This just in from Occupy Medical:
Occupy Medical in Veneta and Eugene are canceled this weekend due to the weather.
This just in from Occupy Medical:
Occupy Medical in Veneta and Eugene are canceled this weekend due to the weather.
I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't realize Oregon had 185 state parks. Not only do we have that many parks, The Weather Machine has filmed its new music video for "Back O'er Oregon" in all of them.
Here's the list of parks from The Weather Machine's website, in order of appearance (*indicate not a state park):
Portland, OR 0:01*
Government Island State Park 0:17
Hat Rock State Park 0:19
Battle Mountain Scenic Corridor 0:21
Benson State Recreation Area 0:23
McVay Rock State Park 0:27
Minam State Recreation Area 0:29
Agate Beach State Recreation Area 0:30
Driftwood Beach State Recreation Area 0:32
Memaloose State Park 0:33
Crissey Fields State Recreation Area 0:34
Rooster Rock State Park 0:36
Heritage Landing (Deschutes) 0:38
W.B. Nelson Recreation Site 0:40
Smelt Sands State Recreation Area 0:41
Pete French Round Barn State Heritage Site 0:42
White River Falls State Park 0:43
Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area 0:46
Ochoco State Scenic Viewpoint 0:48
Fall Creek State Recreation Area 0:49
Hoffman Memorial State Wayside 0:50
Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint 0:51
Arizona State Recreation Area 0:53
Lowell State Recreation Area 0:54
Touvelle State Recreation Area 0:55
Clyde Holliday State Recreation Area 0:56
Ellmaker State Wayside 0:57
L.L. Stub Stewart State Park 0:58
Whale Watching Center 0:58
Deschutes River State Recreation Area 1:00
Emigrant Springs State Heritage Area 1:01
Humbug Mountain State Park 1:01
Fort Yamhill State Heritage Site 1:02
Lost Creek State Recreation Site 1:04
* Historic Columbia River Highway (Tooth Rock Trailhead) 1:05
Kum Wah Chung State Heritage Site 1:05
Sonefield Beach State Recreation Site 1:06
Vista House/Crown Point State Scenic Corridor 1:07
Neskowin Beach State Recreation Area 1:08
Pistol River State Scenic Corridor 1:09
Umpqua Wayside (Umpqua State Scenic Corridor) 1:09
Cape Lookout State Park 1:10
Milo McIver State Park 1:10
Nehalem Bay State Park 1:11
Alesea Bay Bridge Historic Interpretive Center 1:13
William M. Tugman State Park 1:14
Detroit Lake State Recreation Area 1:14
Beaver Creek State Recreation Area 1:15
Prineville Reservoir State Park 1:16
Bradley State Park 1:18
Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area 1:23
Farewell Bend State Recreation Area 1:24
Muriel O. Ponsler State Scenic Viewpoint 1:24
Harris Beach State Recreation Site 1:25
Casey State Recreation Area 1:25
Oceanside Beach State Recreation Area 1:26
Bob Creek Wayside 1:30
Smith Rock State Park Chandler State Wayside 1:32
* Chandler State Park 1:34
Erratic Rock State Natural Site 1:37
Owahee Lake State Park 1:39
Mayer State Park 1:40
Portland Women’s Forum State Recreation Site 1:42
Silver Fall State Park 1:44
Tyron Sreek State Natural Area 1:46
Paradise Point State Recreation Area 1:49
Dexter State Recreation Area 1:50
Yaquina Bay State Recreation Area 1:51
Bolon Island Tideways State Scenic Corridor 1:53
Hug Point State Recreation Site 1:55
Angle’s Rest Trailhead (part of Bridal Veil) 2:00
Golden & Silver Falls State Natural Area 2:02
Joseph H. Stewart Recreation Area 2:05
Ecola State Park 2:08
Collier Memorial State Park 2:09
Koberg Beach State Recreation Area 2:10
Booth State Scenic Corridor 2:11
Goose Lake State Recreation Area 2:12
Manhattan Beach State Recreation Area 2:12
Dyer State Wayside 2:13
Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint 2:14
Cottonwood Canyon State Park 2:15
Port Orford Head State Park 2:16
Detroit Lake Campground 2:16
Valley Of he Rouge State Recreation Site 2:17
Ainsworth State Park 2:18
Cline Falls Scenic Viewpoint 2:19
Strawberry Hill Wayside 2:19
Wallowa River Wayside (Wallowa Lake Highway Forest State Scenic Corridor) 2:20
Otter Pint State Recreation Site 2:21
LaPine State Park Bullard’s Beach State Park 2:22
*Bullards Beach State Park 2:22
Bandon Wayside (Bandon State Natural Area) 2:23
