UO faculty begins bargaining

The Student Insurgent, the independent radical newspaper at the University of Oregon, recently launched their website. I have been contributing to the publication and below is an adaption of my update on United Academics bargaining that I submitted for this month’s issue.

UAUO begins bargaining

United Academics of the University of Oregon (UAUO), the union that represents faculty at the university, kicked off bargaining for a new contract last month. Atop of some of their priorities is more rights for non-tenure faculty and undergraduate student support. This will only be their third contract and first new contract in five years.

UAUO is the third university labor union to bargain this school year for a new contract, after SEIU and GTFF won new contracts in the fall and narrowly avoided strikes. UAUO however views bargaining will go differently for them. The union says as part of their “UA Bargaining 101” there is no plan for a strike and they have not historically found a hard time finding agreement with the administration. That does not mean they will not challenge the administration, their union Organizer, David Cecil, has thrown in multiple jabs at the administration during bargaining already.

One of UAUO’s more ambitious proposals is its “Student Support” proposal, which aims to change the adversarial relationship between academics and athletics and support lower income students. The union notes in its preamble of its proposal that the faculty have a record of donating their performance bonuses to support students, it also notes how costs are going up for students with the on-campus living requirement. They try to tackle  this by proposing 20% of the revenue from the ducks athletic fund will be awarded to faculty who will donate it to a fund to offset living costs for Pathway Oregon students.

UAUO has also made proposals surrounding salaries, with their eyes not just on tenured faculty but also career faculty. The proposal outlines 3% cost of living adjustments for each of the three years of the contract. Additionally they are seeking significant changes to the salary floors, as faculty have not seen those changes in about five years.

The union and administration’s bargaining teams meet weekly for public sessions on Thursdays from 12-3 PM in Chiles 125.

Local links

Protesters experience aggressive backlash while advocating for housing justice in Eugene (Stop Death on the Streets, Eugene press release)

Student campaign group #ReclaimUO gathers signatures to ‘democratize’ BOT

The week ahead