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PSU Faculty Union Schedules Strike Authorization Vote

OPB | March 4, 2014 2:16 p.m. | Updated: March 4, 2014 4:05 p.m. | Portland

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The faculty union at Portland State University has scheduled a strike authorization vote for next week. Tuesday’s announcement follows final contract offers from both sides.

Portland State University campus in fall

Portland State University campus in fall

Rob Manning / OPB

No Oregon public university has had a faculty strike. Faculty members at PSU could strike next month, depending on how professors vote, March 11 and 12.

Compensation, length of teacher contracts, and the union’s role in policy making are big sticking points.

The PSU administration’s final proposal gives faculty two choices.

Spokesman Scott Gallagher says the first option is a four-percent pay raise over two years and no change in benefits. But it would make policy changes administrators want.

“Option B is a three percent raise over two years, the same continued healthcare and pension benefits, and then fewer changes to the contract language,” according to Gallagher.

Gallagher says the university has managed to reduce its budget gap, and wants to limit the cost of the faculty contract.

The faculty union says professors at PSU earn less than peers at other colleges and that the administration has the money to address that.

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