UO students, workers under attack

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UO proposes tuition raise, cuts to labor

Over the last year the University of Oregon has been going around telling members of the campus that a budget crisis was coming and they would be making cuts. In the last few weeks, we have seen how the administration is going to be carrying those cuts out— and to no surprise, the proposed cuts are hitting labor and students hard. The Labor Education and Research Center is facing a 68% reduction in University funding. UO President Michael Schill’s latest proposal is to raise in-state undergraduate student tuition up to 9.68%.

President Schill held a undergraduate tuition forum last Monday as part of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s requirement for outreach before tuition increases, before making his recommendation to the University’s Board of Trustees. The University announced the event less than a week before. There were less than 20 undergraduates present at the event. Schill got flustered with several questions and left many unanswered fully. When asked to explain taking a $720,00 salary during the current budget situation he answered, “Do you really expect me to answer that question? Good rhetoric, though.”

In response to the administration’s efforts to cut worker benefits, funding to labor education, and raising tuition for undergraduates the major campus labor unions, along with LERC, and the Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO) are organizing a rally at the Board of Trustees. Gordon Lafer, a professor with LERC, noted how if the UO made only an 8% cut to pay of the administrators making more $200k/year, the center would be fully protected. The GTFF, the UO graduate employees’ union, remarked how Schill’s auto allowance is nearly as much as the monthly salary for many GEs. The ASUO provided a minority report in the Tuition and Fee Advisory Board (TFAB) tuition recommendation, where they broke down UO’s often used argument of “buckets,” that funds are sectioned off from different programs.

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