The Oregon Senate passed legislation ensuring that all of Oregon’s public university faculty will have the right to join a union, if they so choose. By adopting House Bill 3170 on a 17 to 13 vote, the Senate joins the Oregon House in approving the bipartisan legislation. After a concurrence vote in the House, the bill will move to the Governor’s desk for her signature.
While most public university faculty in Oregon have long enjoyed the right to unionize, since the 1990s an amended Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act has prevented faculty with supervisory duties from joining unions. With the action in the Senate today, the Oregon Legislature has voted to end this abridgment of basic employee rights.
The right to form and join a union is important to all faculty, providing an effective tool to improve workplace safety, job security, shared governance, and the learning conditions on our university campuses. Ensuring this fundamental right is why so many members of AFT-Oregon, public university faculty, students and fellow union members have rallied around this statute and encouraged the legislature to pass this important bill.