The past few years have been good for Oregon State University. Enrollment has grown consistently year after year, not only in Corvallis but at the online E-Campus and Bend campus as well. Innovative research and empowered graduates continue to come out of OSU, and none of this is possible without our 1500+ classified staff. They are not only essential to all the successes at OSU but are beloved members of our local communities and families.
Oregon State University is asking that these over 1500 classified staff give up career-long step increases in salary, pay a bigger portion of their healthcare premiums, and be given a minor cost of living salary adjustment that is lower than the inflation rate – just 0.5% a year. This is just some of the conditions the University is asking employees to accept which are falling short of what could be called a fair and reasonable contract. President Ed Ray gets a 6% pay raise, making almost $750,000 a year, with most management and administrators getting similar raises. They are asking service employees to accept what amounts to – for many – a pay cut for the next two years.
Universities and corporations nationwide say that they simply cannot afford to give a fair contract to their workers, that budgets are too tight to allow this, and that year after year we should come to expect less. As progress nationwide towards a $15 minimum wage has shown time and time again – this is not true! If the ability to provide fair wage benefits is there for upper management, it must be extended to staff, students, and faculty.
Service workers at Oregon State University are being offered a contract that is simply not fair. As graduate employees who depend on classified staff every day, we deeply appreciate the hard work that classified staff put forth to make our college function. We ask that OSU do the same. We are in complete solidarity and support of SEIU Local 503 Sublocal 83 at Oregon State University in their bargaining efforts, and our members will support you every step of the way, at every march, and at every action.