Press Release: OT-AAUP Stands Strong for Fair Wages and Workloads: We Will Not Accept an Unfair Proposal

Press contact: unite@oregontechaaup.org

For immediate release: Oregon Tech – American Association of University Professors (OT-AAUP) issues the following bargaining update:

While Oregon Tech administration’s last round of proposals do not achieve our demands: fair wages, secure benefits, and reasonable and clearly defined workload for Oregon Tech faculty, our last round of proposals have made significant movement toward a fair contract. 

Administration’s proposals offer short-term wins at the expense of a fair long-term contract.

Their proposed salary increases are phased out over the life of the contract in order to return to their proposed merit-only pool from 2023 onward. For more information on why a fully-merit-based system is problematic for our faculty, see our release from March 26: https://oregontechaaup.org/news/ress-release-oregon-tech-faculty-strike-vote-progresses-administration-wont-budge-on-salary-issue/

Senior administration did not mention in their press release that they want the right to change our insurance premiums based on another non-unionized employee group, which would require parties to reopen this exact issue in a partially reopened bargaining process at an unknown future date. In efforts to address this issue, OT-AAUP has offered to reopen negotiations if classified staff (represented by SEIU) agree to raise their premium cost share over 5%. Their offer of a 95/5 split of premiums is the status quo, but they’re not offering this with security and stability into the future.

And their workload proposal contains a net increase to faculty workload without clearly defining non-instructional workload. Full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty currently work 36 workload units (WLUs) per year. Senior administration’s proposal increases total workload to 45 WLUs while non-instructional workload would be defined outside of the contract–leaving it open to changes at the administration’s whim without contractual recourse.

They want faculty to fight over the immediate “carrots” in trade for long-term achievements in fairness, stability, and equity. They will phase out these carrots and replace them with sticks.

To faculty, their proposals seek to change who we fundamentally are: from an institution with a collegiate atmosphere focused on student success and achievement to one of constant competition and divisiveness. That is not who we are. We are here for our students and colleagues.

Together, we are Oregon Tech. 

OT-AAUP stands strong for our colleagues who are most affected by inequitable salaries and working conditions.

We ask the public for their continued support of Oregon Tech faculty in this struggle for fairness. Supporters can sign a letter to Oregon Tech leadership in support of a fair contract here: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/fair-contract-now-for-otaaup

As of the end of bargaining on Tuesday (4-20), all but one proposal (Term of Agreement) are in the employer’s court. The next session is scheduled for Thursday (4-22) and parties are likely to meet again before Monday.

OT-AAUP will continue to bargain in good faith until an agreement is reached. If no agreement is reached by Monday, April 26th at 6am, OT-AAUP faculty will strike.

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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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