GTFF And UO Reach Tentative Agreement

GTFF picket in front of Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Photo: Justin Cox @respecttheboba
GTFF picket in front of Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Photo: Justin Cox @respecttheboba

As we go to press, the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF) and the UO have announced a tentative agreement after an overnight mediation session Dec. 10 in which the UO agreed to create a seven-member committee to oversee a Graduate Student Assistance Fund that allows graduate students to take sick or parental leave, according to a statement from the GTFF.

The end of the eight-day strike means that GTFs will resume their teaching positions in the aftermath of the administration’s attempts to replace the graduate workers. “The administration canceled classes, hired replacement instructors and asked faculty to change the format of some exams to make them simpler to grade,” the GTFF statement says. “Some students were given the option to skip taking the final exam altogether.”

It’s unclear how the UO will resolve these grading problems, but the issue concerned undergrads, grads and faculty alike before the strike ended.

Dana Rognlie, a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy, said she was concerned about academic integrity. “All these administrative fixes they’re making are going to grades that don’t mean anything.” Rognlie called this “institutional betrayal,” because the UO was not following through on its stated mission of serving students.

Prior to the end of the strike, Benjamin Gaultier, a UO undergrad, said he planned to write a letter to the UO asking for partial tuition reimbursement. “We can’t have these classes because the professor is a GTF,” Gaultier said. “So we’re paying for nothing.”

In a Dec. 8 open letter to UO undergraduates, the GTFF said when the strike ends, “we will help create, proctor and grade exams or make-up exams and final papers and presentations properly. And then we can give you the actual grade you have earned.”

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