Winter 2019 Week 6 Newsletter

View this email in your browser

GTFF 3544 Newsletter

Upcoming Events ~ News

Lots of updates!

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 this E-Council Meeting! We'll be voting in the new VPs for External Relations and Political Education! Light refreshments will be provided. Be sure to RSVP!
    Contact: Nikki Cox (
    Date: Wednesday, 2/13 (Week 6)
    - Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm 
    - Location
    GTFF Office (609 E. 13th Ave.)
  • Fifth Bargaining Session
    Come support our Bargaining Committee at the fifth Bargaining Session of 2018-2019! We'll hear counterproposals from each side. Let's continue to show the university that we stand together to fight for our rights as workers! (People are welcome to come and go as needed. Can't make it in person? Tune in to our livestream and show your support on social media by tagging your posts with #GradsRAISEUO and #UOworksbecausewedo!) For more information, visit the event's Facebook page.
    - Date: Friday, 2/15 (Week 6)
    - Time: 11:00am - 3:00pm
    - Location: 229 McKenzie Hall

    Contact: Mike Magee (

  • AFT-OR Lobby Day
    Join AFT-Oregon members on Monday, February 18 for a rally at 10:00 AM on the steps of the state capitol (in Salem) followed by visits to state representative and senators. Register with AFT-Oregon ( and let Mike Magee know if you plan on going and would like to arrange a carpool!
    - Date: Monday, 2/18 (Week 7) 
    - Time: 10:00am 
    - Location: Oregon State Capitol 
    900 Court St. NE Salem, OR)
    Contact: Mike Magee (

  • 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 (
  • Disability Access Caucus Meeting
    Discussion of collecting testimony about why bargaining proposals of more accessible campus facilities for people with various disabilities is important.
    Date: Friday, 2/22 (Week 7)
    Time: 5:30pm 
    Location: GTFF Office (609 E. 13th Ave.)
    Contact: Kylen Gartland (
  • Contract Action Team (CAT) Meeting
    Come hear how the CAT plans to support GTFF's bargaining efforts!
    - Date: Tuesday, 2/26 (Week 8)
    - Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm
    - Location
    GTFF Office (609 E. 13th Ave.)
    Contacts: Nikki Cox ( and Kayleigh Peterman (
  • 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. If you or someone you know would like to attend, please let Ellen Gillooly-Kress know by 5:00pm on Friday, 2/15.
    - Dates: Friday, 5/3 - Sunday, 5/5
    - Location: Sunriver, OR

    Contacts: Ellen Gillooly-Kress (

Union Workshops

Want to learn more about your rights as a worker? Interested in ways to strengthen your union? Check out these great opportunities! 

Please RSVP to Michael ( if you plan to attend.
  • Organizing Your Department In a Bargaining Year
    Tuesday, 2/19 (Week 7), 1:00pm - 2:30pm
    Monday, 2/25 (Week 8), 2:30pm - 4:00pm
    This workshop focuses on how to effectively organize your department, increase membership and involvement, and develop a strategy for building union power with your colleagues. Department-based organizing is THE KEY to having a strong, effective, democratic union. Useful to anyone who wants to help strengthen our union
  • Being an Effective Steward/Member
    Friday, 2/22 (Week 7), 12:30pm - 2:00pm
    Monday, 3/4 (Week 9), 11:00am - 12:30pm
    This workshop focuses on how to be an effective steward. Stewards are the backbone of our union and a large, knowledgeable, and engaged Stewards' Council is essential to having a healthy, vibrant, democratic union! Having effective stewards is also critical to winning a strong contract, enforcing our rights and benefits, and strengthening our union. You don't have to be a steward to benefit from this workshop--everyone is welcome!
  • Know Your Contract/Bargaining Update
    Friday, 2/22 (Week 7), 2:00pm - 3:30pm
    This workshop covers the basics of our collective bargaining agreement, including the rights, benefits, and protections guaranteed to all GEs under our contract. We will also discuss some of the most common contract violations, least known provisions, and what we can do when the contract is violated or GEs are treated unfairly. All GEs, and especially all stewards, should know the basics of the contract!
  • Having Effective Union Conversations
    Thursday, 2/28 (Week 8), 11:00am - 12:30pm

    Tuesday, 3/5 (Week 9), 3:00pm - 4:30pm
    This workshop is all about how to talk with your colleagues about our union. Regular one-on-one conversations with other GEs are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to building membership, strengthening peoples' involvement in and commitment to GTFF, and building the kind of solidarity that we need to thrive and kick butt as a union. This can be scary or intimidating--but with a little training and practice, you will not only get good at it, you'll realize that it is both fun and rewarding to have real work conversations with people.

Have you seen these around campus? 

GTFF Members are “blacking out” their office doors to show where GE labor would be lost should our new contract not support our ability to live, teach, and learn at UO.