Washburn State Wayside 2:24
Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park 2:24
Sunset Bay State Park 2:25
Governor Patterson Memorial State Recreation Site 2:25
Bandon State Natural Area (Devil’s Kitchen) 2:26
Geisel Monument State Heritage Site 2:28
- Terisadun State Recreation Site 2:30 (Tseriadun State Recreation Site)
Winchuck State recreation Site 2:32
Conde B McCullough State Recreation Site 2:35
Oswald West State Park 2:36
Fort Stevens Beach State Recreation Area 2:40
Bonnie Lure State Recreation Area 2:42
Bates State Park 2:45
Frenchglen State Heritage Site 2:46
Alfred A. Loeb State Park 2:47
Tub Springs State Wayside 2:48
Saddle Mountain State Recreation Site 2:49
Beachside State Recreation Site 2:52
Mary S. Young State Recreation Area 2:53
Viento State Park State Park 2:54
Ona Beach State Park 2:55
The Cove Palisades State Park 2:56
Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area 2:58
Golden Townsite State Heritage Area 3:01
Red Bridge State Wayside 3:03
Cape Argo State Park 3:04
Hecta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint 3:05
Banks-Vernonia State Trail 3:06
Bald Peak State Scenic Viewpoint 3:06
Coquille Myrtle Grove State Natural Site 3:07
Glenden Beach State Park 3:07
Starvation Creek State Park 3:09
Succor Creek State Natural Area 3:10
Coaka Landing State Park 3:11
Maud Williamson State Recreation Site 3:12
Arcadia State Recreation Site 3:13
Ophir State Recreation Site 3:14
Mitchell Point State Park 3:15
Alderwood State Wayside 3:16
Cape Blanco State Park 3:17
Boiler Bay Scenic Viewpoint 3:17
Lewis & Clark State Recreation Site 3:18
Beverly Beach State Park 3:19
Fogarty Creek State Recreation Site 3:20
Ukiah-Dale Forest State Scenic Corridor 3:21
Willamette Stone State Heritage Site 3:21
Latourell Falls / Guy W. Talbot State Park 3:22
Bob Straub State Park 3:24
Prospect State Scenic Viewpoint 3:26
Cascadia State Park 3:28
North Santiam State Recreation Area 3:30
Illinois River Forks State Park 3:32
Tokatee Klootchman Wayside 3:33
Champoeg State Heritage Site 3:36
Bridal Veil State Scenic Viewpoint 3:38
Elija Bristow State Park 3:40
Ontario State Recreation Site 3:41
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint 3:43
Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site 3:44
Unity Lake State Recreation Area 3:47
Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site 3:50
Molalla River State Park 3:51
Munson Creek Falls State Natural Area 3:52
State Capitol State Park 3:54
Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site 3:57
Fountain Wayside 3:59
OC & E Woods Line Trail State Park 4:00
Del Ray Beach State Recreation Site 4:02
Umpqua Lighthouse State Park 4:04
Catherine Creek State Park 4:06
Clay Meyers Natural Area 4:07
Peter Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint 4:08
Willamette Mission State Park 4:11
Lake Yachts State Recreation Area 4:12
Darlingtonia State Natural Site 4:13
Outside Succor Creek 4:14*
Tolovana Beach Recreation Site 4:15
Seal Rock Recreation Site 4:16
Floras Lake State Natural Area 4:17
Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint 4:18
Wolf Creek Inn State Heritage Site 4:20
Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint 4:22
Warm Springs State Recreation Area 4:24
Jasper State Recreation Area 4:25
Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor 4:26
Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint 4:26
Hilgard Junction State Recreation Area 4:29
Carl C. Washburn Memorial State Park 4:31
Fort Rock State Natural Area 4:32
Dabney State Recreation Area 4:33
Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor 4:34
South Beach State Park (South Jetty) 4:36
Sarah Helmick State Recreation Area 4:38
Portland, OR 4:40*
"I don't want to see duplexes in center field," said a young Eugenean back before Civic Stadium stopped hosting events in 2009. The kid who appears in a video about Civic on ArcheologyChannel.org was prophetic — the two main proposals from the Y and from Fred Meyer for Civic involve tearing it down. The video shows footage from one of the last Ems games at Civic and can be seen here.
