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Portland State University Faculty Approve Strike

The faculty at Portland State University has voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike.

The strike vote took place over the last two days at Oregon’s largest university, to give all 1,200  voting members of the faculty union time to cast ballots. Leaders of the American Association of University Professors say union members voted 94 percent in support of a strike.

Oregon law requires the faculty union to give ten days’ notice before going on strike. And professors can’t go on strike until the current cooling-off period ends, in early April. The union has not set a strike date.

Their early morning announcement says the union is scheduled to meet with administrators Friday.

The two sides disagree on faculty salaries, the availability of multi-year contracts for teachers, and on the faculty union’s role in enacting policy changes.

The administration’s last proposal offered two options to the faculty: to accept smaller raises but get more of the policy changes professors want, or to get slightly larger raises but with less faculty influence on policy.

The union has offered a complicated salary schedule, geared toward making salaries more equitable. The faculty wants to maintain the current role for the union in policy, and to make multi-year contracts available to more professors than administrators are offering.

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