Just days after Oregon’s largest school district avoided a teachers’ strike, faculty at the state’s biggest university declared a contract impasse Monday.
Talks at Portland State University have gone on for months. The president of PSU’s American Association of University Professors, Mary King, says teachers are through staying quiet.
King said, “For a long time, we did, not wanting to really wash any dirty linen in public. But we’ve reached the end of our patience on that, to take a stand in defense of the quality of education at Portland State.”
The union wants PSU to reduce its reliance on short-term instructors and to increase faculty wages. King says the union’s also defending its policy role at PSU.
Administration officials say they’re committed to negotiating a settlement, but have procedures in the event of a strike.
Although mediated talks are continuing, an impasse declaration gives both sides a week to submit final proposals, followed by a 30-day cooling-off period. After that, the union could vote to strike - or the administration could impose its final offer.