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Bargaining & Local actions

For the most current bargaining updates, you can see those here.

Next UO Action: https://local085.org/calendar/cant-ignore-us-rally/

Letter from your bargaining team (2/10):

After two days of bargaining with the universities and meeting with a state mediator, university management is still failing to offer proposals that address classified workers’ core priorities: raises that keep up with inflation and keeping our union strong. Not only was management’s COLA proposal significantly below the inflation we’ve experienced in the last several years, they are also continuing their attempts to remove key protections in our union contract. 

Right now, our contract has strong defenses against the universities contracting out our jobs. The universities are proposing to rip up that section of our contract, making it easier for them to turn anyone’s job into a non-union, non-benefited position without the pay, benefits, or job protections we have currently thanks to our union. 

The universities are also refusing to come to the table with wage increases that keep up with inflation. Management was happy to use our union’s political power to help get $1.1 billion from the Oregon legislature, and now they are trying to claim that offering classified staff wages that restore the buying power we lost to inflation will cause them financial distress. We don’t buy it—especially not when they have the money to pay outrageous salaries to the presidents. 

The good news is, we have union power and the universities are feeling it. More than 1,000 people showed up to our practice pickets on Thursday, and over 400 emailed university presidents to tell them to settle a fair contract. From La Grande to Ashland and Eugene to Portland, SEIU members shook campuses across Oregon! Our power was definitely felt at negotiations, but we need to keep up the pressure until management comes to the table with fair offers.  

We are back in bargaining on February 26th at the University of Oregon in Eugene. If management isn’t prepared to make a fair offer there, our next step would be a strike authorization vote.  

Here are three simple, important actions you can take right now to help secure a fair contract: 

  • SIGN THE STRIKE PLEDGE – sign today and talk to your coworkers about doing the same. Each pledge signed shows our bargaining team that our coworkers are standing behind us and ready to fight for the contract we need.  
  • JOIN OUR UNION – the most important action we can take to show management we are standing united is to join our union. If you aren’t a member or have a coworker who isn’t, use this link to join our union and build your power.  
  • PURPLE UP TUESDAY – every Tuesday until we win a fair contract, purple up at work and remind your coworkers to do the same. Send your purple pictures to photos@seiu503.org and share on your social media! 

Don’t forget: we’re 4,500 strong, we’re all in this together, and we’re going to have each other’s backs until we win the contract we deserve. When we fight, we win! 

In Solidarity, 

SEIU 503 Higher Ed Bargaining Team 

Ashley Wase (PSU), Colleen Martin-Low (SOU), Darryn Stevens (OIT), Jo Hickerson (EOU), Johnny Earl, Chair (UO), Louie Vidmar (UO), Mark Dunbar (OSU), and Samantha Brubaker (WOU). 



Take a moment to read the letter sent to President Scholz and the University of Oregon Board of Trustees from your Bargaining team.

Bargaining Action – Practice Pickets across the state at the 7 Universities. Read more here.