This is part of our bargaining campaign and is meant to catch the attention of our undergrad students, our supervisors, and UO admin.

If your door has already been "blacked out," post a picture of it on social media with the hashtags #GradsRAISEUO#GTFF3544, & #UOworksbecausewedo.

If you would like to participate, email Nikki Cox at

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 from GEs with families, GEs of color, international GEs, survivors of sexual violence or harassment, members with mental or physical disabilities, and members of LGBTQIA+ community. Also, any members of/with any identities, challenges, experiences, thoughts, and/or concerns are welcome to provide input.

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 (
Hyunsoo Lee (
Kayleigh Peterman (
Informed by the Membership and designed by the Bargaining Committee and the Contract Action Team, the 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

For more information on the bargaining platform, proposals, and Bargaining Committee, visit

The next Bargaining Session is Friday, 2/15 at 11AM-3PM in 229 McKenzie Hall
People are welcome to come and go as needed. If you can't make it in person, tune in to our livestream and post your support on social media with the hashtags #GradsRAISEUO and #UOworksbecausewedo.

Bargaining Updates

At the Fourth Bargaining Session (2/1/2019), we heard the last set of the university's proposals, TA'ed an article, and responded to their economic package.
  • UO proposed changes to grievance policies:
    • Reshape the process into a three-step structure
      • Informal mediation stage
      • Formal written grievance to president’s designee and hearing
      • Arbitration
    • Reframe ability of union representatives to join GEs in conversations with supervisors.
  • We have tentatively agreed on one article regarding personnel files, and believe we are close to tentative agreement on other non-economic proposals. 
  • President Mike Magee responded to UO's economic package. Below is an excerpt:
    • “We discussed the University’s economic proposal among ourselves and with the membership, and the reaction was universal: the notion that taking money away from hard-earned benefits like health insurance and calling it a “raise” and living wage is, quite frankly, disappointing and frustrating. We came into these negotiations with the expectation of reaching an agreement that would improve the working conditions and lives of 1500 graduate employees, with a specific emphasis on those most marginalized folks like families, and gender, sexual, and racial minorities. The University’s proposal indicates that, at best, the administration merely wants to maintain the status quo by moving money around in a shell game, and to introduce a compensation structure with the direct consequence of eroding the benefits GEs have fought for over decades; erosions which will hit marginalized groups the hardest.
    • “As a result of the specific problems we have with the economic package on its own terms as a financial loss and reduction of benefits for GEs, our fundamental disagreements over the nature of a living-wage and our desire to see improvements rather than simply maintain the status quo, and the ultimate failure of the University’s economic proposal to seriously address the needs of our members as expressed in our opening proposals, we simply cannot seriously entertain the proposed structure of the University’s package.
    • “We are willing, and in fact looking forward to, reaching an agreement that satisfies both parties and achieves real improvements for GEs, but the proposed structure of merely moving money around all the while slashing benefits is not a system we are interested or willing to pursue. It is, in short, a path that cannot lead to an agreement. While we have no interest in pursuing the University’s economic proposal, we found much of the University’s non-economic proposals quite reasonable and are prepared to work toward agreements that can solve many of the problems you’ve identified.”

Stand with your bargaining team at the next bargaining session:

Friday, 2/15
229 McKenzie Hall

If you can’t be there in person, tune in to our livestream ( and show your support on social media by tagging your posts with #GradsRAISEUO and #GTFF3544.
 Let’s show up and show that we are united!

Are you interested in helping out with bargaining efforts?
Contact Nikki Cox ( and Kayleigh Peterman (!
Winter General Membership Meeting (GMM)
Our Winter GMM was this past Friday! See below to learn what happened:
  • President Mike Magee and the Bargaining Committee gave a bargaining update
  • VP for Membership Emily Sutton discussed membership numbers in total and by department
  • VP for Organizing Nikki Cox gave an update on the Majority Petition and introduced the next escalation in our bargaining campaign--the Blackout Blitz (see more above)
  • Treasurer Shawn Rodine gave us the amended budget for 2018-2019 (see more below)
  • VP for Operations talked about the upcoming AFT-OR convention
  • Outgoing VP for Political Education encouraged people to nominate members for the two open VP positions (Political Education and External Relations)
  • VP for Equity and Inclusion Hyunsoo Lee and Caucus Chairs gave updates on our caucuses (see more below)

Budget Amendment

At the Winter GMM, GTFF Treasurer Shawn Rodine proposed an amended budget to the general membership. This budget, which increases spending in a number of areas, is the result of two big changes in our union's landscape:

  1. In anticipation of the Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME and the loss of fair-share dues, public employee unions across the country reassessed their budgets and cut back on many expenses. GTFF decreased its spending in a number of areas, but the budgeted amounts have not been enough for necessary union activities. Thankfully, because of our healthy membership numbers and a change to the bylaws last year which introduced a sliding-scale member dues model, the change in dues revenue has been almost negligible.
  2. Due to the hard work of previous AFT-OR convention delegates, our "per-caps" (the amount we send to our parent union AFT-OR) were reduced by about $4,000 per month. Between November 2018 and June 2019, we will have saved about $30,000 total. 

