The Politics Committee meets to discuss political issues affecting the state. The committee also makes recommendations for endorsements to the Executive Council. The Executive Council makes endorsements on behalf of the full membership of United Academics.
2020 Legislative Session
During this short session, we and our cousins at AAUP and AFT are focusing our legislative energies on part-time faculty healthcare, capital construction funding, textbook affordability, and several pieces around credit (transfer, accelerated, and GED equivalencies). We may also see some legislation that would change requirements for a super majority quorum to a simple majority quorum as a response to the wild west performance of Republican legislators staging walking outs and talking about taking up arms against Staties trying to get ‘em back to work…(see "Bad" below).
It's a short session, which means that state reps and senators will submit sponsored legislation in January and whittle down that list for February’s session in a very quick turnaround. There’s always a possibility for some wild card entries, but for the most part, nothing too radical. And while there are still plenty of unknown unknowns, we can almost always count on one known unknown: how Prozanski will try to get some legislative juices flowing to make some money from the weed export game...
We should see many of our labor legislative priorities in-line with upper administration this upcoming session. UAUO and University labor has some strong support from our local legislators.
A group of Dems and Republicans have come together to support legislation that would destroy the barriers in place to keep student athletes from receiving the fruit of their labor; this sweeping legislation would also put caps on athletic coaches and directors salaries, and the new tax on Athletics revenue would support academic programming to ensure our first-generation students have all their costs covered and all the support they need to be the kind of critical-thinking leaders we need. HaHa. Just kidding (see "Bad" and "Ugly").
Dems and Republicans got some serious beef after the walkouts last session and broken handshake promises made behind the scenes.
Some folks up in Salem share a belief with certain folks here at UO that Athletics is the golden goose that keeps the UO going and have no idea of the work it takes to support students in general and specifically students, faculty, and staff that have yet to feel like this institution or state can be a welcoming home for them.
-SEIU and GTFF got some strong support from local legislators during their bargaining. We can expect the same when we’re up to bat in January.
-Working on building a healthier relationship with the Board of Trustees. One piece of this work will be to invite at-large Trustees to some of our happenings so Trustees can get to know the work we do. If your department, unit, working group, etc., would like to invite Trustees to something you got going on, let me know.
-Trying to work on controlling some of the narrative about what we faculty contribute to the University and wider communities we and our work are part of. If you have a project you think makes an impact on our University and wider community, and would like to showcase that project to legislators, hit me up.
-Like last AY, I’m not holding any committee meetings but reaching out to you experts on issues that come up. I appreciated folks’ input and willingness to write up or give testimony up in Salem. After all, y’all are supposed to be some smart people, and if you have expertise in an area that hits on particular legislation, your input can be incredibly valuable. Issues do not have to be solely related to academics. Things like housing, transportation, infrastructure, etc., all need thoughtful input up in Salem…
Hit me up about anything big P, little p, or however you understand “politics.” - Avinnash
History buffs can read up on our past endorsements.
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.
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.
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.