Recognizing the impact that negotiations with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF) has on faculty, we want to keep you updated on developments in the bargaining process. The bargaining teams met yesterday in mediation and will meet again on November 20, 2023. Reaching agreement on GE salary is a top priority, and I want to share with you the details of the university’s latest salary offer presented to the GTFF bargaining team yesterday.
Consistent with our [newly discovered] commitment to position graduate student employees and the university for long term success, our latest salary offer focuses on significantly raising compensation for those GEs at the lowest rates of pay. Our latest offer also brings the GE salaries into better alignment with AAU peers to improve the UO’s competitive position when recruiting future GEs. Latest Salary Offer
The latest offer to the GTFF proposes setting a single minimum pay rate for graduate employees prorated by FTE. This results in GEs at all three minimum levels receiving a significant increase in year one of the contract. The table below illustrates the annual increases for GEs currently paid at a minimum rate with a 0.49 FTE appointment:
in Year 1
Over 3-Year Contract
This proposal provides a total minimum compensation package for GEs that includes:
- Pay of $28.11 per hour.
- Full health benefits for GEs and their families (95% of premiums covered).
- Coverage of GE tuition and mandatory fees except for a $61 per term GE contribution.
The proposal also provides an increase in subsequent years of the contract:
- Increases minimum salaries by 3.75 percent each year.
- Increases across-the-board pay for GEs earning above the minimum salary – 3.5 percent in Year 1 and 2.75 percent in Years 2 and 3.
Departments will still have the ability to pay above the minimum rate or provide higher increases, which includes differentiation between GE levels.
Comparison with AAU Peer Institutions
The latest offer brings the GE salaries into better alignment with AAU peers to better compensate current GEs and improve the UO’s competitive position when recruiting future GEs. Analysis places this latest UO proposal above the average minimum take-home pay rate of the other public AAU institutions, when adjusted for cost-of-living differences between regions. The following data compares the UO proposed minimum salary with those at other AAU public universities. The analysis focuses on take-home pay after GE contributions for mandatory fees and health insurance premiums, with cost-of-living adjustments based on the MIT Living Wage Calculator.
AAU GE Take-Home Pay Analysis (9 month 0.49 FTE)
|Minimum GE Stipend
(GE portion of mandatory fees)
(GE portion of health insurance premium)
|Take Home Pay
(Stipend less Mandatory Fees and Insurance Premiums)
(Eugene cost-of-living as % of AAU average using MIT Living Wage Calculator)
|Net Take Home Pay
(Take-Home Pay after Cost-of-Living Adjustment)
|Difference (% above AAU average)
Factors considered for the analysis:
- MIT Living Wage Calculator used to align with GTFF analysis.
- Calculator adjusted for Eugene cost-of-living, which is 92.5% of AAU public peers.
- To ensure a consistent comparison of take home pay, we deducted from the stipend the GE’s contributions to mandatory fees and health insurance premiums on an institution-by-institution basis, both of which reduce total take-home compensation.
- This analysis does NOT include the additional investment that the UO makes in the UO GE health insurance program, which is over $2,500 more per GE than other public AAU institutions, as explained below.
The contract proposal is focused on providing graduate students with a competitive total compensation package for their part-time employment as they work toward degree completion.
UO Investment in Health Insurance
It is important to recognize that the UO health insurance program for GEs is far more generous and expensive than the plans offered by other institutions. University administration was clear at the start of bargaining that there would be no proposals to change GE health insurance introduced by the university’s bargaining team, and that remains the case. We do not seek to reduce the contributions the university makes toward GE health insurance nor change the health insurance program structure, which empowers a GE majority-led trust to make all decisions about plan design and benefit levels. In particular, the UO plan provides 95% premium coverage for all GEs, their partners, and families, which is very unusual for most institutions.
We will continue to keep you apprised of developments with regular updates about bargaining. We will also share information about continuity planning to minimize disruption and deliver a quality education to the students enrolled at the UO.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President