The faculty union at Oregon Institute of Technology ended its weeklong strike after securing a tentative first contract agreement, the union announced Tuesday. Professors return to work today. The union had been seeking what it called fair wages; a reasonable workload for faculty members on and off the tenure track in terms of instruction, advising and other duties; and secure employee benefits. The contract, which is still subject to a vote by union members, would extend through 2025.
The American Association of University Professors-affiliated union said that members are “thrilled to have a contract” but that “much work remains to rebuild relationships affected by senior administration’s persistent mendacity.” Before and during the strike, faculty members said they were concerned about the future of shared governance, small class sizes and hands-on instruction at Oregon Tech under Nagi Naganathan, who has been university president since 2018.
Ken Fincher, vice president for institutional advancement at Oregon Tech, said in a statement that “this was a long and arduous process, but the end result will prove worthy of the time and effort expended.” It’s “time for us to unite and speak in one voice in support of Oregon Tech,” he added. KDRV.com report that the university offered an 11.5 percent pay increase over the life of the contract, with an additional 3.5 percent possible through merit increases. Oregon Tech will also reportedly pay nearly 100 percent of union members’ health-care costs.