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Music & Dance to hold emergency meeting to plan for GTFF strike

Our GE’s are voting this week on authorizing a strike, probably starting week 6.

Presumably other deans are also planning on how to maintain undergraduate educative production – or at least pretend they are maintaining it – should the UO administration continue its quixotic effort to cut graduate students’ health insurance and real pay.

If you have info on other college’s strike planning please post an anonymous comment or send me the emails: uomatters at gmail.


  1. It's classified. 10/16/2019

    The Administration could help the state push for single-payer, then they wouldn’t have to worry about healthcare plans.

  2. Anon 10/16/2019

    From the email:

    Dear Area Heads,

    I have been asked by Dean Madison-Cannon to chair the Academic Continuity Team in the SOMD. This team will coordinate the implementation of the Academic Council’s academic continuity plan for each school/college in the event of a GTFF strike, and will address the following:
    Determining which courses are affected by a disruption
    Appointing replacement or additional instructors of record
    Determining and communicating acceptable modifications to courses such as replacing class time with other instructional methods, changes to assignments and grading methods, and alternatives to office hours.
    Determining how to handle emergency grades, if they are used, for courses that serve as prerequisites, requirements, and for courses that have a minimum grade requirement or contribute to an overall GPA requirement.
    Developing and implementing communication plans to students, faculty and staff
    Developing and implementing student appeals processes
    Ongoing reporting to the Academic Council and the Office of the Provost regarding academic continuity plans and implementation

    I have identified the SOMD courses that are GE-led and will be the most affected in the event of a strike, and for some courses, I have identified the way in which the courses will be covered.

    I am asking Area Heads for the following information:
    Please identify faculty in your area (including yourself) who do not have a full workload for fall term.
    Please identify faculty in your area (including yourself) who are willing to volunteer their services during a strike even if they have a full workload.
    Please identify a GE supervisor for each GE-led course in your area. (Disregard if you have already sent me this information). A supervisor’s name must be added to each course in which a GE is Instructor of Record.
    If there are any courses in your area that are taught by a GE that do not list the GE as Instructor of Record, please send this information to me. A faculty member may not be listed as Instructor of Record for a course that is taught by a GE.

  3. Raspootin' 10/16/2019

    “I am asking Area Heads for the following information:
    Please identify faculty in your area (including yourself) who do not have a full workload for fall term.
    Please identify faculty in your area (including yourself) who are willing to volunteer their services during a strike even if they have a full workload.”

    “Including yourself”(!!!) That’s rich. In the event, a GTFF strike will occasion a rare site ’round these parts: shit rolling uphill.

    • uomatters Post author | 10/16/2019

      Volunteers? Say what you will about Henry Ford, but at least he paid his scabs.

      • DTL 10/16/2019

        Henry Ford was a Nazi sympathizer and economic supporter. His home town, Dearborn, named for those born dear to god (ie white people), is, in spite of having the largest Arabic community in the country, deeply racist.

        Any scab Henry Ford paid was on his elbow.

        • Observer 10/17/2019

          “With population growth, Dearborn Township was formed in 1833 and the village of Dearbornville in 1836, each named after patriot Henry Dearborn, a general in the American Revolution who later served as Secretary of War under President Thomas Jefferson.”

        • Koala 10/17/2019

          “Dearborn Township was formed in 1833 and the village of Dearbornville in 1836, each named after patriot Henry Dearborn, a general in the American Revolution who later served as Secretary of War under President Thomas Jefferson.”

        • oldtimer 10/17/2019

          unfortunately, bigotry has an infinite variety of forms.

  4. Anonymous non-scab 10/17/2019

    From: Hal Sadofsky
    Date: Oct 16, 2019, 11:25 PM -0700
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: [Cas-nsttf] academic continuity planning, research edition

    Dear Colleagues,

    I apologize for taking the unusual step of emailing all tenure related Natural Science faculty. This email concerns those of you who are supervising GEs that are supported to do research (if you are not in that category you may stop reading now).

    If you’re still reading, the purpose of this email is to ask you to evaluate mission critical functions of your research group that could be disrupted should some of your graduate student supervisees walk out on a strike. There are specific instructions to follow below. Some of you may have received a similar communication through the research office and if you have already followed the instructions below there is no need to repeat the process.


    As you probably know, the graduate student union (the GTFF) has declared impasse, which is the first step toward a possible strike. There is an FAQ about the situation here:

    and updates about the state of bargaining here:

    A summary:
    (1) Negotiations continue, and there is some motion, so I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic.
    (3) The earliest day there could be a strike is November 3 (probably really November 4th since the 3rd is a Sunday).
    (4) The GTFF has to give us a 10 day notice of intent to strike on a particular day, so we’ll have more knowledge before November 3rd.


