Strike authorization votes have been tallied and over 95% of Higher Ed employees who voted authorized a strike at Oregon’s seven public universities.
After negotiating since February, management’s latest contract offer has cost of living allowances that don’t keep up with the actual increase in the cost of living, no real recognition for long-term university workers, and an insulting proposal to triple the cost of meals for the people who prepare them at the University of Oregon. As our strike authorization vote shows, this is unacceptable.
With such overwhelming support, our bargaining team thinks the time is right to call a strike in order to put the most pressure possible on the universities to settle a contract we deserve. We will continue to negotiate with management and will return to the bargaining table Monday, September 23rd at Portland State University (remember to purple-up on Monday), but if we don’t reach a fair agreement that respects workers, we will strike on Monday, September 30th at 7am. More information on what it means to strike, including strike benefits information, can be found here.
We’re not alone. In addition to the full power of our Union, we’ve drawn the support of many groups, including OEA, AFSCME, AAUP, Oregon Nurses Association, AFT-Oregon, the Teamsters Joint Council 37, UFCW 555, The Working Families Party, elected officials, and a number of community organizations and local labor councils.
Today’s vote shows we are strong and willing to stand up and strike if necessary. Remember, the more of us who commit to striking, the more power we have at the bargaining table. Make sure your coworkers are ready to show our strength to management and let them know we are ready to strike! If you haven’t yet, sign the strike pledge today.