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How much are the universities offering SEIU?

Last updated on 08/29/2019

Not close to what the UO Foundation’s been giving CEO Paul Weinhold, but if this is accurate more than I’d thought. [Update: It’s not accurate. Read the comments.] Jordyn Brown in the RG here:

The universities’ bargaining unit is proposing a cost of living increase of 2.5% over two years, along with regular pay steps for the first year and delayed step increases for six months after salary eligibility. They are not offering new steps for longtime employees who have topped out on pay.

This represents a 12% increase in wages over two years, said Di Saunders, spokesperson for Oregon’s public universities. The increases proposed by the union add up to about an 18% increase.


  1. New Year Cat 08/27/2019

    OK, I admit to being bad at math but how does 2.5% over the life of the contract for someone who is topped out become a 12% increase in wages?

  2. It's classified. 08/27/2019

    What Management is reporting to RG, is adding the possible steps with the COLAs….

    Steps, if eligible: 4.75+4.75 = potentially 9.5%
    COLA: ZERO+0.75+1+0.75 = 2.5
    12% total…. from 2019-2021.

    What they don’t mention is 27% of classsified workers are NOT eligible for steps, and the cost of inflation goes up ~3% annually.

    Another 27% of classified workers make less than $35k/yr, making them potentially eligible for public assistance!

  3. My Monkey 08/27/2019

    I have worked at UO for over 20 years. I have been topped out and have not received yearly step increases for years. After freezes, insurance premiums going up, having to take furlough days I am being offered 2.5% COLA over a 2 year period? This is NOT acceptable! Not when I see administrators getting 28% increases in the years I have had to sacrifice, coaches receiving million dollar contracts, out of control spending and total disrespect for myself and my coworkers! I will stand up and STRIKE this time!
    And yes… I am looking for work other places. Why? Because I am worth a lot more than what I receive here at the UO.

  4. Anonymous 08/27/2019

    12% increase only if you’re not within the top two steps of your job classification. Employees who have worked eight to ten years (or more) at UO will get: 1.25% COLA in year one, 1.25% COLA in year two, and that’s it.

    Go ahead look up what the numbers are for “topping out” classified salaries. My top step was about $30k. Ten years of glowing reviews, attempts to lure me to other departments, and other objective measures showing I do a good job yet $30k is my maximum allowable salary (plus those pitiful COLAs). If I want more, I literally have to get an entirely different job.

    Hey faculty, you spent a decade or so getting good at your job, right? Now consider having to do something entirely different just to get a pay raise that would keep up with inflation.

    Oh yes, and of course no tenure-like protection for staff to speak up about not-quite-legally-actionable UO shenanigans we are aware of behind the scenes.

    UO is very generous to long term staff. Very generous indeed. /s

  5. U. Gene Debs 08/27/2019

    For those of us off campus who do not wish to navigate the R-G’s paywall or registration datagrab: Is section quoted in this blog post reflective of the entire article? Did the reporter invite a spokesperson from SEIU or UO classified staff to comment on the figures provided by “Di Saunders, spokesperson for Oregon’s public universities”?

    • It's classified. 08/29/2019

      Reporter talked to a rep from SEIU Communications, but no UO Classified members.

  6. uomatters Post author | 08/27/2019

    This was not a good RG article. The comments here are much more informative than the article, particularly regarding the step increases – and how staff get cut out of additional steps after ~10 years at UO, and the consequences for their pay.

    The reporter should have dug deeper.

  7. Just Another Prole 08/29/2019

    As a classified staff person, I, too, have been “topped out” in step increases for many years. Given that university management has refused to offer a COLA commensurate with inflation and SEIU has not seen fit until now to fight for the 27% of topped out employees, I have been getting poorer by the year. In addition, the wage freezes and furlough days endured by classified staff during the “shared sacrifice” period of 2009-2013 set us back even further. If one reads closely the graph of Classified/OAs/Librarians/Senior Administrator salaries circulated by UO Matters some years ago (put out, I believe, by the Office of Institutional Research), you’ll see that the sharpest increase in Senior Administrator salaries was during the same time that classified staff took pay cuts and were struggling to pay bills and feed their kids. This tells us a lot about their priorities. Most of these administrators only stick around for a few years before they’re off to their next higher-paying gig. Classified staff, meanwhile, soldier on for the long haul, just trying to make ends meet and get through the day with a little dignity.

    SEIU has reported to its members that the presidents of Oregon’s largest public universities are paid more than $600,000 per year—six times what the governor is paid. 70 administrators make $400,000 or more, and 411 make more than $200,000. SEIU goes on to state that University management reports 5.43 workers per supervisor, whereas Oregon’s state agencies had an average of 9.84 workers per supervisor in December 2017. SEIU also claims that 1,485 university workers earned less than $2,177 per month, the income threshold for SNAP (food stamps) eligibility for a family of three. Clearly we have a problem of administrative bloat. The corporatization of higher education appears to have resulted in a growing number of what anthropologist David Graeber calls “Bullshit Jobs.” Perhaps it’s time to “chop from the top” so that administrators can finally share in the sacrifice that they speak so solemnly about.

    • Fishwrapper 08/29/2019

      Dammit man, bring back the LIKE button already!

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