    1. Develop a list of critical research functions completed by or dependent on GEs in your group.

    A “function” is a task or work flow normally performed by your research group.

    A function is “critical” if a temporary stoppage or reduction of that function would significantly affect operations by creating vulnerabilities related to health and safety, legal, or financial concerns.

    2. Submit one online form for each critical function performed by GEs in your unit (many of you will have none in which case you do not need to submit any online forms).

    Use this planning tool to do this:;!5W9E9PnL_ac!SHfVG8rnqTG1ewmq599f8xaMN7v6xtFDpKI5I25sPPfjKy8bE3mw2iNYiekrIQFNcw$ . (Note: this is a short and easy to fill form.)

    – Provide a contact person in the planning tool for any follow up questions. Enter your department or unit name using the full name. Please do not use acronyms.
    – Complete one survey for each critical function that is dependent on or completed by GEs. You will be prompted to complete additional surveys for additional functions once you hit the “submit” button at the end. Repeat this step for as many critical functions as you’ve identified.

    If you have questions about the planning tool itself, please contact [email protected]

    If you have strike related questions, please contact [email protected]

    Please contact your department head or me if there are other questions.

    thank you, Hal

    Hal Sadofsky
    Divisional Dean, Natural Sciences

    • Dog 10/18/2019

      Coping Strategies = NA

    • ScienceDuck 10/18/2019

      There are posters around the science buildings that say (roughly) “if a PI asks you to work on a research project and you do it then you are a SCAB”. I was wondering if the language here refers to some specific scenario? Graduate students in the sciences are part-time employees but also enroll for research credits. I don’t think a student carrying out research for credit should be considered a scab but I am not sure how the union feels about it.

      • Porcupine 10/18/2019

        If the GTFF is putting up these signs, they are definitely creating a hostile work environment. Will they be coming and yelling at researchers too?

        • GTFF Member 10/19/2019

          GTFF’s position is that GEs should not participate in research insofar as it is part of their GE appointment. Working on research for their own dissertation is not scabbing.

          • ScienceDuck 10/19/2019

            It sounds like the GTFF doesn’t have a good grasp of science GE research activities, which is a shame if they are trying to represent them. Is the GTFF under the impression that 0.49 effort is spent on research that is for the PI and the rest of the time is on dissertation research, because that would be a bizarre perspective. In all the labs I know of, every bit of research the GE does ends up in the dissertation, which is why the signs don’t make a lot of sense.

            • uomatters Post author | 10/20/2019

              From what I’ve seen the GTFF know exactly what they are doing. They don’t want the administration to cut their health benefits, and they don’t want a strike. So they have to convince the administration that they are willing to strike, and that if they do strike it will be disruptive to teaching and research. Hence the posters, and the publicity about the strike vote. (Which, with 85% voting and 95% support, makes this very credible). These poster are not messages to the GEs, they are signals to the administration.

              Meanwhile administration wants to cut their benefits and doesn’t want a strike either. So they are trying to convince the GTFF that they have a full slate of scabs lined up to teach, and that the PI’s don’t care if they strike. Hence things like Sadofsky’s website and the SOMD meeting.

              The two sides will continue to establish their threat points over the next 2 weeks. Supporting the GE’s in their efforts to show that a strike will be disruptive doesn’t make a strike more likely, it just makes it more likely that the administration will compromise on their health costs.

              So if you want to support the GEs, you should be telling the deans that you can’t possibly continue your research without them, and that you are too busy to take on extra teaching/grading duties. If you don’t support them, you can try to sabotage their cause by posting trollish comments about how they don’t understand research, etc. Good luck with that.

              • Porcupine 10/20/2019

                “These poster are not messages to the GEs, they are signals to the administration.” Then why are they posted outside lab doors? I can assure you that no administrator will see them. Why do GEs I’ve talked to worry that they’ll get yelled at as scabs if they work in a lab? ScienceDuck is right: the GTFF doesn’t have a good grasp of science GE research activities.

                • uomatters Post author | 10/20/2019

                  Troll on.

              • ScienceDuck 10/20/2019

                I think grad students have good reasons to strike. I am trying to understand what activities would make a science grad student considered a “scab”. I think it is complicated and naive to tell a GE that they can do their dissertation research but not their 0.49 employee research when they are one and the same. Will a history grad student work on their dissertation while on strike but consider a science student working on their research a scab just because the science grad student does not partition their research into “for the PI” and “for dissertation research”?

