Some of you may be asking yourself, “What can I, as a faculty member and union member, do now that everything is fucked?” The new presidential administration promises an all-out assault on higher education, public spending, and labor. We are headed into perilous times for sure, but there is a lot that we can do here in Oregon. As a bargaining unit representing 1800 people, UA is positioned to play an important role in the politics of this state. Together with our allies at other campuses and in other unions, there is an extraordinary amount we can accomplish.
The State and Higher Education Issues Committee (also known as the Politics Committee) has jumped back into action for the winter. Behind us is the powerful mobilization around Measure 97 in the fall, which although unsuccessful brought UA into political struggle around state political issues that are of great importance in Oregon. Before us are a number of critical issues in which we are active.
As we head into the legislative season we will be reviewing, commenting on, and recommending support or opposition to bills in Salem. There is much at stake this year, from generating desperately needed state revenue, to providing health care for adjuncts who cumulatively work more than .5 fte at different public institutions, to expanding representation on institutional boards of Oregon universities. We will augment this work by traveling to Salem to meet with our representatives in February and March.
The Politics Committee is also exploring other ways to be active politically besides legislative work. We are working with local coalitions such as Oregon Strong Voice and statewide groups such as the Fair Shot Coalition and A Better Oregon.
We welcome new members to our committee and want to hear your ideas as well. We meet every Friday at the United Academics office at 2pm. Come join us! You will be making a big difference, and perhaps even sleep a little better at night!