Published: August 19, 2019

After a frustrating, and frankly insulting, two days at the bargaining table, we determined that declaring impasse is currently our best path forward. 

What does impasse mean? Under Oregon law, once impasse is declared both parties have 7 days to submit best and final offers for publication, followed by a 30-day cooling off period. After the cooling off period, the universities may implement their final offer and workers may go out on strike (with 10-days’ notice, which may be given during the cooling off period). The parties will continue to negotiate through the cooling off period and a potential strike until an agreement is reached.

Management arrived late to bargaining on Thursday and announced that they were prepared to settle during this session. However, their words and their actions did not demonstrate that they are serious about reaching an agreement and preventing a strike. Management told us that we have to settle for whatever is left after taking care of everyone else on campus.  

They have not conceded that classified workers are underpaid. Meanwhile, our pay scale includes wages that are below the metro region’s minimum wage. After telling us they are ready to settle, management’s last proposal included no COLA in 2019, and no COLAs over 1% for the rest of the contract. They also proposed delaying steps by 6 months during the second year of the contract. This means that half of the universities’ classified employees would not receive a step at all in the second year of our contract.

Apparently, when management told us they want to settle, they actually meant that classified employees have to settle for the administration’s leftovers. Hundreds of your coworkers have already pledged to strike if management doesn’t come to the table with a respectful offer. Click here to add your name to the pledge.  

What’s at stake? In addition to wages, management continues to put forward proposals that will make the universities a worse place to work and learn. 

  • Inclement weather: We are holding out against management’s resistance to paying us when campuses are closed due to inclement weather.
  • Layoffs: Management is trying to reduce workers’ rights during a layoff.
  • Mutual Respect: Management has been very resistant to clarifying workplace bullying. We can’t get respect in our agreement on the article or at the table.  

In general, management is trying to divide us through their proposals, separating the universities and restricting union access to members

We want to provide some clarification about the salary selectives we proposed earlier in negotiations. While management’s offer includes some (not all) of these selectives, at this point we have not yet signed any tentative agreements related to wages. Selectives remain packaged with our other core economic priorities (steps and cost of living adjustments). We will continue to discuss selectives at the table, however, we will not agree to any specific selectives until management raises its total compensation package for all workers in the bargaining unit.

What can you do to help us get to a settlement?  

  • Let management know that you are willing to walk out for a fair contract by signing the strike pledge now.
  • Sign up to be a CAT or Strike Leader for your worksite
  • Organize a Unity Break in your worksite 
  • Purple Up and wear a yellow “Ready to Strike” button at work
  • Display a “Ready to Strike” placard in your car and/or work area
  • Talk to your coworkers about why you’re ready to strike and urge them to sign the strike pledge
  • Distribute Community Support Petition within your personal networks

Contact your CAT or campus organizer or email to learn more about how you can help show the universities that we are willing to do what it takes to get a fair contract.

Summary of Economic Proposals


Union’s Proposals Management’s Proposals 
Wages 3.75% COLA July 1, 2019

3.5% COLA July 1, 2020

0% (Not a typo) COLA in 2019

1% COLA March 1, 2020 

0.75% COLA November 1, 2020

0.75% COLA March 1, 2021

Steps Regular step increases each year of the contract

Add a step at the top and eliminate lowest step the first year of the contract

Year 1 – Regular full steps

Year 2 – Delayed step increases for 6 months after salary eligibility date. 

No new steps for workers who have topped out

Healthcare Current contract language Current contract language
Retirement Current contract language, which protects us against potential cuts Current contract language
Vacation Increase to 300 hours/40 hours cash pay-out Current contract language
Personal Leave Increase to 32 hours per year Current contract language
Contract Term 2 Years 4 Years with limited reopener on economics
Meal Discount for Dining Services Maintain $1 meal for dining services employees Increase cost of shift meal to $3 for UO
Inclement Weather Classified staff paid for closures or delays due to inclement weather At the president’s discretion.