The latest episode of our monthly podcast, The Voice of Oregon’s Workers focuses on Oregon Health & Science University’s Graduate Researchers United (GRU) and their fight for a fair contract. GRU is another example of a rising tide in this country and in Oregon; where working people are standing together and speaking up at a rate unseen since the 1980s.
GRU’s fight is making headlines. The union recently had a guest opinion published in the Lund Report which explains the simple and crucial protections the researchers are asking for in contract negotiations:
“What we’re asking for is simple. Protection from abusive supervisors, input into the decision-making process on things like stipend increases and health insurance coverage, and policies that address equality, diversity and inclusion on campus.”
A recent article in the East Oregonian about the flurry of union activity on Marquam Hill explains more about what the graduate researchers are facing:
In August, nearly a year after voting to form a union, the graduate researchers also complained to the state’s Employment Relations Board, accusing OHSU managers of refusing to bargain in good faith with the workers and of unlawfully interfering with workers’ attempts to organize. The complaint, which was amended in late October, is pending.
The trouble began almost as soon as they voted to form a union, according to the students. The university objected, saying that they were students and not employees, said Sam Papadakis, a fifth-year doctoral student in neuroscience who is involved in the union drive. Graduate research is work, and it’s one of the reasons OHSU is a national leader in medical and scientific research. As you’ll hear in the episode, GRU has been fighting for a contract since March and will need the help of Oregon’s union movement in the fight. Here are a few ways you can take action to help GRU:
Attend a picket in Portland at the SW Waterfront by the Portland Aerial Tram on Tuesday, November 19th from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Learn more about GRU by clicking here.