Today, both the city of Eugene and Friends of Civic Stadium submitted proposals to save the stadium. Friends of Civic says on its website:
Yes, even though we are 100% behind the city's effort to buy the site, we did present a proposal. We had not planned to respond to this RFP but we did it because (1) the city's bid is contingent on the $5.5 million commitment on a 60-day timeline and (2) because 4J declined to delay the RFP to allow citizens who needed more time to put a bid together or put more dollars behind the city's proposal. We will withdraw our bid if another offering more revenue and preserving the stadium rises to the top.
Friends of Civic has already raised $200,000 in an escrow account. To donate go here. The group says it wants to reopen Civic as a sports and entertainment venue.
Civic was built under the Works Progress Administration in 1938 out of old-growth wood donated by local timber companies. There are only four other wooden WPA stadiums still standing (and in fact, in use) and eight other non-WPA wooden stadiums.
Update: Here is the news release from Friends of Civic:
Friends of Civic Stadium is submitting an RFP proposal for 4J’s serious consideration - although we realize that some may consider a token or protest proposal.
IMPORTANT: We 100% support the city’s proposal. But we want our proposal to be considered in case supporters aren’t able to meet $5.5 million renovation and maintenance commitment requirement in time or the city's proposal is not accepted for some other reason.
Our offer is for $16.56 - which is the current value of the $1.00 which 4J paid the City of Eugene for the site in 1938. Although at first glance it may seem absurd to offer only the 2013 equivalent of that $1.00, the reason this proposal should not be dismissed is that we would keep the site available to the public as the recreation facility it was intended to be when it was deeded to 4J in 1938. 4J students of today and tomorrow will have access to a facility that will be even better than the one 4J students in the past were able to use. This offer may seem like a token but we feel, in fact, that 4J has already received more than $5 million from the City of Eugene when they contributed to the creation and rehabilitation of synthetic fields at 4J schools in 1998 and 2006. By accepting that contribution 4J would be acknowledging and reciprocating this $5 million payment from the citizens of Eugene to 4J for student recreation.
We believe our case is compelling and its acceptance would be good for 4J and the community. One City Counselor commented at a City Council work session on Civic that we won’t always be in this era of budget tightening and when we come out of this period we’ll be glad we invested in places the community values like Civic Stadium (not an exact quote). We agree and hope 4J will too.
There's more than enough covers of Lorde's "Royals" out there, but YouTube musicians Pomplemoose win for incorporating Beck ("I'm a Loser") and for the video effects:
Puddles the sad clown freaks me out. But he can sing.
And the Welsh Beef Seeds take bluegrass to whole new places.
I wonder if LTD has thought about finding another 17-year-old kid to sing an annoyingly catchy song, this time to promote the EmX? Earworm warning, this will stick in your head.
This bus commercial is from about 2002 (correct me if I'm wrong, those of you who are avid TV watchers and local advertisement fans. The young singer. Madeline Puckette, went on to a make more music and now is the founder of Seattle-based Wine Folly.
A recent open mic night at Luckey's shows rappers rockin' the mic in a whole new way. "Eye of the Tiger" edit comes to us by way of Andre "DJ Foodstamp" Sirois's YouTube channel.
As they say in the video, it's practically become an urban legend — a lady spills hot coffee on her lap while driving, sues McDonald's and wins millions. People tell it as a tale of the legal system gone awry.
But that's not really what happened at all. This short documentary by The New York Time's Retro Report lays out the real story.
