Open Letter to PSU President

President Percy

Hello GEU GAs and Allies,

The GEU Bargaining Team is asking for your support by signing this open letter to PSU President Stephen Percy.

Your support on this letter helps tell PSU Admin that they cannot ignore the needs of GAs, particularly healthcare needs.

Petition by
GEU Bargaining Team
Portland, Oregon

To: President Percy
From: [Your Name]

Dear President Percy,

We, the members and allies of the Graduate Employees Union of Portland State University, are writing to raise concerns with the 2022 GEU/PSU Collective Bargaining Process and state of Graduate Assistants at Portland State. This year’s bargaining comes at a critical time as many GAs have been struggling with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest inflation in a generation, and the ongoing housing crisis.

Throughout the bargaining process, we have watched as the PSU bargaining team has engaged unproductively and disrespectfully with the GEU bargaining team. This is distressing because GEU represents the interests of GAs and any disrespect directed towards our union representatives is disrespect directed towards the student body. As students and employees of PSU, GEU expects tangible actions from an institution which claims to value equity, and which claims to value us.

Several important contract areas have been met with resistance and avoidance from the PSU team: GA health insurance benefits, childcare support, appointment protections, and union information rights.

GEU and our supporters do not believe that it is in PSU’s interests to deny GAs these benefits. Workers who are struggling to make ends meet and who are in fear for their futures, are not workers who can contribute to the culture of learning and exploration that drives a quality academic institution. Instead, the current working conditions for GAs create a culture of fear and exploitation. As graduate employees and students, we are often asked if graduate studies at PSU are a worthwhile endeavor. Many of us answer: no. This is a tragedy, but also an opportunity. Because the need is so great, PSU’s investment in its workers will go far.

Many of us have contacted you directly with our concerns about the bargaining process, and personal stories about how these issues affect them. Your response has not made our members feel heard. Now we are writing again, with one voice. We need a contract that gives us real relief from healthcare costs now, and that enshrines our self-determination for our own healthcare options in the future. We need a contract that guarantees us the stability to thrive in our roles at PSU.

We stand in solidarity with the GEU Bargaining Team. We stand in solidarity with one another.


The GEU Bargaining Team, PSU GAs, and Labor Allies