University staff march, may strike

6/30/2011: Today the SEIU staff union hold a lunchtime rally about their bargaining situation.

UO is flush with money – read the Bunsis report for details. The state is broke. Unfortunately, the UO staff union bargains with the state, not with UO. So the contract they get is very likely to reduce their take home pay dramatically, via cuts in benefits, co-pays for insurance, furloughs, and so on.

For a staff worker making $35,000 a year, this is disastrous. The fact that their OA supervisors and the faculty will get raises makes the situation patently unfair.

Pres Lariviere has shown he’s willing to go out on a limb for the staff by offsetting furlough days with overtime. But so long as the union negotiates with the state, not UO, there’s not much he can do to deal with the fundamental problem.

My guess is that there’s a 50/50 chance of a strike by the staff, presumably right around the start of classes. One more reason UO needs to get out from under the state and Dr. Pernsteiner.

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12 Responses to University staff march, may strike

  1. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t UO need all that money (plus the big tuition hike) to pay for equity increases for the faculty?

  2. UO Matters says:

    Raises for the faculty are cheap – there are only 700 or so of us.

    If the administration were to start using the money from new students and tuition increases to hire new faculty that might soak up a little money.

    That seems unlikely though. The administration thinks UO is still “under-administrated” and they are blowing the surplus on themselves.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Are you a socialist?

    During good times the union did very well for its members.

    The SBC was told by Moseley and other administrators on more than one occasion that we (faculty) could have our raises only because the unionized staff were getting a *larger* raise, which provided some political cover. Now the shoe is on the other foot — the union is a target for budget cutters at the state level.

    When you say UO is flush with cash you seem to be suggesting that they can easily cover faculty compensation increases of about 15-20%, which is what is necessary to close the gap with our peers. Is that the case?

  4. UO Matters says:

    A 15% raise for faculty would cost roughly $15 million, with benefits.

    1,000 new out-of-state students bring in about $25 million in new tuition. 1,000 in-state students bring in about $8 million. Enrollment is up by about 4,200 students in the last few years, with a shift towards out-of-state.

    Add in the tuition increases, take out falling state support, increasing OPE costs, and the legitimate administrative and overhead costs, and yes, there is plenty of money for these raises, and for raises for the staff and OAs.

    Instead, our administration is pissing it away on DPS, new VPs, Directors, AVPs of this and that, and consultants coming out the ass.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dog agrees with UOmatters mostly here. In fact
    the 15 Million dollar figure cited above is closer to 11 million:

    80K average faculty salary * 650 faculty * 1.45 (benefits)

    but we are in the same ballpark so whatever …

    Hiring 100 new Faculty, for instance would cost
    an additional 7.5- 8 million per year (including benefits)

    that is amount is equivalent to the 1,000 out of
    state student revenue referenced above.

    The point being that the UO could hire new
    faculty (which would help with our collective
    research) but Provost Bean chooses not to do

    I don’t know why – its completely short sighted.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Fun to watch Brad Shelton have to push his way through the foyer of Johnson Hall to get from his office to the conference room full of people dressed in purple shouting

    You got RAISES
    We got CUTS
    Now you have to deal with US!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    We should not begrudge “the talent” for being fairly compensated because it is the Faculty who put the “butts in the chairs.” It goes without saying, what the Teaching and Research Faculty accomplish benefits everyone here. However, the justification for a third of OAs getting “equity increases” in 2011, some over 10%, well that is some wholesale crap. Meanwhile, SEIU eats “a dirt sandwich.” The classified employees have taken a lot of attitude from their managers during the last few years: being treated as though they ought to be grateful to be abused for medical benefits. So walk, and let your OA earn their pay by back-filling your job while you strike.

  8. Anonymous says:

    it is hard to justify expanding the faculty at this point;

    that adding more students brings in more revenue is understandable, but the margin of return has to be declining as too little space has been added for labs, offices and classrooms.

    The program of the central admin to siphon off the increased revenue for admin, public safety and special projects has to be condemned.

  9. Anonymous says:

    A bit of history from Old Man: Many of those OA positions were once classified. When the CWs threatened a strike (40 years ago?), a number of CWs were renamed “Office Managers”. These OMs were then said to be part of management and, consequently, unable to strike. The purpose of the move was to ensure the presence of a crew that could “backfill” during the strike. Later, Dave F. decided to make these OMs into OAs (who knows why?). To the point: These OAs have OA rank for the very purpose of being available as backfill — so giving them a chance to show there stuff might be fun for all concerned.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Dog says

    the UO has already done precisely what SF State is doing which is why the number of tenure lines has not scaled at all to the number of students.

    As said before, the UO is becoming a Community
    College because of this.

    Of course we have to expand our faculty if we
    are to maintain a RESEARCH University. If we aren’t interested in this, then,
    fuck it, let’s continue the current trend so
    that we evolve only to be a diploma factory for
    likely unemployable graduates ….

  11. Anonymous says:

    They need to hold down the number of tenure-track faculty to pay for all those secret equity raises?