After negotiations with the University of Oregon administration failed, the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF) went on strike Tuesday for the first time in its 38 year history. The union represents 1,500 graduate teachers, who are responsible for about a third of undergraduate instruction at the university.
The sticking point in the negotiations centers around paid medical and parental leave. The union wants two weeks of paid medical leave as well as two weeks of paid parental leave. The administration countered with an offer of two weeks paid flex time for family or medical needs and a hardship fund for graduate students (teaching fellows and non-fellows) to apply for additional assistance.
The GTFF voted to authorize a strike back in October, and in the last two weeks of the fall term, they’re carrying through with it. University Interim President Scott Coltrane said in a statement that final exams will be held and graded despite the strike.
Do you have a connection to the University of Oregon? Have you worked as a graduate teaching fellow there or at another school? What’s your take on the situation?