We’re filing for mediation in bargaining. Here’s why.

Among the many counters we brought back to UO at the August 24 session, our bargaining team made some significant moves. We presented new numbers on salary, while reasserting that GEs need a significant raise up front in the first year of the new contract. Since the university held on to our salary article for over 2 months (!!) before giving us a counter proposal that accounted for our entire bargaining unit, we lost valuable time to negotiate. Now that we’re nearing the end of summer, we’re much further away from an agreement on this article (among others like our International GE, Caregiver, and Tuition Waiver articles) than we had anticipated.

Because of this, we’ve let UO know that we’re calling for mediation to help make progress happen (see below for more on what this means). Our proposals are based on real data about what our members need. We think a mediator will recognize those facts, even if UO refuses to do so.

Here’s what else happened:

We have reached tentative agreements (TA) on the following articles: Article 31 (GE Training & Professional Development), Article 12 (Evaluations), and Article 35 (Negotiation of Successor Agreement). We believe we’re also fairly close to TAing a few other articles, such as Article 3 (Union Rights) and Article 16 (Discipline & Discharge). 

Most of the articles that we brought counterproposals for reasserted our position on several issues such as increased notice of teaching assignments, eliminating any student fees, more clear and responsive ADA accommodations process, and creating more transparency in offer letters.

Where we made the most changes was in Article 22 Salary as well as in Article 35 Negotiation of Successor Agreement, where we’ve tentatively agreed to the status quo of a three-year contract, in the hope that it will help move bargaining forward. Below you can see the proposed salary increases we offered. 

Raise the minimum GE Salary:

  • Year 1: 26%
  • Year 2: 16%
  • Year 3: 10%

Raise GE salaries across the board:

  • Year 1: 15%
  • Year 2: 10%
  • Year 3: 10%

 If you’re interested in seeing the nitty-gritty details, you can find all of our proposals on our Trello board. 

What happens next?

Mediation, when a third-party mediator from the state Employee Relations Board comes in to facilitate negotiations, is one step in the legal process of bargaining. (You can find an overview of that process in our FAQ.) It might mean that bargaining will look different going forward–though members will still be able to be present outside the room and talk to our team during caucuses, the mediator may not allow an audience for the sessions. For now, though, the university has agreed to keep negotiations going as scheduled while we wait for a mediator to become available. So, we’ll see you back in McKenzie 221 for our next scheduled session: Thursday, August 31, 2-5pm.