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Staff SEIU union rally today

8/1/2011: The state and SEIU local 503 have signed a tentative agreement, which will go to the members for a vote, but there are still details to be worked out between OUS Chancellor Pernsteiner and SEIU. A union organizer sent me this notice of a rally, to be held today:

Sisters and Brothers, Friends of Labor,

Hope to see you all at the Rally on Monday on the lawn by Deschutes Hall.
Come before noon if you can.  Set up is for 11:30, and lunch is provided.  SEIU people will be there until 1 p.m.
Students, faculty and the community are invited.

Now I am going to see if I am able to attach a document to this email.
I hope this works, as it is a very impressive list of UO Executive Administrator raises that occurred between November 2010 and May 2011!

Curiously, these are called EQUITY ADJUSTMENTS!!!!

Membership Coordinator & Alternate Bargaining Rep


Higher ed workers (4,500 statewide) are covered by the core economic TA
both AFSCME and SEIU settled last week, that is, UO workers will begin
paying 5% of the monthly premium in January 2012, will get a 1.5% COLA in
December this year and a 1.45% COLA in January 2013, and will continue to
receive the additional employer paid 6% PERS contribution. Given the
economy, the state budget, and the Governor’s stand on premium share
(insistent!) we believe we did the best we could. It’s a harsh reality
though. Meanwhile, at UO and in the university system we’re still
bargaining to minimize or eliminate more furlough wage cuts, stop the
annual salary step freezes and gain a mutual understanding about what
shared sacrifice or lack thereof means. UO has given out $2 million in
salary adjustments for top administrators this year but asking the lowest
paid workers for deeper cuts. Unfair!

At a time of record student enrollment, skyrocketing tuition, and raises for
top UO administrators, OUS continues to demand more furlough days and
step freezes for frontline workers. Raises for the few but cuts for the
workers who cook the meals, clean the buildings and serve students and
faculty in hundreds of ways? No Way! We’ve proposed an equity audit to
document once and for all whether the furlough wage cuts were shared from
top to bottom across the OUS. Not surprising, OUS isn’t keen to gather the
facts on “shared sacrifice.” This is no time to let OUS demands for more
classified worker sacrifice go unanswered. The bargaining team needs our


  1. Anonymous 08/01/2011

    confirmed at rally today – Governor says all employees in OUS to pay 5% of insurance premiums

  2. Anonymous 08/01/2011

    Thanks so much for posting that “impressive list”…tucked nicely in the text above!
    Star (one of those SEIU people)

  3. UO Matters 08/01/2011

    To broom commenter: It’s not that I disagree, but I’m trying to not go too far in that direction.

  4. Anonymous 08/02/2011

    I know someone who was much happier leaving the SEIU because of furloughs, the step system, and generally feeling screwed over by the union. They are much happier in the competitive workplace, more compensated and able to negotiate their own salary.

    SEIU has failed the workers as much as the state has.

  5. Anonymous 08/02/2011

    Ah, the union-haters always feel the urge to post mean-spirited statements about public employees, unions, member involvement and government. Then they push their position that the “private sector” does things better.

    Fact is, it’s never a choice between public or private sectors. We need both in this and all societies. Unfortunately the big money interests like the Koch brothers, BofA, US Bank, Chase, greedy (and unregulated) Wall St. financial interests (which brought down the economy in ’08 and gave us the subsequent recession)clearly have the upper hand (aided by a pro-corporate majority on the Supreme Court and the so-called “Citizens United” decision).

    The corporatists and big money interests are working to destroy not just government in every state and at the national level…their goal is to completely destroy public education, social security and medicare (the short list).

    What will the extremists do when there aren’t police to respond to criminal activity, when their home or their neighbor’s is on fire and there aren’t enough firefighters or engines to come put out the fire? Do they really think that all our kids can be home-schooled, or worse, when most of the teachers are out of work, turning to uneducated incompetents to “teach” their children?!

    I guess they think the roads, bridges and Interstates will be repaired by magic fairies during the night. Do they wish that every bridge, road and highway will require a toll to use?

    Unions are far from perfect organizations. But when lots of members get involved, huge accomplishments can be made by members working together. The more members who participate, the more power we have.

    Public employes such as those who are represented by SEIU and AFSCME have fought hard and worked diligently for many years–decades–to win a few benefits, a retirement system, healthcare that needs improvement, and small pay raises which we would like to be better, but a difficult thing to achieve when big corporate interests have wrecked the national and state economies. We wouldn’t have budget deficits if the wealthy and corporations would just pay their share of taxes. The tax rates for those folks have never been lower in the past 50 years. Our problem is one of raising adequate revenue from those who can best afford to pay a little more.

    Jobs are not being created because the national priorities are skewed and little is being done by Congress to invest in critically failing infrastructure in every city and town. The extremists in Congress refuse to fund the Federal Aviation Administration which is tasked to watch out for the safety of everyone who gets on a plane. Hundreds of millions are not being collected to help pay for airport security and safety improvements. Tens of thousands of private construction workers are now laid off, and critical improvements at airports are not being continued due to failure by the far right to fund the FAA.

    The rich are getting lots richer and the rest of us need to get the picture…soon.

    More later…

    A proud union member and leader.

  6. Anonymous 08/02/2011

    “I know someone who was much happier leaving the SEIU because of furloughs, the step system, and generally feeling screwed over by the union. They are much happier in the competitive workplace, more compensated and able to negotiate their own salary.” — Shouldn’t that be “much happier leaving *OUS*? Or maybe “leaving UO”? ;) The union, which seems to at one point have included that person, is made up mainly of individual workers volunteering their time (and a few underpaid staff). It wasn’t our idea to crash the economy and we didn’t think furloughs were wonderful, but many of us preferred time off with no pay to being paid even less for the time we did spend at work. If you can’t pay me my regular salary, give me my time back! I’m glad the person is happier now. If their job was filled, it was probably with someone who appreciated it.

  7. Anonymous 08/02/2011

    Speaking of the OUS (Oregon University System):

    As a bargaining delegate and alternate rep (for the UO classified employees) I opted to spend most of my “work” day August 1st observing the bargaining on campus. While I am pleased to report that the SEIU staff and Higher Ed Bargaining Team put a lot of thought, heart and energy into the process, it was distressing to learn of the OUS administration’s lousy offer. (You will hear more on that later.) They really do appear to be clueless about the lack of shared sacrifice evident within the OUS (e.g., see “Impressive List “). Or if they are cognizant of this, then they must figure we are not demoralized by it, as it is our lot in life…As though we are the serfs, and they are the lords.

  8. Anonymous 08/04/2011

    The person who filled the job was transferred to an OA position to increase their wages and keep them from leaving too. Unions have done a tremendous good for society, but it seems now that they largely fail to protect the workers. Talented people leave for better, higher paying jobs. The obstructionists and fools cling to their positions and are protected, knowing that the step system that drives the talent away keeps them happily chugging along.

    If I hadn’t seen so much of it with my own eyes at this university I wouldn’t have believed it.

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