Oregon State University Faculty Win Majority Support for Union
CORVALLIS, Ore.—A decisive majority of faculty at Oregon State University have declared their support for unionization in an official petition filed today with the Oregon Employment Relations Board.
Under Oregon’s public sector labor law, union certification can be achieved when a petitioned-for bargaining unit is supported by a majority of signed authorization cards, a process known as “card check.” There are more than 2,400 faculty at OSU.
Since mid-February, teaching and research faculty across Oregon have been signing cards with their colleagues to authorize United Academics of Oregon State University. As a faculty union, UAOSU seeks to strengthen shared governance, improve working conditions, and create the best possible environment for teaching, learning, research and outreach.
Upon certification, UAOSU will move to bargain a collective agreement with the university. UAOSU calls on the administration to work collaboratively with faculty rather than expend student- and taxpayer-funded resources pursuing an obstructionist approach.
UAOSU is affiliated nationally with the American Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professors.
Aurora Sherman, an associate professor in the School of Psychological Science, has been part of the United Academics of OSU community for more than three years. "I am thrilled to see the years of collaboration between colleagues of all ranks and colleges culminate at this historic moment, and I look forward to continuing to strengthen ties with faculty across the entire state of Oregon," Sherman said.
Darrell Ross, professor in the College of Forestry, said: “With nearly 28 years of experience as an OSU faculty member and over a year of involvement with building our union, I am convinced that as an empowered faculty, united across rank and discipline, we will use our collective voice to shape the future of OSU to better meet all the missions of a modern land-grant university.”
Paul Davis, chair of the AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress, said: "We are proud of the work that the faculty have done together to make this day possible. The broad nature of the unit, which includes tenure-track and nontenure-track faculty, will strengthen the voice of the faculty as they work to protect academic freedom, shared governance and quality higher education."
AFT President Randi Weingarten said: “OSU faculty have formed a union because they know the way to have a meaningful voice and achieve fairness is by acting collectively, not individually. Faculty has been organizing for years to boost academic freedom and improve teaching and learning. With a clear majority of members in support, we are calling on OSU to work with, not against, its own workers by committing to negotiate a contract that builds on OSU’s well-earned reputation for excellence.”
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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.