Oregon Grad Students File Complaint Against University | Inside Higher Ed

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The Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation at the University of Oregon has filed a complaint of an unfair labor practice against the university for the way it has returned to in-person teaching, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

The union says in-person teaching is a change in teaching conditions that should require negotiations.

Oregon has 982 COVID-19 cases among students and employees, according to its data dashboard. That is up from 154 cases the week before.

The university instituted new COVID-19 policies stating that instructors—including graduate teaching fellows—may move courses online on two conditions. They must have the support of their deans or department heads, and their classes must be experiencing 20 percent or more COVID-19–related student absences. Instructors who continue to work in person must record their class sessions for students who are absent.

Mel Keller, president of the union, said there is “mass confusion around the new policy.”

Said Keller, “There’s no explanation on if it needs to be 20 percent of students submit a COVID test, or if it’s on word of mouth alone, if students are absent but don’t give COVID-related reasons. It is incredibly unclear.”

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