Why are the workers at the northwest regional educational lab on strike? |
The Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory is a publically funded, private non-profit organization headquartered in downtown Portland that provides research, training and technical assistance to public schools and other educational institutions in Oregon and other northwestern states.
We take pride in providing quality services to Oregon's students, but these services are at risk.
- NWREL workers began bargaining their first labor contract last February. Most issues have been resolved, but NWREL is insisting on a gag rule that infringes on our First Amendment rights to communicate with public officials, the public and the press.
- NWREL is insisting on an "open shop:" agreement that allows employees to enjoy the benefits of a labor contract without having to pay their fair share of the cost of administering the contract.
- NWREL wants to commit only a 5% increase to cover wages and benefits in the second year of the contract. Rising health insurance costs alone could eat up the entire 5% increase.
- NWREL workers' pay continues to lag significantly behind that of comparable jobs and the private and public sectors. Recruiting skilled employees has become more and more difficult.
You can help! Please call NWREL's CEO, Carol Thomas at 503-275-9500 and ask her to settle the contract.
When employees formed the union at NWREL, they envisioned a collaborative relationship with management that would allow and encourage all staff members to work at their highest level, strengthen the organization, and improve service to clients.
Management's resistance to employees' wishes for fairness, respect and dignity threatens NWREL's ability to continue to provide the high quality support, training, and technical assistance on w3hich the Northwest's schools and other educational institutions depend.
We want very much to resolve this contract fairly and to end the disruption to services that Oregon educators and students rely on every day. Call the CEO's office today and tell her to agree to a contract that allows free speech and an agency shop and provides NWREL workers with competitive pay and benefits.