Published: November 17, 2023

Yesterday we participated in a special Zoom bargaining session at management’s request so they could deliver their most recent bargaining proposals. Spoiler alert: we are still miles apart on key elements of our contract. In a powerful statement, hundreds of classified staff joined the bargaining session as observers. Their presence helped remind management that classified workers are paying close attention to these negotiations, and that we make higher ed work. After management left, our bargaining team took time to hear from the members who attended to get their reactions to management’s proposals. Needless to say, the overall feeling was that the universities need to do significantly better in their proposals if they want to settle a contract by the end of the year.  

Management’s proposal touched on 9 articles, including contracting out and salary. Thanks to the actions classified workers are taking – including coming to rallies, signing petitions, and observing bargaining – management has withdrawn their proposal to remove exchange time, daily overtime, and other OT takeaways! We need to keep up the pressure. After years of historic inflation, COLAs are top of mind for many of us. That’s why several members expressed shock and found it insulting that management’s proposal amounted to just 8% over 3 years. This is far below inflation, and far below what state workers won in their contract.  

Here’s an updated comparison of our proposals: 

  Union position  Management position 
Cost-Of-Living Adjustments (COLA) 
  • 12% retroactive to 7/1/23 +  
  • 9% effective 7/1/24  
  • 7% effective 7/1/25  


  • 3.75% after ratification  
  • 3.25% effective 1/1/25 
  • 1% effective 1/1/26 
  • Maintain current overtime rules 
  • Withdraw proposal to eliminate exchange time and daily overtime 
  • Limit use of seniority in determining overtime distribution 
Contracting Out 
  • Maintain current  
  • Weaken protections against universities contracting out our jobs 

See a summary of all of the proposals here 

So, what’s next?  

PSU Rally 

We’re bargaining at Portland State University November 29th – December 1st and having our biggest rally of the bargaining campaign at PSU at noon on December 1st. Register today and help make a statement to management! 

Purple Up Tuesday 

Classified workers at Oregon’s seven public universities are wearing purple every Tuesday until we win the contract we deserve. Make sure to wear purple every Tuesday and send a photo of you and your coworkers to 

Stay Connected 

Join the higher ed facebook group to stay connected with other SEIU higher ed members. Get all the latest updates from the union at our higher ed bargaining webpage. 

WOU Rally 

After PSU, our next bargaining session will be at Western Oregon University in mid-December. We’ll send out RSVP information for our WOU rally in the next week.