                And yes, I thought the reply showed a lack of understanding from the GTFF how research is done in the sciences. If that makes me “trollish” then too bad. I think if science students are being asked to strike, and then potentially being called scabs for working on their dissertation, then that is a problem. Maybe you don’t care about science grad students compared to the larger grad student union issues, but I do.

                • uomatters Post author | 10/20/2019

                  As I tried to explain, this is not about striking/scabbing. It’s about the GTFF positioning themselves to get a better deal without a strike. Maybe this will make the strategy clearer:

                • ScienceDuck 10/20/2019

                  It is hard to argue against an excellent Dr. Strangelove reference. I totally get the point of a strike is to make it so disruptive that it never happens. And yet…I still don’t like the idea that a grad student in the sciences may be called a scab for working on their dissertation while other students make progress on their dissertation.
                  Let’s imagine the worst happens and a strike goes on for a while. The lab doesn’t get a grant renewed. This is exactly the scenario the GTFF would like to make clear could happen, the “doomsday” scenario that would force the administration to meet the union demands. But who bears the brunt of that doomsday? The grad student would have to teach each quarter instead of being paid for working in the lab, a serious outcome. So yeah, I am bristling at what I see as a bullying tone combined with a lack of understanding. There are many complications that may have an easy answer, but may not. Who pays the back pay typically awarded as part of a deal? The PI can’t use federal grant funds to pay students for work on a grant when they didn’t work on the grant…that’s a federal crime. Maybe the back pay is just university money or union money and the answer is simple. But is the GTFF aware of these issues? Or will science grad students out of all grad students be called a scab for working on their dissertation, and not get paid back pay out of all grad students?

                  You can’t say this is just posturing…the GTFF has to be committed to striking, actually striking, and then these issues will be real.

                • GTFF Member 10/20/2019

                  At least 1/3 of the GTFF Bargaining team is made up of natural science GEs, and the concerns of natural science GEs have been discussed at numerous general membership meetings and in internal department meetings with GEs and their department stewards. Members are aware of the complications posed by most research practices in the natural sciences and their connections to GE appointments. I’m not sure what the origins of the signs are, but the fact remains that spending the same amount of time working on the PI’s project during a strike constitutes crossing a picket line since some of that time is from a paid GE appointment. Natural science GEs during a strike will likely simply cease working on the project for the amount of time their FTE constitutes each week. Strikes should disrupt normal operations, that’s the point.

                  Perhaps you should spend less time fretting if “the Union” (an organization democratically controlled with large representation from the natural sciences) has science GE’s interests in mind heading into a strike, and more energy demanding the administration give your grads a fair deal so we can avoid the whole problem.

                • ScienceDuck 10/20/2019

                  GTFF member, I can do both. Me checking if students working on their dissertation research may be unfairly labeled is a worthwhile activity in my opinion. The signs and earlier answers certainly didn’t come across as having any consideration of the nuances involved. If a science student wants to support the union goals by slowing down their own dissertation research and possibly forgoing back pay, then I applaud their commitment.

                • uomatters Post author | 10/20/2019

                  I’m just an economist, not a real scientist, but I’m guessing that with the possible exception of a few time-sensitive bio experiments no one’s dissertation is really going to be delayed by a few days or weeks on strike. I think ScienceDuck is trolling us with a red zebrafish argument. But the pay question seems real. Does anyone remember what happened back in 2014? I know the grads got full back pay – presumably they made up the lost research hours afterwards, UO explained this to the feds, and that was that.

                • ScienceDuck 10/20/2019

                  UOmatters, I don’t think the delay is significant either. My main concern was that science grad students would be considered scabs for working on their dissertation as the posters seemed to insinuate and the “GTFF member” initial response didn’t alleviate that. The second response about just not showing up for certain hours made sense to me, but again, those posters seemed to not care about the distinction.

                • Another grunt 10/20/2019

                  GTFF member writes, “but the fact remains that spending the same amount of time working on the PI’s project during a strike constitutes crossing a picket line since some of that time is from a paid GE appointment.”

                  Can someone explain exactly what this means?

                  By the way, I don’t think uomatters comments about GTFF posturing are useful.

          • Porcupine 10/19/2019

            ?? What science graduate student works on research that is “part of their GE appointment” but not related to “their own dissertation?” Maybe there are one or two unfortunate grad students somewhere who are hired for some research project that they don’t benefit from, but that’s nowhere close to being common in the sciences. What’s the actual point of whoever put the flyers up?

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