"Hey girl, how you been? Face lick!"
Bad Lip Reading takes on Game of Thrones. "Theme park manager Eddie Stark has one week to whip his lackluster group of employees into shape before the park's grand opening."
According to this flyer on the Westboro Baptist Church website (and yes, the church's URL really is GodHatesFags.com) the church (more accurately called an anti-gay hate group) is coming to the memorial service for a fallen soldier on Sunday. The memorial for 24-year-old Cody Patterson, a U.S. Army Ranger who died in Afghanistan is 2 pm Oct. 20 at the LaSells Stewart Center in Corvallis. A quiet counter-protest is planned according to a Facebook event page.
Update: here are the instructions for the protest via the the organizer Joseph Hedburg's Facebook event page.
Alright everyone, gather around, take a knee, and listened up. First of all I want to thank each and everyone of you for joining this cause, I appreciate your enthusiasm for it and to support the family of the fallen soldier.
Second, I will be in the front of the ticket office of Reser Stadium at noon but probably 11:45. You can meet up with me and the others there. I will be wearing blue jeans, a black coat, and a Miami Dolphins ball cap. I'll be holding an American flag too. WBBC is going to be there at 1:15, I'm going to gather intel with a few connections I've made over the years to see if we can block these people sooner.
Third, these people are jerks and with that they're lawyers and have powerful lawyers. DO NOT, I saw again DO NOT, let their hateful words, signs, or manner provoke you. They tend to have their own children at these protests, DON'T EVEN REPLY to them. This is a peaceful demonstration and if they're the ones shouting and making a scene let them get escorted away. Don't stoop to their level hurling the hate back. I've lived in this community for seven years, this is my second home, and I will not accept their hate and intolerance here, and you shouldn't either.
Lastly, for now, if you have an American flag please bring it. I want to raise the flags to block their hateful signs from the families sight. If you don't have an American flag don't stress, hopefully some people have multiple, I have 3, so ill lend two out. If you have any more questions, comments, or concerns you can post them here or send me a private message. I learned three important P's when I was in the Military: Polite, Professional, and Prepared (to Kill). We will stick with all three minus the kill part.
Apparently coal company execs and public relations flacks crack up over climate change. Posting on the desmogblog, Mike Stark of FossilAgenda writes of an interaction he recorded at a September coal conference in Pittsburgh. Lauri Hennessey does PR for the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports (which Stark calls "a front group for coal mining and rail corporations that would profit from the export of Powder River Basin coal").
Hennessy was on a panel called "Moving Coal from Coast to Coast — Domestic Infrastructure Challenges for Rail, River, and Ports" in which Stark says she "repeatedly called the citizens of Oregon and Washington 'weird' and 'strange.'" Stark approached Matthew Ferguson, Arch Coal's senior vice president for thermal coal marketing for an interview. But before the interview, Ferguson chatted with Hennessey. Stark recorded the conversation. You can read the transcript here or listing below, but here's what Hennessy and Ferguson said:
Matt Ferguson: Your comment on the civil unrest was quite funny.
Lauri Hennessey: Oh wasn’t it? Yeah, I got, I got hassled.
Matt Ferguson: Yeah, it’s like, let’s be adults here.
Lauri Hennessey: That was a project like a year ago, and, I think it was my second week on the job. So, I grew up in the Northwest, and I don’t know if you saw, I used to work for EPA a long time ago?
Matt Ferguson: Did you? [laughter]
Lauri Hennessey: Yeah. [inaudible] So I have - and I also worked for Bob Packwood on the Hill - so I have both sides. But we’re connected.
I worked with EPA, and I pull that out in the right crowds, because in the Northwest, that's a good thing, right? But it's funny because I never really went out of my way to mention it to our Alliance board before. And one day I was quoted in the paper, because again I was speaking to the audience in Seattle, and I was like, "Well of course we're concerned about climate change. Everyone's concerned about climate change. But what we're saying is this is not going to contribute to climate change."
But someone from Peabody got on a call, it was my second week on the job, and said, "You were quoted saying coal’s worried about climate change? We don't believe in climate change!” And I remember I was on the phone and I was like, "I can't say that..ha. I can't say that in Seattle!"
