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PSU Faculty Vote Overwhelmingly to Authorize a Strike Massive Turnout with a 94% YES vote

March 12, 2014 / Phil Lesch

Massive Turnout for Strike Authorization Vote, Tues & Weds!

Overwhelming Support:  94% Yes Votes

PSU Faculty and APs made history, today and yesterday, turning out in huge numbers to authorize the PSU-AAUP Bargaining Team to call a strike if they see no other way to obtain a decent contract.

We have come together and made a powerful statement; the Admin will have to reassess their strategy.  We ARE PSU, and we are not going along with any program that doesn't put academics first, second and third at this university!

There's more to be done, but we don't have to do it tonight!

Enjoy this moment, and we'll be back soon with a strategic plan for the next several weeks, including Mediation again on Friday, March 14th, 9 to Noon.

PSU-AAUP HAS SPOKEN!!!!!  And the ASPSU has both formally backed us, and told that to the Incoming Board of Trustees in their meeting today!

Below, I'll paste in the Press Release going out early, Thurs am:

PSU Faculty Vote Overwhelmingly to Authorize a Strike
Massive Turnout with a 94% YES vote

Portland, OR -- The American Association of University Professors (PSU-AAUP) voted overwhelmingly to authorize the bargaining to team to call for a strike if the Administration refuses to settle a contract that prioritizes faculty stability, educator-led higher ed and student-centered budget priorities. PSU-AAUP may now call a strike anytime after April 3rd, the end of the official “30-day cooling off period”, as long as the Administration is given 10 days notice.

“This vote is a powerful statement by PSU faculty and academic professionals that academics and a student-centered budget must be PSU’s overriding priorities.  PSU students are going into debt to obtain an education;  we are dedicated to providing them as high quality an academic experience as we possibly can. If forced to, PSU faculty and academic professionals are willing to strike to reverse the erosion of faculty stability and educator-led education at PSU,” Mary King, President PSU-AAUP.

With a 94% yes vote, the overwhelming support for a strike authorization puts a strong mandate behind the top priorities of PSU-AAUP - stable faculty through multi-year contracts for full-time non-tenure faculty, rather than the current year-to-year contracts with no security, and maintaining the important role of faculty in shared governance around university decisions and workplace changes. AAUP and Administration Bargaining teams are set to meet again on Friday.

“Quality classroom conditions, educator-led higher education and a student-centered budget are critical issues. Striking is a serious decision, but these issues are worth fighting for to resolve fairly,” Jamie P. Ross, Assistant Professor of Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies.

AAUP faculty, students, and supporters have made it clear that this contract fight is a referendum on the direction and budget priorities of the PSU Administration.

“With this strike vote the ball is now in the Administration’s hands to bring back a contract offer that meets the core needs of this university,” says Jose Padin, Professor of Sociology. “Our top demands - faculty stability and educator led higher ed have virtually no fiscal impact on the budget. It’s time for the Administration to settle a student-centered contract.”

Students have shown strong support for a possible faculty strike. Associated Students of PSU (ASPSU) issued a statement saying, “ASPSU has a strong sense that the learning conditions students face are a direct reflection of the working conditions encountered by our university’s staff and faculty. It is with the student body’s interest in mind that our institution takes a stance in support of PSU-AAUP.” On Feb 27th, the PSU Student Union organized 700 students to walk out of classes in support of faculty and a fair contract. Many students have publicly stated their intent to join the picket line if faculty strike.

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