EC Decision on Executive Director Contract Stands

December 13, 2021 / PSU-AAUP

The member vote closed on Friday at 5pm, with 586 ballots cast of 1015 members. Of those, 266 voted (45.4%) to affirm the EC’s decision, and 320 voted (54.6%) to overturn the EC’s decision. Overturning the decision requires a ⅔ majority of votes cast, so the EC decision stands. 

We appreciate the dedication to our union shown by many of you, and we understand that those of you voting against the EC’s decision have done so out of a profound care for our organization. 

The EC shares many of the concerns expressed in the last few weeks. We made this decision originally from our own positions of deep care, concern, and commitment to this organization.

We also believe that paid staff who can provide outstanding support to member leaders are a critical part of our union’s operation. We look forward to moving ahead with interim staff hiring in the coming week(s) and we think you will be as optimistic as we are when we are able to finalize and announce our interim team. We are also looking forward to a full public search for permanent staff later in 2022, and this will include opportunities for wide member input and participation at every stage.

We are also concerned and saddened by the resignations from the EC that have taken place over the last six weeks. Those that resigned did so for a variety of reasons but it does speak to our need to address some internal issues related to the Executive Council, it’s structure, and the large time commitment needed to be in a leadership role in our union. While we have already and will continue to make some interim appointments per our bylaws, we will also be holding an election for several positions early in 2022. Please start thinking about whether you may be interested in taking on a greater leadership role in our organization. You can expect a call for nominations early in Winter term.

We also want to go into our economic reopener this spring with strength. SEIU 503 higher education workers recently won a 5.6% COLA and raises and this is a time for PSU-AAUP to make up for the COLAs negotiated mid-pandemic that fell below inflation. We have already begun training up our new CBT members, connecting with AAUP Oregon for direct support, and, again, bringing on interim staff who have strong backgrounds both at the bargaining table as well as the critical work of organizing the membership to build worker power. 

To those who voted yes, we sincerely appreciate the trust you have shown in your elected leaders by affirming the EC’s decision. 

We also respect that over 40% of the membership did not cast a ballot in this vote, a question that perhaps felt unreasonable to weigh in on given the necessarily uninformed state of membership on the details of the situation. We’re looking into solutions to the inherent difficulty of asking members to weigh in on personnel matters when they don’t have access to all the information.

Aside from announcements about interim staff, we hope to be making less of an appearance in your inbox over the coming weeks. We hope that your Fall term is wrapping up well. Looking ahead, we are planning a meet and greet to reconnect and introduce our new staff during week 3.

We hope that you will have time with friends, family, and loved ones over the coming weeks and we look forward to starting afresh with you all in 2022. 

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