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Impasse, or vacation time?

8/10/2011: OUS Chancellor Dr. Pernsteiner has appointed his assistant Jay Kenton as the OUS negotiator with SEIU. So Kenton is taking some vacation time. From the SEIU letter declaring a bargaining impasse:

We spent much of Monday trying to convince management to join us in telling the governor that the situation in OUS deserves special adjustments. Correcting past unshared sacrifices  — both in terms of equity within the OUS system and workers in DAS — requires that OUS classified workers be awarded additional compensation.  Moreover, the Union Bargaining Team pointed to record enrollment, healthy reserves, and generally solid financial health at the majority of the OUS campuses as evidence that the system as a whole can and should accept a fair and equitable settlement.   

The OUS team disagreed that there had been unshared sacrifice within OUS, rejected our request to join us in urging the Governor to recognize the special circumstances at OUS (or to act on its own in doing so); and simply re-packaged essentially the same patently unacceptable proposal we had seen before.   

OUS chief negotiator Jay Kenton’s comment about the lack of progress on the key issues in our negotiations was telling. “We’re not sure what else we can do now – we could just meet and stare at each other for a few months.” Kenton said. Then came this galling piece of information. Management cannot meet for three weeks because Kenton is on vacation.

Your OUS Bargaining Team saw only one appropriate response. We felt we had little choice but to formally declare an impasse.

Maybe Dr. Kenton will be spending his vacation at Pernsteiner’s mansion, Treetops? Nice weather up there on the hill, lots of space for BBQ, and the state pays for his lawn service and the maids too. But money for the OUS staff? No, times are far too tight for those sorts of frills.

Time for Governor Kitzhaber to fire both these fools and spend the savings on education.

One Comment

  1. Anonymous 08/11/2011

    Kenton will apparently be vacationing in Hawaii. BTW he told SEIU negotiators that in lieu of furlough days they would have to take compensation cuts elsewhere. But if the classified staff did in the end take furloughs, so they could at least have time off instead of simply doing the same work for less pay, they would be the only OUS employees to do so — again. It’s good to know our work is so highly valued.

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