There They Go, Again!

Higher Ed Management Proposals Not Unified Across State, Return to the “Big Three,” Attack Health Care, Steps, and More

We met for bargaining on Thursday and Friday, April 9th and 10th. This session ended on a very discouraging note. While we were hopeful of an early settlement, it is apparent that we will be digging in for a long and contentious fight for a fair and equitable settlement.

You may remember that management had proposed bargaining only economics this cycle. Our response was that we could agree, provided we would have one unified” economic package that was fair and equitable across all campuses. Management would not commit to unified economics until the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) finalized their new funding model, which they did on Thursday, April 9th.   Based on that model, management decided to give us two separate proposals for wages, health insurance, and other financial issues. One would cover SOU and the other would cover the other six campuses.

Although these proposals are currently identical, they were presented separately to allow SOU the ability to “opt out” if the negotiations proceed to a settlement that SOU Management does not support. Without the commitment to a full statewide approach, our team is continuing with the full bargaining process.

What follows are some of the“lowlights” of the Management proposal. Our team will continue to push for our proposals. Let your bargaining table rep know your thoughts. (See below for email addresses of bargaining team members.)

Management’s proposals


  • Step increases delayed one year in each of the two years
  • COLAs .5% December 1, 2015, .5% June 1 2016, .5% December 1, 2016, and .5% June 1, 2017
  • No selective increases
  • Decrease salary increases in the IT Comp plan

Health Insurance

  • A cap (as yet undefined) on the employer premium contribution in the first year
  • A limit of 3.4% premium increase in the second year. Amounts above 3.4% would be our responsibility
  • Elimination of the Part Time subsidy

A Sampling of Major Language Takeaways

  • Eliminate the requirement to do a feasibility study when contracting out our jobs
  • Eliminate overtime after 8 hours a day and calculate the 40 hours using only “time worked”
  • Restrict bumping rights to one opportunity
  • Require call-in notification 4 hours prior to requesting sick leave
  • Drastically reduce management’s “burden of proof” when presenting their case to an Arbitrator

In addition to these, management is refusing to negotiate the appeals process for the new class and comp system despite the current contract requiring such negotiations.


It is time to fight back! Please join your Local leaders and your Bargaining Delegate in visiting your FADM Vice President to demand a fair contract. A contract that is equitable and fair across all seven campuses. Click here to join in.

Register for our next Higher Ed Lobby Day (April 20). Travel to Salem to meet with your legislators to lobby for adequate funding for Higher Ed as well as their support for our Fair Shot campaign. Click here to register.

Upcoming bargaining sessions

  • April 23rd and 24th at SOU
  • May 7th and 8th at OSU Cascades in Bend
  • May 28th and 29th at EOU
  • June 7th and 8th location TBD

Please plan to visit your Team and observe bargaining when we come to your campus.


Your Higher Ed Bargaining Team:

Marc Nisenfeld, Chairperson (
EOU: Helen Moore (
OIT: Bob Klem (
OSU: Gloria O’Brien (
PSU: Greg Marks (
SOU: Colleen Martin-Low (
UO: Johnny Earl (
WOU: Trisha Guy (




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