SOU’s faculty union declares ‘impasse’ in latest round of contract negotiations

ASHLAND, Ore. – Contract negotiations between Southern Oregon University and its faculty union have reportedly stalled.

The SOU Faculty Union said last year, union representatives presented their lowest offer to the university, which was rejected. This resulted in the union formally declaring an “impasse.”

The union pointed to a reported decrease in paid faculty members during the past few years while the number of administration members increased disproportionately. Union representatives also stated the school declined to give faculty raises at a time when administration salaries increased by 3% in the fall.

SOU said the university’s most recent offer includes pay raises for the majority of faculty members starting in September 2022. According to SOU, the proposed wage offer is more than twice the national average for faculty. There were also provisions for the university to pay 95 to 97 percent of faculty members’ health benefits.

The union’s declaration kicks off a 30-day “cooling-off period,” after or during which both the union and university must submit their final offers.

There were no mentions of a strike in the latest statements made by the university and the union.

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