Letter to the Editor: Our approach succeeded

General Opinion Graphic

Victor Reyes

Despite a difficult year, here is some positive news for those who work and learn at OSU.

In May, the administration proposed closing the pandemic-related budget gap with 20% across the board salary cuts with a minimum of 15 days notice and included no guarantees that salary cuts would protect jobs. Even after taking a 20% cut, a faculty member could be non-renewed regardless of their contract. The administration also proposed no guidelines for reassessing the need for cuts, nor a timeline for when cuts would end.

United Academics of Oregon State University countered with a progressive plan that fully protected employees’ first $50,000 to support the lowest-paid faculty. For those with salaries above $50,000, cuts would increase with the size of salary. We also proposed transparency about when cuts would be triggered, when they would be implemented and when they would return to prior levels—if and when the budget gap had been filled.

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Our approach succeeded. In two months, OSU regained the revenue shortfall, and the administration announced that reductions will stop after November. None of this would have been possible without our faculty union. We applaud the hard work and perseverance of all OSU faculty and staff who are pulling together to meet the demands of this moment, and we look forward to seeing UAOSU continue to partner with our sibling unions and with the administration to build a better OSU for our students.

Victor Reyes

Instructor (ESL) at INTO OSU and UAOSU Communications Committee