Matt Ferguson: Not worried about it!
Arch Coal rep 2: You can say that in St. Louis, but you can't say that in Seattle.
Matt Ferguson: Yeah. It’s not gonna happen.
Lauri Hennessey: Yeah, I can’t say it in Seattle, and I remember she just goes, "Wow, we really have different regions, do we?!"
Matt Ferguson: I think what you do is say, you're trying to help people out of poverty in the Far East. Yeah.
Lauri Hennessey: Exactly! And I did that.
Matt Ferguson: Do they not deserve to enjoy prosperity? Like we have? Don't be so selfish, you jerks! [laughter]
According to Hennesey's old bio on her former Hennessey PR webpage (courtsey of the Wayback Machine) before she worked for Big Coal, Hennessey "began her career in the newsroom at KIRO radio twenty years ago. In the years after that, she worked as a press secretary in Washington, D.C. for two Northwest Members of Congress, ran a large public affairs office for a Northwest federal land management agency, and worked as a special assistant for the regional head of the Environmental Protection Agency."
One of the Northwest members of Congress was Bob Packwood, who stepped down after a sexual harrassment scandal. Her bio goes on to say ""Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Oregon and Washington, Lauri worked closely on issues involving forestry, salmon, growth management, tourism, and much more. She supervised a large staff, and was directly responsible for Congressional relations, and was the lead spokesperson for the agency in the Northwest. She was also loaned to the office that implemented the Northwest Forest Plan, then President Clinton's attempt to end long-running debates over Northwest forests, and worked with the White House on message development, organized press conferences, and worked with local governments. At the EPA, Lauri worked with the Regional Administrator, and worked closely with the public on his behalf."
Stark writes of the conversation he recorded, "They also seemed to talk as if they are a separate species from the people who happen to live in the path of their planned rail and port terminal expansions, mocking those who are asking reasonable questions about the impacts of exporting America's coal to Asia. They clearly regard with contempt the majority of Americans concerned about climate change."
In a recent article entitled "Reputation For Rent" Nigel Jaquiss of Willamette Week writes about how Dave Frohnmayer, former Oregon attorney general and former UO School of Law Dean and UO president for 15 years, provided paid testimony for Big Tobacco against the state of Oregon.
… major tobacco companies challenged the state of Oregon’s right to continue receiving payments under a massive tobacco industry settlement.
And the star witness and paid expert for Big Tobacco against the state of Oregon: Dave Frohnmayer.
In April, Frohnmayer appeared as an expert witness on behalf of the tobacco companies in front of a closed-door arbitration panel in Chicago. The Oregon Department of Justice released Frohnmayer’s testimony to WW in response to a public records request.
In an interview, Frohnmayer tells WW he simply provided what he says was unbiased, objective testimony. And he says he would have provided the same testimony had he instead been hired by the state of Oregon or called by the three-judge panel as an independent witness.
But neither of those things happened; instead, Frohnmayer appeared as a paid witness for tobacco firms trying to get out of making payments to the state of Oregon under the tobacco settlement reached more than a decade ago.
Frohnmayer’s testimony reinforced the tobacco companies’ claims against the state.
Frohnmayer says his testimony for the tobacco companies was squarely in the public’s interest, because his contention was that the state could have enforced the settlement more aggressively against smaller tobacco companies.
“I testified that the powers of the Oregon attorney general are expansive,” Frohnmayer says. “That’s totally consistent with my public service from the day I entered the Legislature.”
The article, which can and should be be read in full here, goes on to say that "Frohnmayer now works for the Eugene law firm of Harrang Long Gary Rudnick, which has represented Philip Morris in the past. He bills as much as $550 an hour (but declined to say how much tobacco companies paid him to testify). In addition, he gets a $257,000 annual pension from the Public Employees Retirement System and $101,000 a year as a part-time law professor at UO. (Harrang Long is also UO’s law firm, billing $647,000 since March 2012.)"
UO Matters reports that Frohnmayer is being paid $50,000 to teach a course in the UO Honors College.
