OIT faculty takes big step toward first university faculty strike in Oregon history

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – After more than 500 days of negotiations, Oregon Tech faculty have voted to authorize a strike by a wide margin this week.

This does not mean that faculty will strike. It means members of the union have widely agreed that its union leadership is allowed to call for one if an agreement is not reached.

The Faculty Senate voted to call for President Nagi Naganathan to resign in March.

The two sides are currently negotiating a new contract.  The faculty said a “merit” pay system, like the university is asking for, does not necessarily reward workers in proportion to their skill. It also said the administration’s offer also left out any possibility of raises for cost of living, and increased the cost of health care benefits for families.

The administration said raising pay for teachers would raise student tuition.

They are in a mandatory 30-day cooling-off period until April 17th.

After that ends, the administration may unilaterally implement their final offer and faculty are allowed to strike.

If a strike does happen, it will be the first time any university faculty have gone on strike in Oregon history.

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