President’s Column: Fall Welcome

Posted by  Ashley Bromley   in       Nov 5, 2018     5695 Views     Comments Off on President’s Column: Fall Welcome  

Dear colleagues across Oregon:

I hope this reaches you well. Since I last reached out to you, we were celebrating the organizing victories of United Academics of OSU and the Oregon Tech AAUP collective bargaining chapter – all in the midst of the awful, precedent turning Supreme Court decision and ongoing attacks on science, education, and unions. Since then, AAUP and AAUP-Oregon staff have been working vigorously with these new chapters/locals as they prepare to begin bargaining their first contracts and formally organize their union structures and bylaws. Meanwhile, GEU members and leaders are working to enforce their new contract with the Portland State University administration. We can do this, all of this and more, because of the very real material effects that every contribution by AAUP members – like you – make to our common good.  Thank you!

In the last 9 months, AAUP-Oregon has streamlined our budget (already remarkably lean) to help assure the sustainability of our political and organizing capabilities. We will employ our strengths in the coming months to sustain support at OSU and Oregon Tech and to raise our influence in the coming November 6 elections and the full legislative session in Salem (through May 2019).

The November 6 election offers a stark choice for our communities, the people of Oregon, and our nation.

Consider this: in order to keep tuition from spiking and to provide resources for campuses to invest in academic and student success programs, we must see a significant increase in state support for higher education. Recently, I urged Governor Brown to adopt the Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s (HECC) recommended budget for public universities and provide a $186 million increase in the Public University Support Fund (PUSF). This is one reason why the November 6 election is so important: in order for us to confront the fiscal challenges for education in Oregon, we need a Governor and a Legislature committed to improving revenue for our state, and that means corporate tax reform. We cannot match the big corporate donations to Governor Brown’s opponent, but we can help by educating and turning out voters. PLEASE: Volunteer with the campaign to elect Kate Brown for Governor. Look for news from your local chapters about how to get involved in other campaigns too, all before the November 6 election. And vote.

On the ballot this November, our endorsements: 

Revenue reform is desperately needed in our state. Corporate taxes remain obscenely low, starving education and other public services. Kate Brown for Governor and a Democratic super-majority is needed in Salem if we are going change this long-term blight on support for education in Oregon. We are certain that the race for Governor presents a clear choice on education and state revenue reform, and that is why we are all in for Kate Brown. Our decision to endorse stems from the wise and balanced leadership Kate Brown has exercised as Governor and from the promise that on every major issue confronting our state, we expect to see vital progress. From scientifically informed policy to fight climate change to the protection of children’s health and educational needs, Kate Brown brings the wise leadership our state needs.

Our Legislative Committee, Executive Council, and the leadership of all AAUP collective bargaining chapters in Oregon have reviewed and collectively determined our statewide position on ballot measures and candidates. Our political endorsements are limited to those where candidates or campaigns completed our questionnaire. Review our full list of endorsements.

In the coming months, we will be reviewing legislative agendas and working in coalitions to advance or oppose critical policy initiatives during this upcoming legislative session in Salem. It is critical that we stay abreast of what happens in Salem this coming year. Representing thousands of academic professionals, faculty, and graduate employees in public and private universities across our great state, our voice matters, but so do our working conditions. Our members’ combined professional activities energize research, teaching, and academic support in every major field of study and serve to enlighten the scientific, professional, and cultural horizon of tens of thousands of students every year.  Please get your ballots in before November 6, 2018. It is wonderful to be part of this network with you all. 

Onward friends and colleagues!

Michael Dreiling
President, AAUP-Oregon