KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Institute of Technology’s faculty union voted this week to authorize a strike.
The vote last week comes more than 500 days after negotiations began between the union and school administration, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. Oregon Tech’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors is seeking salary increases and more clearly defined workload limits, among other requests.
The union said as of Friday, 96% of faculty had cast their votes, and 92% of those votes were in favor of authorizing a strike.
It is not guaranteed that the faculty will strike, but union leadership can now call for one if an agreement isn't reached.
If a strike happens, it would be the first-ever faculty strike at an Oregon public university. Portland State’s faculty union voted to authorize a strike in 2014, but then reached a deal. Eastern Oregon’s faculty union similarly came close to striking in 2006.
“After 16 months of negotiating, Oregon Tech is disappointed that OT-AAUP has decided to focus on using this approach instead of coming to the table with a true intent to work on an agreement and reach a resolution,” said OIT President Nagi Naganathan.
University officials said the both parties last met on Thursday, were scheduled to meet again Monday. The faculty union also said negotiations would continue.