KLAMATH FALLS, Ore.– After 1 year, 4 months and 28 days of negotiations, Oregon Tech faculty and administration have come to an agreement.
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 4, both parties came to terms on a five-year contract. The Executive Director of marketing at Oregon Tech says faculty will receive an 11.5% salary increase over the course of five years, with an additional 3.5% possible in merit increases. Oregon Tech will also pay 95-97% of health care costs.
Students say they are relieved to have their teachers back. Because of the strike, they are now a week behind in their coursework.
“I was so excited I didn’t even get on my phone until I met up with one of my peers, and she was like did you see it’s over, and I said what’s over, and she said the strike is over they are coming back, oh thank goodness I am so excited to see them back,” said student, Ashley Ripplinger.
According to the school, staff met their goals of fair wages, a reasonable workload, and secure public employee benefits.
Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Dr. Ken Fincher said, “This was a long and arduous process, but the end result will prove worthy of the time and effort expended. At times our community was pulled in different directions over the faculty union strike and the labor negotiations. Now it is time for us to unite and speak in one voice in support of Oregon Tech.”
“We could not have done it without faculty, students, and community supporters far and wide showing up to the lines—both physical and digital—in solidarity with the faculty of Oregon Tech-AAUP,” said Kari Lundgren, associate professor in the communication department and OT-AAUP spokesperson. “We are immensely grateful for their generosity and spirit.”
The union representing staff said the contract, once ratified, will be in place through June 2025.
Striking faculty will return to work on Wednesday, May 5.
Students say with just 5 weeks left, they don’t have a lot of time to make up for their missing week.