University staff union threatens strike on first day of school

University staff union threatens strike on first day of school

EUGENE, Ore. - Staff members at all of Oregon’s colleges and universities say they are ready to strike on the first day of class.

Representatives from all of Oregon’s public universities are in Eugene on the University of Oregon campus today rallying for a fair labor agreement. They say they expect to be in negotiations and mediation until late Wednesday night. If an agreement is not reached, the Service Employees International Union Local 503 that represents the staff members have given notice to strike.

Union representatives said university staff members have not received the same deal other staffers working for other sectors of the state agreed to last month.

Students and faculty were also at the rally and said they will skip the first day of class to fight for higher staff wages.

SEIU is also hoping for same-sex partner benefits and an agreement to the way staffers are tenured in the system.

The Oregon University System would not speak to us on camera, but Di Saunders, spokeswoman for OUS , said she cannot comment about on-going labor deliberations at the time. She did, however, say temporary staff are standing by to make sure that if a strike is going to take place, the first day of school proceed as normal.