Non-faculty employees of Oregon’s universities have voted to strike in ten days if an agreement isn’t reached with the Oregon University System.
Members of SEIU Local 503 would like no full-time worker to be paid less than the amount to qualify for food stamps for a family of four, that’s about $2,500 a month.
Lois Yoshishige works at the University of Oregon and is on the union’s executive committee.
“What we’re wanting is to return to economic stability, because we have had freezes, step freezes, and furloughs, and we do think they have the money to be able to provide this" says Yoshishige.
The Oregon University System has offered a 1.5 percent cost of living increase in 2014 and 2 percent in 2015 and a one year step increase. The union would like a 2 percent COLA each year plus two years of step increases.
The 4,500 classified workers, including custodians and secretaries at seven state universities will continue bargaining Saturday. Yoshishige says they hope to resolve their differences this weekend, as no other sessions are planned. She says they don’t want to hurt the students or the functioning of the universities.
If there is no agreement, a strike could happen as soon as September 23rd, a week before classes start.
Copyright 2013 KLCC