Frohnmayer's law firm represents the UO in negotiations with the United Academics union on campus. UO Matters also looked into how much that was costing the school, writing, "It looks like the administration is paying about $100K a month to outside lawyers and consultants to do the bargaining with the faculty union."
Lane County has released a redacted version of the the report prepared by USO Investigations of former Lane County Administrator Liane Richardson.
Initially public records request by EW and others were denied while the Marion County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the issue and considered potential criminal charges. No charges were filed. Lane County signed an agreement with Richardson saying no lawsuits would be filed, by either side, or charges filed by the county.
The report is below. According to Lane County, was redacted "by county counsel to ensure the confidentiality of employees interviewed."
The county said in a press release that the "key findings of the report" are:
- Richardson was sold amounts of TM in excess of the policy for non-represented employees. The July 26th, 2013 pay stub shows she was paid for 225.17 hours of TM so far this year that amounts to $16493.67. The amount she was entitled to was 80 hours under the APM Chapter 3
- Richardson was untruthful in the email to Lane County Commissioners that she just became aware she had exceeded the limit on July 22nd, 2013. She was aware of it June 20th, 2013 in an email where she was asked if she wanted to keep selling her TM since she had increased the 200 hour limit. Her response to that email was “Go ahead and keep doing the sales. Thanks!”
- Richardson used her position to go beyond the APM limits to sell her time management to help her increase her salary and was planning to do the same in the 2013-14 budget with an increased amount. During this investigation, she made untruthful statements about this.
Before you download it, note that when the county says "redacted" it means large swaths of the report are blacked out. It looks like this for many pages:
So there might be a strike of the UO classified staff starting Sept. 30 — the classified staff at Oregon's seven universities has voted in favor of a strike.
According to an email from the UO's union for teaching staff — United Academics of the University of Oregon (UAUO):
For several years, a group of more than 1,500 workers at the UO--including office staff, librarians, computer techs, custodians, housing employees, engineers, nurses, maintenance workers and many others--have been forced to make tremendous economic sacrifices. The UO could not function without these employees--they feed our students, keep our IT system up and our libraries running; they pay our bills, run our offices, and ensure our workplaces are safe, clean and functional. Yet a large number barely make enough to pay their monthly bills.
They've had to accept pay freezes, unpaid furlough days, and shell out even more for their health insurance in order to help the seven campus Oregon University System (OUS) balance its budget. During the recent budget crisis, they were the only campus workers forced to take sizable pay cuts. They have fallen so far behind that more than one quarter of full-time classified workers at the UO meet the threshold for food stamp eligibility for a family of four.
Now, the OUS is demanding further concessions--drastic changes to the basic system of pay increases, limited cost of living increases, refusing to provide insurance equity for domestic partners, and rejecting proposals for controlling administrative waste.
Full disclosure, I'm an adjunct instructor at the UO, so I started wondering what that means for teaching courses. The United Academics have anticipated that worry and send out some information for instructors and faculty in the event of a strike.
The UAUO says that while students can honor the strike, faculty cannot, under Oregon law.
CAN FACULTY REFUSE TO WORK DURING A STRIKE?
NO. “Sympathy strikes” are forbidden by state law. According to Oregon state law, public employees who are not in the bargaining unit on strike and who refuse to cross the picket line are engaging in a "prohibited strike." (ORS 243.732 & ORS 243.726). That is, it is against the law to refuse to work if your bargaining unit is not on strike. If faculty or GTFs went on strike, this same prohibition would apply to classified workers. This prohibition would apply regardless of whether faculty had elected to form a union or were covered by a contract.
UAUO suggests faculty can discuss the strike with classes if it pertains to the subject matter of the course, join picket lines and support the strike fund, among other things. The unions says faculty are not required to sanction students who refuse to cross the picket line.
ARE FACULTY MEMBERS REQUIRED TO SANCTION STUDENTS WHO REFUSE TO CROSS THE PICKET LINE?
