Fall term has officially begun, and we're still at impasse in negotiations with UO administration.
The beginning of this term was a rough one, with 350 GEs waiting to receive correct September paychecks for days into October. Everyone should have been paid by now; if you have not, contact your department steward! We as the GTFF have filed a grievance and are in conversation with the university to figure out how this happened and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.**
We’ve called impasse in bargaining, but negotiations are not over—and they’re not looking good. The GTFF bargaining committee and the UO administration’s bargaining team have sent last best final offers to the state Employment Relations Board (ERB) as of Thursday, October 3rd.
2) Low marginal increases with no UO support over 5%
$61 regular year
$61 regular year
6 weeks paid
6 weeks paid
$700 / year assistance up to 9 years old
$700 / year assistance up to 7 years old
International GE Support
Visa application and
One year pilot non-tuition-waiver summer jobs program with protections and clear sunset clause
Non-tuition or fee remission summer jobs program with no protections or sunset clause
GEs by the end of UO admin’s proposed contract would, at best, have 1.5% new income (3% annual raises assuming 2.5% yearly inflation) to work with to cover 8% added insurance costs. No matter how you slice it, this is a cut, either to insurance benefits or to real wages. There is absolutely no reason we would ever accept this, as GEs are only ever worse off under this model.
The university administration is still insisting on cuts to our health care, and they’ve been very open about this goal in mediation sessions. We are determined to keep the health care coverage that we’ve fought for and won in past contracts! And to show the administration just how determined we are, we’re holding a strike authorization vote, which would authorize the Executive Board to call a strike if we do not reach a deal before the university administration imposes its contract. This vote will kick off at a General Membership Meeting (GMM) this Tuesday (tomorrow!), October 15, from 5:30-8:00 pm in the South Eugene High School Cafeteria.
There will be more information about what a strike will look like and why we find ourselves at this point in negotiations, and it’s a good place to bring any questions you may have about this process. Make sure you’re at this meeting—it’s your opportunity to make your voice heard.
If you cannot attend the meeting, you’ll still be able to vote on Wednesday, October 16 and Thursday, October 17. Watch our Facebook page or ask your department steward for specifics!
To be clear, we are still committed to negotiations and will bring a counterproposal to our next meeting with UO admin’s bargaining team on October 18. Mark your calendar for our Rally for a Fair Contract this Friday at noon outside Johnson Hall!
We need to show the administration just how determined we are to maintain our health care as it is—and that we’re serious about protecting our wages as well. Come to the General Membership Meeting and vote to take the steps necessary to fight for a fair contract for all GEs!
In Solidarity Forever,
Ellen Gillooly-Kress President of the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation
** UO is working on an Action Report regarding late paychecks that they’ll share with us when it’s complete. The university is also open to reimbursing people who experienced financial hardship as a consequence of the late paychecks—overdraft fees, bounced checks, etc. If this happened to you, keep any receipts that reflect that financial hardship.
To learn more about our bargaining efforts, visit our website.