Last Friday, the general membership voted overwhelmingly to approve the amended budget. This budget increases amounts in the following areas in order to support regular union activities, as well as special bargaining-related activities:

Expense Amount Budgeted Proposed Amount Added New Budgeted Amount
Copies $ 800 $ 800 $ 1,600
Office Expenses – Other $ 0 $ 1,000 $ 1,000
General Membership Meetings $ 3,000 $ 1,500 $ 4,500
Executive Council Meetings $ 2,500 $ 1,000 $ 3,500
Meetings, Trainings $ 0 $ 1,000 $ 1,000
Bargaining $ 750 $ 750 $ 1,500
Donations – Other $ 0 $ 1,000 $ 1,000
Promotions and Recognitions $ 2,000 $ 5,000 $ 7,000
Strike Expenses (new) $ 0 $ 5,000 $ 5,000
Total   $ 16,050  

For any questions about the amended budget, union finances, or joining the Budget Committee, email Shaw Rodine ( 


Caucus Corner

Welcome our New Chair for the Parents' Caucus!
Amy Rowland (Psychology) will be in contact with, and looking for, our parent members, to organize events of families and parents and to gather stories related to bargaining proposals of better childcare, lactation facilities, and other family/parent GE environments. Please share your stories: or

Call for Leadership!
The Workers' Caucus and Women's Caucus are looking for leaders! Please contact Hyunsoo ( if interested!

Inter-Caucus Meeting
On 1/31, caucus leaders and interested members of our caucus groups had a round-table session, discussing issues, collaborations, and upcoming plans! Keep an eye out for some inter-caucus events!

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
T.R.U.S.T. Caucus Nicole Paterson
Women's Caucus Vacant
Workers’ Caucus Vacant
The Family Issues GE Invites You To

If you have any questions, contact the Family GE:

Kris Wright
2018-2019 Graduate Families GE, 
University of Oregon Graduate School
Susan Campbell Hall
Join our listserv:
Know Your Contract

Our Collective Bargaining Agreement, in Article 13, Section 5, details the steps GEs can take to settle a grievance: 
  • Step 1. (Informal)
    • Except for grievances filed under Section 6, where appropriate, GEs may present grievances orally to the person to whom the GE is assigned.
    • That person will report the decision orally to the GE within five (5) working days of its presentation.
    • Any settlement, withdrawal or other disposition of a grievance through this informal step shall not constitute any precedent in the disposition of similar grievances.
  • Step 2. (Formal)
    • If the grievant is not satisfied with the decision at Step 1 (or if Step 1 was not used), the grievant or a representative may present the grievance to the head of the operating unit (department, institute, school, etc.) within ten (10) working days of the decision at Step 1 if applicable.
    • The grievance shall be in writing as provided in Section 4b) above. The Graduate School and the Employee Relations Manager shall be provided with copies.
    • If the grievance is not presented by a Union representative, the unit head shall send a copy of the grievance to the Union forthwith. If Step 1 is omitted, the grievance must be filed at this step within the time limits provided in Section 4a) above.
    • The unit head shall arrange a meeting between the unit head or designee(s) and the grievant or representative(s) within ten (10) working days of receipt of the written grievance. The grievant is encouraged, but not required to attend.
    • If the grievant elects not to be represented by the Union, notice of the meeting shall be given to the Union and a Union representative shall be entitled to be present at the meeting.
    • The unit head will send a decision in writing to the grievant with a copy to the Union within fifteen (15) working days of the presentation of the grievance.
  • Step 3. (President or Designee)
    • In the event that the grievant is not satisfied with the decision at Step 2, the grievant may present the written grievance to the President of the University of Oregon or designee within ten (10) working days of the decision at Step 2.
    • The President or designee(s), other than persons involved at Step 1 or Step 2, or the Graduate School Dean, will convene and conduct a grievance hearing in which the grievant and/or representative(s) shall participate. If a grievant is not represented by the Union, notice of the meeting to hear the grievance shall be given to the Union and a Union representative shall be entitled to be present.
    • The President or designee(s) shall send a decision in writing to the grievant with a copy to the Union within twenty (20) working days of the presentation of the written grievance to the President.
    • Any designee of the President shall have relevant experience with legal agreements related to employment contracts or dispute resolution related to employment contracts.  
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!
Follow us on Social media:
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.