Oregon Tech University Faculty Strike Continues Into Second Week

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Institute of Technology’s faculty union and its administration say they are nearing an agreement as the first strike by a faculty union at an Oregon public university continues into the second week.

The union said Monday its bargaining team is drafting a third settlement package, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. The two parties will return to negotiations Monday afternoon.

“Some of the most pressing fights now are over union rights to bargain over the issues that impact their very livelihoods and fair and equitable compensation practices,” the union said in a statement.

Agreement over salaries and promotions have also been an ongoing issue for the two parties.

“After 9.5 years in my career at Oregon Tech, I make less than the lowest salary offered to an assistant professor of chemistry at Southern Oregon University according to a job announcement that’s posted right now,” Seth Anthony, an associate professor of chemistry said in a statement.

According to the union, its proposals cost about the same as the administration’s proposals do; the union says it just wants that money to be allocated in a more equitable way.

The university disputes that.

“(T)he proposals the faculty union is providing are much more expensive than those presented by the administration and would have a devastating effect on student tuition,” Ken Fincher, OIT Vice President of Institutional Advancement, said in a message to OPB.

Many students at the university’s Klamath Falls and Wilsonville campuses are continuing to go without their professors. An unspecified number of classes and labs have been canceled.

Like the union, Fincher said the administration is feeling like movement is happening toward an agreement.

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