Press Release: OT-AAUP Bargaining Team Meets Late into the Night to Make Considerable Offer; Senior Admin Refuses to Budge on Equity

5-3-21

Press contact: secretary@oregontechaaup.org

For immediate release: Oregon Tech – AAUP is increasingly close to a settlement in the eighth day of their strike against the Oregon Institute of Technology, as the union continues to fight for their collective bargaining rights and salary equity. The strike persists as the bargaining team works hard to draft a third settlement package with hope that senior administration will be persuaded into deeper consideration following a week of untaught classes and frustrated students flooding the picket lines.

Some of the most pressing fights now are over union rights to bargain over the issues that impact their very livelihoods and fair and equitable compensation practices. From the beginning of this process, the senior administration has proposed language allowing the Provost to change workload guidelines every year. OT-AAUP wants to bargain over any of those changes that have a significant impact on faculty working conditions.

Senior administration assumes that faculty who want equity raises will be willing to go back on the job market, be offered a higher salary somewhere else, and individually bargain a “retention raise” to raise their own salary. They believe the best way to retain faculty is to force them to apply for other jobs all the time. Faculty argue that they need security and to trust that they can keep doing their jobs at Oregon Tech without stagnant salaries.

Seth Anthony, Associate Professor of Chemistry, said, “After 9.5 years in my career at Oregon Tech, I make less than the lowest salary offered to an assistant professor of chemistry at Southern Oregon University according to a job announcement that’s posted right now!”

OT-AAUP’s proposals cost about the same amount of money as senior administration’s proposals do, but the union wants that money to be allocated more equitably.

Meanwhile on Oregon Tech’s campuses, senior administrators have resorted to teaching classes themselves, much to the surprise and exasperation of students. Many classes, particularly the labs that are essential for Oregon Tech’s hands-on degrees, have been cancelled as there are no qualified substitutes.

Faculty have chosen this career to serve the next generation and share knowledge. They do not seek anything like the lavish salaries enjoyed by their senior administration. They simply want to be able to continue teaching—and for Oregon Tech to continue to attract and retain the quality instructors its students deserve. As resources flow away from faculty and towards administrators at universities across the nation, they fight for faculty everywhere.


OT-AAUP Mission:

We are the united faculty of Oregon Tech. Through teaching, outreach, and scholarship, we generate and share knowledge to advance the lives of students, the well-being of communities, and the understanding of the world in which we live. We believe that an empowered and organized faculty will help build a better Oregon Tech for current and future generations, which is why we are organizing our union. https://oregontechaaup.org/

OT-AAUP principles:

Defend and implement the principles of public education so that students of diverse backgrounds are provided opportunities to excel.

Champion academic freedom, rigorous discourse, and scientific inquiry so that all members of the university community are encouraged and supported in their endeavors to contribute to the mission of Oregon Tech.

Uphold shared governance of the university characterized by open and responsible communication, fair treatment of individuals, participatory processes, and collaborative decision-making.

Secure working conditions that promote and protect excellence and innovation in all aspects of faculty life at Oregon Tech.

About AAUP: The mission of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post‐doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good. Founded in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education and academic freedom in this country’s colleges and universities. https://www.aaup.org

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