Week 6 Updates/Action

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GTFF Updates - Week 6

Fall Work Survey, Leadership Nominations and Bylaws, and More

Fall Work Survey

Yesterday, Chief Human Resource Officer Mark Schmelz sent all faculty and GEs an email about the procedure for requesting remote work accommodations for the fall term with a deadline of May 8 (this Friday, in three days) to respond.

The form asks respondents to indicate whether they meet stringent CDC criteria for belonging to "at-risk" groups and says clearly that non-response will be taken as a tacit agreement to work on campus this fall to the extent that it is open (which, at the moment, is intended to be completely so). The email provides for some direct conversation with supervisors about alternate arrangements for other who aren't comfortable returning to campus full-time--provided those take place before May 31.

This impossibly tight time frame to make decisions and requests in a rapidly changing situation we can't predict is an outrage and rightfully concerning! We have a lot of concerns about how this policy will be applied, and none of us is alone in this uncertainty.

The end of the email from our Chief Human Resources Officer says that those with questions about requesting to work remotely through the fall should contact
Employee and Labor Relations in Human Resources. 

To that end, we are doing our due diligence as employees and sending emails about our concerns to clarify why they are seeking to put so many of us at risk mere days after Gov. Kate Brown extended our stay-at-home order into July. Will you join your voice with those of your colleagues? Send your concerns directly to:

And feel free to copy:
Here are some concerns we've heard and have about this plan. Pick a few to address in your own email (or pick all of them!). The important thing is they need to hear from YOU what YOUR concerns are. Employee and Labor Relations and other administrators need to hear from all of us on this!

If you can, send your concerns in the next 48 hours!

Should I respond to the survey? What if I/folks in my household need me to work remotely in the fall?

In conversation with the Disability Access Caucus, we're recommending everyone fill out the survey as best reflects their concerns about in-person work. We suggest emphasizing the importance of minimizing risk for ourselves, our colleagues, our families, our students, and our community, especially for those most at risk. We want to make it as clear as possible to the university administration that it is unacceptable to risk the lives of their students and employees in this pandemic!

You can use the following language to provide reasoning for working remotely, draw from the talking points linked above, or complete it as best fits your concerns.

"I do not currently have confidence that either I or that the people with whom I come into contact will be safe if I were to work on campus in the fall, based on the UO's current public position on fall operations."

2020-21 Leadership Nominations and Bylaw Changes

  • Remember to submit nominations for Executive Board and Lead Stewards through our online form or to Rachel at operations@gtff.net by Friday, May 8! You can find descriptions of E-board positions and Lead Steward responsibilities in the GMM packet.

  • If you’re working on a bylaw change and would like another set of eyes, you can contact Ellen at president@gtff.net for assistance or to find others who might also be working on similar changes. These are also due to Rachel at operations@gtff.net by Friday, May 8.

Upcoming Events

Keep an eye out for events through email, on our Facebook page, and on our calendar!
  • Executive Council
    All stewards and caucus chairs should attend--all members welcome! We'll be working through needs of our community now and into the fall, as well as planning for the future of GTFF (including budgets, elections and bylaw changes). Please join us on the GTFF Zoom!
    Day: Next Thursday, 5/14 
    Time: 5:30pm
    Contact: Trevor (o
  • Standing Meetings
    The following meetings occur on a weekly basis--feel free to contact the committee chair or join the meeting at bit.ly/GTFFzoom!
    - E-Board: Mondays, 9-11am (Ellen, president@gtff.net)
    Equity Committee: Mondays, 5-6pm (Michelle, equity@gtff.net)
    - Lead Stewards: Tuesdays, 12-1pm (Trevor, organizing@gtff.net)
    Grievance Committee: Tuesdays, 4-5pm (Alexis, grievances@gtff.net)

Stand in solidarity with Villanova grad employees!

Graduate students at Villanova in Philosophy and Theology are organizing for support from their departments and their administration. Villanova still has not responded directly to any of the requests they've made, despite testimonials accompanying the letter that "detailed the precarious conditions these students faced in past summers--conditions which, as the letter made clear, are about to become far worse."

Their requests in the Villanova grads' letter respond to increased vulnerability during the ongoing pandemic and their restrictive nine month payment structure, including only a $1,000 healthcare stipend once a year, but no health insurance. They've been working for years to get their concerns taken seriously, and are now circulating a solidarity letter as well as an online petition. Many of their concerns mirror our own, like summer funding (particularly for international GEs) and the availability of affordable health care for all. Sign on to support them in their organizing!


E-board members are still holding weekly open office hours--drop by if you have questions, need to share information, or just want to chat!
We’ll be available:
  • Mondays from 2-3pm
  • 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!

Want to take your union work to the next level?
Consider an AFT-Oregon position! 

AFT-OR is seeking a member of GTFF to step up in the role of VP-at-large as a representative for GTFF on a statewide level. The position would start July 1st, 2020.

From AFT's position description:
"Vice-Presidents. Each vice-president shall act as liaison to locals as directed by the executive council. Additionally, officers of AFT-Oregon shall: 
  1. Present to the executive council in a timely manner all matters that require a decision and/or action by the council as detailed in the constitution; 
  2. Represent AFT-Oregon at meetings, workshops, conventions and activities as designated by the executive council, and/or by the president; 
  3. Be responsive to all locals by giving advice, assistance and support to such locals whenever needed or requested; and 
  4. Communicate their activities to the executive council on an ongoing basis or as required."
If you're interested, or know someone else who might be, contact Ellen at president@gtff.net!
Remember, you can always find the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 and GTFF on the
GTFF Coronavirus Updates page!
Have thoughts to share about our union?

Please fill out this form if you'd like to share any (anonymous, if you like) ideas, concerns, suggestions, or other thoughts about our union. 
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