Joint Statement on Institutional Policy for Remote Work

Dear WOUFT members,

As a result of concerns from our membership about the proposed remote work policy that the University has crafted, and is now in the public comment period, WOUFT has worked jointly with WOU 082 to craft a response from our Union leadership and submit it as a public comment.  

You can read our response here. (WOU login required)

We encourage union members and other members of the campus community to submit public comments on this important policy.  

Thank you!

Melanie (WOUFT president) and Jackson (WOU 082 president)

WOUFT Executive Council

WOUFT Bargaining Team

SEIU WOU 082 Executive Council

Support SEIU 503 local, February 8th

SEIU-represented workers at all seven of Oregon’s public universities will hold practice pickets to call attention to their fight for a fair contract. These workers play an essential role in the operations of Oregon’s higher education system and deserve to work under a contract that meets their needs. 

WOUFT members are encouraged to show their solidarity for our classified staff cousins by attending a practice picket by WOU 082 outside the Administration building at Western Oregon University at noon on Thursday, February 8th.

Winter Term 2024 General Membership Meeting

We will be holding our Winter Term General Membership Meeting on Friday, February 2nd from 2:00-3:00 PM on Zoom.

Later in January, the WOUFT bargaining team will be participating in two full days of Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) training alongside WOU administration.

At the general meeting in February, union officers and the bargaining team will update members on IBB processes and expectations, what our upcoming bargaining sessions will look like, and how we’ll communicate with all union members during bargaining.

Please bring your questions and insights so the bargaining team can be sure that our efforts for a better contract are reflective of our members’ needs!

Rally in Support of SEIU

SEIU is holding a rally at noon on Friday, December 15th at the Werner University Center.

If you can’t attend the rally, please consider lending your support as SEIU members march from Hamersly Library to the administration building to present a bargaining petition.

WOUFT members are encouraged to join them in walking the route to the administration building or stepping outside and cheering them on during those 15 minutes.  

Your solidarity with our SEIU staff colleagues makes an important and positive impact as they bargain for a better contract, and strengthens BOTH of our Unions. 


LOA on Student Consultation Hours (2023-2024)

On October 23rd, Provost Coll shared a letter titled “Academic Affairs Return 2024” which laid out WOU’s expectations for staff and faculty to limit remote work whenever possible.

In this letter, Provost Coll stated that NTT faculty “who do not have service or advising responsibilities” would be exempt from the requirement of holding one hour per week of scheduled office hours in-person and on-campus, but changing any WOU faculty’s workload in this manner is likely to be a violation of the CBA.

While WOUFT appreciates and shares Provost Coll’s focus on student success, and feels this violation was accidental, the CBA defines scheduled office hours as a part of teaching for all covered faculty—not as part of service or advising. We are also leery of a stopgap measure that might have unintended impacts on faculty’s ability to connect with students over instruction-related questions, making it harder for students to succeed academically.

As a result, we have worked with the provost on a formal Letter of Agreement (LOA) about office hours, which you can find on the provost’s web page or on our website.

Ultimately, WOUFT wanted to approach the issue of office hours and fair compensation for faculty more holistically—all faculty teach students and support student success and contact hours are one way we do that. Our CBA has always defined contact hours as what is outlined in Article 7, Section 4.A.5.  

We want to move towards a contact hours policy that is student-driven and supports equitable faculty workload, taking advantage of the range of modalities and technologies that are afforded to us now. So we landed on the LOA signed above, which provides greater flexibility for all instructors based on student need connected to course modality. 

We hope to refine this further during bargaining, and we’re committed to making workload and compensation for all faculty, including those classified as NTT faculty, a priority during bargaining. We also hope this LOA provides faculty more flexibility in the meantime in working with and supporting students.

Please reach out if you have any questions.

Thank you!  Your WOUFT Executive Council

WOUFT Listening Sessions

In preparation for bargaining, WOUFT Executive Council is holding listening sessions with NTT faculty and chairs.

The WOUFT Executive Council invites all faculty, NTT and TT, to attend any of the following listening sessions so that we can better understand your needs and priorities as we go into bargaining. You do not have to be a member of WOUFT to attend these sessions!

October 12: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
October 25: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
November 17: 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

All listening sessions are held on Zoom. Please contact Melanie Landon-Hays, WOUFT President, for access.

As a bargaining team, a primary focus of our deep dive into the contract is to look for places of inequity and lack of transparency that we might fix in the upcoming bargaining session. Your insights could be helpful. As you know, bargaining is a negotiation with administration, and we aren’t promised we will get our “asks” when we bargain so we won’t provide false hope, but we will provide real hope that conscientious conversations that are well considered do make a difference in bargaining to move our contract forward.