The University of Oregon and Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation have agreed to a Letter of Agreement that provides for a one-year extension of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement and addresses several other important shared interests.
Reaching agreement with the GTFF is an important step to supporting graduate employees while also creating some stability as we contend with uncertainties and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the University of Oregon. We thank the graduate employees and the union for voting to support this agreement and for their partnership throughout this process.
Summary of Terms
The parties have been working over the last month to reach terms to ease the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. An overview of the LOA is provided below:
The current collective bargaining agreement will be extended one year through June 15, 2023.
COVID-19 safety confirmations
The agreement reflects the following mutual interests to address workplace safety:
- Confirms GE access to unit resumption plans and any subsequent changes.
- Confirms training related to COVID-19 safety will be provided.
- Confirms process for GEs to follow when they encounter someone not following a safety requirement in their workspace or lab.
- Extends and modifies occupational health and safety language to recognize COVID-19 regulations.
- Provides additional space and ADA accommodations due to impacts of COVID-19 and remote work.
Graduate Student Assistance Fund increases and expanded access
The assistance fund is changed and expanded in the following ways:
- Maximum age for child care assistance increased to 12 years and the maximum award limit increased to $1000.
- Inclusion of COVID-related qualifying events to allow assistance for absences due to COVID-19 and expenses related to working remotely.
- Inclusion of assistance for international graduate students with visa expenses.
Extended funding for AY 21-22
GEs in a PhD program who are in good academic standing and in the final year of their multi-year funding offer will be eligible to receive a funding extension for AY 21-22. The Graduate School will send additional details about the process for eligible GEs to request this funding extension.
- Increase the minimums on which stipends for GEs are calculated by 3% for AY 22 – 23 to assist in UOs ability to recruit, retain, and support graduate students.
- Provide an extension to the credit reduction program for winter term 2021.
- Give consideration for the impacts of COVID-19 on a GEs academic progress before a GE's position is impacted as a result of dismissal from their program for failure to make satisfactory progress.
- Provide GE an opportunity to state the impacts of COVID-19 on their performance in the instructor self reflection survey for consideration in GE performance assessment.
- Agree to intellectual property interests related to remote course materials through winter term AY 20-21.