NO. The president of the ASUO, Sam Dotters-Katz, has called for a student walkout on September 30 and has urged fellow students to avoid crossing the picket line as possible. Many students may not show up to class, or will request alternative assignments from faculty so that they do not have to cross the picket line. Faculty retain the same discretion as always to respond to students requesting accommodations for missing class. For example, when the UO football team participated in the national championship game during the first week of classes in the winter term in 2011, the Provost emailed all faculty requesting that they make accommodations for students who would miss class because they were attending the game. Faculty have the same discretion during this time.
Get the full document from UAUO here.
Strike (or lack of one) update:
OUS student services workers settle agreement, averting strike
After a long and often contentious eight-month bargaining period, students services workers (non-teaching campus workers like librarians, lab techs, administrative assistants and custodians) and Oregon University System bargaining teams reached a tentative agreement at 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 26.
In light of the agreement, workers have stepped down from a strike that would have taken place system-wide on the first day of classes.
According to Marc Nisenfeld, a development engineer at Portland State University and chair of the SEIU 503 bargaining team, student services workers were simply looking for a fair deal after five years of wage freezes. "The economy has turned around, and people are moving forward. Administrators are moving forward. Goodness knows the Duck’s locker room is moving forward. All we ask is that we don’t fall further behind,” said Nisenfeld.
At the center of negotiations had been the issue of the "step system." Classified student services workers are hired at an artificially low rate of pay, and put on a “step system” that they follow for the first nine years of their career, at which point they reach the market rate for their work.
Management had proposed doubling the period of time to reach the top of the scale to eighteen years. This agreement maintains the system at nine years.
The agreement also allows for very modest cost-of-living adjustments--1.5% and 2%--to take place toward the end of 2013 and 2014, respectively.
According to Nisenfeld, "Our goal throughout this process hasn't been to strike--no one wants to strike. Our goal has been to achieve a settlement that moves our members toward economic security and improves our campus communities. We believe this agreement achieves that."
The tentative agreement will now move to the 4,332 student services workers represented by SEIU 503 for a vote.
In an interesting letter from the Marion County District Attorney's office, the DA writes that no criminal charges will be filed in the issue of fired county administrator Liane Richardson's paycheck changes. One of the conclusions appears to be that because the Lane County Commission signed an agreement with Richardson not to file charges, then charges will not be filed. The investigation also found that it would be difficult to prove beyond a reseasonable doubt that this was a "knowing" performance of an act of violation of a statue or unauthorized exercise of official duties. You can see the full ruling here.
The letter to Lane County DA Alex Gardner concludes:
Update: See comment below from Commissioner Bozievich.
"On Sept. 1, Margaret Mary Vojtko, an adjunct professor who had taught French at Duquesne University for 25 years, passed away at the age of 83." That is how attorney Daniel Kovalik begins his story of the death of an adjunct professor in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The editorial has been making the rounds with academics as Vojtko's life, teaching career and death highlight the way higher education treats — or mistreats — its staff.
As amazing as it sounds, Margaret Mary, a 25-year professor, was not making ends meet. Even during the best of times, when she was teaching three classes a semester and two during the summer, she was not even clearing $25,000 a year, and she received absolutely no health care benefits. Compare this to the salary of Duquesne's president, who makes more than $700,000 with full benefits.
Meanwhile, in the past year, her teaching load had been reduced by the university to one class a semester, which meant she was making well below $10,000 a year. With huge out-of-pocket bills from UPMC Mercy for her cancer treatment, Margaret Mary was left in abject penury. She could no longer keep her electricity on in her home, which became uninhabitable during the winter. She therefore took to working at an Eat 'n Park at night and then trying to catch some sleep during the day at her office at Duquesne. When this was discovered by the university, the police were called in to eject her from her office. Still, despite her cancer and her poverty, she never missed a day of class.
Here in Oregon United Academics of the University of Oregon — a union that represents adjuncts and full-time professors — excitedly announced yesterday that "Following months of negotiations, United Academics and the University of Oregon have reached tentative agreement on a historic first collective bargaining agreement!" For more information, go to the UAUO website.
Meanwhile, the classified staff (who don't teach but whose work on everything from landscaping to computer programming to course scheduling are key to the university's ability to run) is contemplating a Sept. 23 strike.