The State Higher Education Issues Committee meets bi-weekly to discuss political issues affecting the state. The SHEIC also makes recommendations for endorsements to the Executive Council. The Executive Council makes endorsements on behalf of the full membership of United Academics.

Candidates and issues endorsed by United Academics


Sponsors: Sen Dembrow; Rep Gorsek; Sen Frederick; Sen Monnes Anderson; Sen Steiner Hayward; Rep Doherty; Rep Holvey; Rep McLain; Rep Nosse; Rep Piluso; Rep Smith Warner

Relating to employees at public institutions of higher education.

Requires Higher Education Coordinating Commission to ensure that any policy adopted by public institution of higher education for determining whether part-time faculty members are eligible for health care benefits use aggregate total of hours worked by faculty member at all public institutions of higher education.


Bill Sponsor: Sen Ferrioli

Relating to the repeal of the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan; declaring an emergency. Repeals provisions establishing Oregon Retirement Savings Plan.


Bill Sponsor: Sen Knopp; Sen Kruse; Sen Baertschiger Jr; Sen Boquist; Sen Ferrioli; Sen Girod; Sen Hansell; Sen Olsen; Sen Thatcher; Sen Winters; Rep Nearman

Relating to the calculation of final average salary under the Public Employees Retirement System; declaring an emergency.

Changes calculation of final average salary for purposes of Public Employees Retirement System to use five years of salary instead of three years, for salary paid on and after January 1, 2018.


Sen Knopp; Sen Kruse; Sen Baertschiger Jr; Sen Boquist; Sen Ferrioli; Sen Hansell; Sen Olsen; Sen Thatcher; Sen Winters; Rep Nearman

Relating to public employee retirement; declaring an emergency.

Redirects employee contributions made by member of system from individual account program to account to be used to pay for member's pension or other retirement benefits accrued on or after January 1, 2018.

Yes on Measure 97
Kate Brown for Governor
Brad Avakian for Secretary of State
Julie Fahey for State Representative District 14
Phil Barnhardt for State Representative District 11
Paul Holvey for State Representative District 8
Pete Sorenson for Lane County Commissioner

Candidates and issues endorsed by allies and affiliates of United Academics
AFT-Oreogn has a well-developed political endorsements page.

They have endorsed Measures 97 and 99.

For statewide office, they endorse Kate Brown, Brad Avakian, and Tobias Read.

Locally, they have endorsed Paul Holvey, Phil Barnhart, Nancy Nathanson, John Lively, and Julie Fahey.



Candidate Surveys

In many cases, United Academics does not make a direct endorsement of a candidate for office. Instead, we created a survey that candidates can fill out to tell us how they view the issues that impact our membership.

You can read completed candidate surveys here.

Candidates for office can fill out the survey here. United Academics reserves the right to not post all the responses we receive.


Legislative Issues


Political Action Fund

United Academics works with our affiliate, AFT-Oregon, to handle political donations our members want to make. AFT-Oregon is a member-run union and the candidates and causes they support are selected by elected committee members, including United Academics' own Joe Lowndes.

What is the Political Action Fund?

AFT-Oregon’s Political Action Fund (PAF) is part of the political action arm of AFT-Oregon. It builds our union’s power and makes sure we have a strong voice to advocate for educators and educational professionals, and our communities.

PAF makes politics work for educators and working families by:

  • Funding member outreach to lawmakers to educate them on important issues that affect our union and communities
  • Helping to elect and re-elect lawmakers who support us
  • Mobilizing and empowering members to build a strong voice for workers and education in Oregon
  • Organizing community actions with allies to demand full funding for schools, community colleges, and universities, and fighting back against public policy that harms working Oregonians
  • Passing pro-worker and pro-education legislation to protect our jobs and raise workplace standards
  • Fighting anti-union legislation and ballot measures

Why Political Action?

As workers and educators, AFT-Oregon members fight for fair wages and benefits, respect on the job, and an education system that lifts up our whole community. Education policy and funding is decided by our legislators and on the ballot. This directly impacts what we can get at the bargaining table and the quality of our students’ education.

Anti-worker and anti-public education corporate forces have deep pockets to push their agendas on working Oregonians. If everyone steps up and contributes what they can, together we have the power to ensure a voice at the table.

How it works:

  • PAF is entirely funded by voluntary contributions and is guided by a member-based, democratic process.
  • In Oregon, you can receive a tax credit up to $50 for a single filer and $100 for a joint filer on your Oregon State Taxes.

If you are interested in contributing to the Political Action Fund, contact the office so we can get you a PAF card.

FDR labor

Register to Vote

In most cases, you can register to vote by filling out an online form. You can also download, fill out, and mail in a paper form