Update, Coltrane on faculty obligations if staff strike

9/19/2013 update: Provost Coltrane on the faculty’s obligations (legal, not ethical) if the UO staff strike:

Date: Sept. 19, 2013
To: Faculty  

From: Scott Coltrane, Interim Provost  

Subject: UO preparations for possible strike  

OUS has received notice of intent from SEIU to strike with a projected strike date of September 30, 2013. I write to remind you of your responsibilities as faculty in preparation for a possible work stoppage.  

UO is a public institution of higher education with the responsibility to provide the best education possible for our students. Oregon law is clear that only members of the designated bargaining unit are permitted to take part in the strike, and those not represented by SEIU are prohibited from participating. As faculty, your contribution to meeting our academic mission is critical, including holding regularly scheduled classes and conducting scheduled research and service activities.  

We respect the right of SEIU employees to conduct a legal strike and hope that the parties reach a fair and equitable agreement quickly. It is important to remember that bargaining involves not just UO, but all seven OUS public universities.  

Additional information is available at: http://hr.uoregon.edu/employee-labor-relations/classified-staff-negotiations-2013. As more information is available, updates will be communicated and posted on the HR webpage.

9/18/2013: Eder Campuzano has the story in the ODE. The UO staff has voted to authorize a strike on the first day of classes, their negotiations with OUS continue. 

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13 Responses to Update, Coltrane on faculty obligations if staff strike

  1. Anonymous says:

    If this goes to a strike, what would be the best ways for faculty to support the staff? Not hold classes? Hold classes off campus? Something else?

  2. Anonymous says:

    One of SEIU’s emails suggested holding class on the picket line in support.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Others have suggested participating in a sick-out in support of SEIU staff. If you hold classes off campus, you haven’t crossed the physical picket line, but you have crossed the ideological one.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What do we make of Coltrane’s letter, re SEIU’s notice of intent to strike?

    We need more ideas for showing our support.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What will the parent sending their out-of-state student to UO think about cancelled classes?

  6. Anonymous says:

    United Academics is considering ways to support SEIU and preparing guidelines so faculty know what they can do legally without fear of discipline. Stay tuned.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is this a new-found, re-energized spirit of UA? I like the ‘without fear of discipline’ bit, too, as though someone is actually looking out for faculty interests.

    • Anonymous says:

      Newfound? Reenergized? Only for those that haven’t been in the rooms for the last 10 months. Welcome aboard!

  7. Confused libertarian says:

    Doesn’t the new faculty contract let JH discipline everyone but card-carrying Communists for refusing to cross picket lines? And where do I get one of those cards?

    • Ursa Rolly Polly says:

      Speak to your colleagues or email [email protected] is my suggestion.

    • Anonymous says:

      The contract’s not ratified yet. The law may or may not permit a union to do such things while not under contract. UA does need to clarify this for the BU membership.

    • Drunk Drake says:

      A sympathy strike is a violation of ERB laws, unless explicitly permitted in a CBA. I don’t remember hearing any news of a sympathy strike clause, and in fact recall that when discussing the no strike clause in negotiations that Rudnick was trying to force faculty to be on committees to hire scabs if any other unit on campus withheld their labor. Luckily, the admins didn’t win that argument.