Yesterday, administrators at the University of Oregon announced that its graduate teaching fellows will go on strike as of this morning. The announcement comes after the parties failed to reach an agreement during its most recent round of negotiations.
As some readers may have realized, the strike action comes right at the beginning of the exam period, which will undoubtedly give the university some heartburn. While the school’s president has stated that there will be “minimal disruption to students,” it is difficult to imagine a scenario where 1,400 graduate teaching fellows walking off the job does not affect the final exam period.
To combat the probable disruption, the university has created an “academic continuity plan,” which faculty members have described as a strike-breaking plan. Per reports, the continuity plan involves the use of ad hoc workers, and possible cancellation or dumbing down of exams.
The labor dispute began when the graduate teaching fellows’ collective bargaining agreement expired on March 31, 2014. The parties have been in negotiations since then, with the fellows seeking two consecutive 5.5% raises. The school has countered with a total 9% raise over the next two years.
We will keep you posted as this dispute moves forward, so stay tuned.