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"I am thrilled that we were able to reach an agreement with the GTFF," said Jamie Moffitt, UO vice president for finance and administration said in a prepared statement.
Schill's initiatives to build the university's graduate program, including increasing the number of graduate fellowships awarded, lent an upbeat background to the GTFF negotiations.
The UO president, dean, University Senate Graduate Council and GTFF will appoint members to the committee.
The dawning of this new day is ominous, given that the administration's purpose seems to be to break the GTFF strike and union, regardless of the consequences for academic integrity, shared governance, graduate education, campus climate and the university's national reputation.
"(The administration) politicized the grading system at the University of Oregon in order to limit the tactical leverage of the GTFF. They compromised the core academic integrity of the grading process in order to win in this labor battle," said Michael Dreiling, sociology professor and president of the United Academics.
"I believe the administration should be ashamed to be willing to spend so generously to fight against these passionate teachers," she wrote in a statement provided by the union, "while not being willing to meet the GTFF's reasonable request for paid sick and family leave."
The GTFF demanded two weeks of paid medical or parental leave, which the university refused to grant on the grounds that graduate students are first and foremost students - and because the university doesn't want to extend benefits to 5,500 other part-time instructors who are not under the GTFF umbrella.
The GTFF union membership authorized the labor strike in late October; a 30-day "cooling off" period followed, which ended with this week's efforts to reach a settlement via mediation.
We urge our university leadership to step forward and lead to a peace that involves a fair and just compromise with the GTFF before any more harm is done to graduate students, undergraduates and the university as a whole.
In a sign of good faith, the GTFF Healthcare Trust went out to bid on GTF health care, obtaining the requested benefits while saving the University $500,000 over the next contract cycle.
Friday at 221 Allen Hall on the University of Oregon campus; forum will include speakers from Jobs with Justice, the UO faculty union United Academics and American Federation of Teachers; a panel discussion will follow; related events include GTFF rally at Johnson Hall at noon and GTFF bargaining at Lillis 112 at 3 p.m.
"The university is trying to reach an agreement with the GTFF that acknowledges the financial realities that the university faces," said Linda King, chief spokeswoman for the university at the bargaining table.
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