Higher Ed Contract Ratified!

The votes have been counted.

And we are excited to announce that Higher Ed members of SEIU 503 have overwhelmingly voted to ratify the tentative agreement (TA) reached by the Bargaining Team and management at Oregon’s seven public universities! Most members cast their ballots, and 96% voted in favor of ratifying this contract, which includes cost-of-living (COLA) increases through the end of 2025.

Now that this contract is approved by members, classified university staff will get:

  • 6.5% COLA April 1, 2024
  • 2% COLA November 1, 2024
  • 3.5% COLA June 1, 2025
  • 3% COLA November 1, 2025
  • A $1500 onetime payment, prorated by FTE payment, paid out with the April 2024 paycheck (treated as wages)

This was a big win – and YOUR efforts – attending practice pickets, rallies, purpling up at work, signing strike pledges and more – helped management see that our universities work because we do. We will continue to fight to win during the next contract cycle.

We win because we have power in union; in union, we have political power.

Elections matter. The people we elect to public office oversee the state budget where pay increases come from and we need to make sure the people we elect prioritize workers.

We can and do have a say in who is elected to office this year. Members like you contributing $5 or $10 a month to CAPE, our political action program, help elect pro-worker champions. Legislators we endorsed allocated $1.1 billion to universities to fund this great contract. Join CAPE today and keep the wins coming!


We Have a Tentative Agreement!

February 27,2024

Thanks to the incredible power workers have been building on our campuses—signing strike pledges, practice picketing, rallying, delivering our petitions to administration, and more—we have moved management to come to a tentative agreement that includes historic cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), protects our contracting out language, moves us forward on building our union, and a $1,500 one-time payment in our April paychecks (prorated by FTE).

More details will be shared soon, but here are the headlines:

  • 15% COLAs in the next two years
    • 6.5% pay increase, effective April 1, 2024
    • Annual pay increases each remaining year of the contract:
      • 2% effective November 1, 2024
      • 3.5% effective June 1, 2025
      • 3% effective November 1, 2025
  • $1,500 one-time payment in our April paychecks (prorated by FTE)
  • No takeaways on contracting out language

None of this goes into effect before union members vote to ratify the agreement.

Remember, we fought to protect our health insurance and steps in the agreement that members voted to ratify in 2022.

More information is coming on ratification – stay tuned for details!

Only members can vote on this contract – if you aren’t a member, join today!

In Solidarity,
SEIU 503 Higher Ed Bargaining Team

Ashley Wase (PSU), Colleen Martin-Low (SOU), Darryn Stevens (OIT), Jo Hickerson (EOU), Johnny Earl, Chair (UO), Louie Vidmar (UO), Mark Dunbar (OSU), and Samantha Brubaker (WOU)


Classified workers at all seven public universities are currently bargaining for changes to our contract that cover wages, benefits, and workplace conditions like safety, telework, and more. 

Who are Higher Education Workers? We are workers at all seven of Oregon’s public universities: Oregon Institute of Technology, Southern Oregon University, Western Oregon University, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Eastern Oregon University, and University of Oregon. We are joined together in union to make Oregon a better place to live and work. 

What are we bargaining for? Our current contract expires on June 30, 2026. We’ve agreed with management to negotiate several articles of the existing contract this year. It’s an opportunity to get the respect, pay, and working conditions we deserve.  

What do we want? 

As a member-run union, our bargaining priorities are set by the membership.  As a result of the bargaining surveys members filled out last summer, we are prioritizing respect for classified staff, fair wages that keep pace with the cost of living, safe working conditions, and maintaining our strong union.  

Bargaining Updates 

Take action to support bargaining: 

Your Bargaining Team 

SEIU 503 is a member-run union. Members elect a bargaining team of their peers every two years. With legal, negotiation, and logistical support from union staff, your bargaining team fights to make sure your priorities are reflected in the final contract.  

Your Bargaining Team members are Ashley Wase (PSU), Colleen Martin-Low (SOU), Darryn Stevens (OIT), Jo Hickerson (EOU), Johnny Earl, Chair (UO), Louie Vidmar (UO), Mark Dunbar (OSU), and Samantha Brubaker (WOU).