Oregon State University’s new faculty union is now certified, the American Federation of Teachers- and American Association of University Professors-affiliated union announced Thursday. A majority of the university’s nearly 2,400 teaching and research faculty members in tenured, tenure-track and non-tenure-track positions, along with postdoctoral workers, pledged support for a union earlier this month, and the Oregon Employment Relations Board officially recognized the United Academics of Oregon State University this week.
Steve Clark, vice president for marketing and university relations, said in a statement that Oregon State "looks forward to a productive bargaining relationship with the UAOSU and our represented faculty as we continue to mutually advance the land grant mission and priorities of the university."
The union in its announcement noted that certification comes just as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the mandatory collection of agency fees by public-sector unions. Jan Medlock, an associate professor of veterinary medicine, said in the statement that collective bargaining remains “important to ensure research support as well as protect rigorous scientific inquiry.” AFT president Randi Weingarten also said that workers “are forming and sticking with unions to bargain collectively to make possible what would be impossible for individuals acting alone. Unions are built for times like these, as a vehicle to help people secure a better life.”
Oregon’s labor board this week also certified a 175-person faculty union affiliated with the AAUP at the Oregon Institute of Technology.