Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you're all having a marvelous season. I've been absent around here for awhile, as usual, but here's some pictures of what I've been up to.
Final day of the (8 day long!) strike
Lions from a visit to the Oregon Zoo

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

On Striking and Organized Labor

Today, I spent 4 hours holding a sign and walking in a circle in 35 degree weather. I walked approximately 10 miles, shouted approximately a billion slogans (slight exaggeration), and it was exhausting. The lead-up to the strike, and now the reality of the first strike in our union's 38 year history, has been emotional, frustrating, challenging, angering, and so very tiring. I've been posting regularly on Facebook, and thought I would share excerpts here (self-plagiarization ftw!); it's completely non-beauty-related, but it's hardly the first time that's been the case...And as usual, an excess of emotions results in an excess of words, so it's pretty long. Enjoy?

November 21, 2014 – 2 weeks before the strike
There's been a lot of misinformation spread about the impending GTFF (Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation) strike, scheduled to start Dec. 2. The UO administration has repeatedly misrepresented the current contract, their own offers, and the bargaining process thus far, including taking credit for inclusions they fought hard against and lying to international students about risks to their immigration status if they strike. For an excellent summary of some of the more pervasive lies, see:…/clarifying-misunderstandings/. A number of department heads, including Linguistics, wrote a letter to the upper-level administration, which you can (and definitely should!) read here:…/HeadsAndDirectors_Lette….

If you are an undergrad and have a GTF (which, as we teach 1/3 of UO classes and 98% of "special sections" [discussion sections and labs, primarily], is practically guaranteed), you can read up about how the strike might effect you here:…/letter-to-undergraduates/. Unlike the Provost, the GTFF can not send out emails to the entire university community, so if you are an undergrad/spend any time with undergrads, please do consider reading it and sharing it.

There are many things about this that make me angry, but I don't want this to become even longer than it already is, so I will just say:
We teach your classes. We grade your tests. We mentor your students, do your research, keep your university running. And 56% of us make less than the UO's own cost-of-living calculation. We're not asking for that to be rectified (the wage increase proposed only applies to the ~250 lowest-paid GTFs out of a total of ~1500); we just want to know that if a medical emergency occurs, we won't lose our jobs and health insurance, and that if we decide to have children, we have options besides taking time off or leaving school entirely.

And, for God's sake, maybe some indication that the University of Oregon values education, not just athletics and administrator salaries.
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