PORTLAND, Ore. – Bargaining teams from Oregon’s seven public universities and the union representing classified employees reached a tentative agreement on a two-year labor contract Saturday.
SEIU represents 4,500 higher education workers at seven public universities in Oregon, including the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. The workers include food service, office and custodial staff.
Officials with Oregon’s Public Universities said the settlement averted a strike by the SEIU that would have started on Monday, which is the first day of classes for many of the universities.
Oregon’s Public University presidents released a statement saying, “As we welcome students back in the new academic year, we are pleased that we have a tentative agreement in place with our SEIU-represented classified workers, who play an important role in the education of more than 120,000 Oregon public university students."
“Their work makes an enormous difference in the education and lives of our students, as well as the research and community services that Oregon universities provide throughout the state,” the statement continued.
The contract settlement includes changes like cost of living adjustments for a total of over 5 percent over two years for all classified employees. It also includes wage increases of 9.5 percent over the next two years and a longevity premium of 2.5 percent to classified employees who meet certain requirements.
SEIU members will vote to ratify the contract settlement during October, with implementation occurring in November.