GE when the leave commenced, or an alternative position if the position held no longer exists. This provision will not be applicable in the case where the GE returns in a term under which they did not have an appointment or an expectation of such appointment with the University.
  • Academic Leave of Absence If a GE takes an academic leave of absence after the normal filing date for declaring on leave status, the GE shall contact the Graduate School for assistance in obtaining a complete withdrawal for the term. A GE who takes an academic leave of absence will lose their tuition waiver. A GE who takes an academic leave of absence can maintain health benefits by paying COBRA premiums.

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
We met on 4/26 to discuss activities this academic year and how to improve for the next year, and works to have sessions at the new student orientation and improve GE/staff/faculty training.

Survivor Support Caucus (formerly the T.R.U.S.T. Caucus)
At our 5/3 meeting, we discussed what went well this academic year, what could go better, and brainstormed things to do/keep in mind for the rest of the term and what we envision for next year.

On 4/24, we hosted the "Share Why We Don’t Share: Improving University Reporting and Support Workshop." Representatives from Sexual Violence and Prevention and Education, Sexual Assault Support Services, and Survivor Support Caucus members discussed how to improve reporting and survivor supporting.

Caucus Council
Caucus Chairs met with the VP for Equity and Inclusion on 4/30 to discuss issues of equity and inclusion in union activities and community livings.

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.

2019 AFT-OR Convention

This weekend, 19 delegates from GTFF in addition to Staff Organizer Michael Marchman and VP-at-Large Lola Loustaunau attended the statewide convention of our parent union, American Federation of Teachers Oregon (AFT-OR). We met with our cousin unions and discussed strategies for making our locals stronger.

We also collectively passed a number of resolutions, including an endorsement of the Green New Deal, support for the right of campaign workers to unionize, opposition to the use of prison labor, and advocacy for expanding renters' protections.

GTFF won awards for communications and membership increases. We also won the "Creative Crown" for our awesome Union Hero costumes! (We also unofficially won karaoke.)

Over the next two years, GTFF will be represented among our state and national parent unions by Mike Magee as VP-at-Large, Kayleigh Peterman as VP for Political Action, and Dan Fielding as 2019 Oregon AFL-CIO convention delegate.

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