Know Your Rights

Know Your Rights As Graduate Workers and Public Employees

We have the federal and state right to unionize. Most campus employees and faculty support our union campaign. However, it's important that we keep our eyes open for retaliatory and unlawful activity. It is illegal for an employer to interfere with our union effort or try to influence our decision to support it. The employer can provide facts or tell you what they think IF you ask.

Document and report any possible violations to a union representative.

The Law:

✓ “Public employees have the right to form, join and participate in the activities of labor organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of representation and collective bargaining with their public employer on matters concerning employment relations.” (2017 ORS 243.662)

243.668 Legislative Findings:

✓ It is the policy of this state that public funds may not be used to subsidize interference with an employee’s choice to join or to be represented by a labor union.

✓ Use of public funds to deter union organizing is contrary to the purposes for which the funds were appropriated and is wasteful of scarce public resources.

✓ Discharge, demote, harass or otherwise take adverse action against any individual because the individual seeks to enforce this section or testifies, assists or participates in any manner in an investigation, hearing or other proceeding to enforce this section.

Employer’s Duty of Neutrality:

✓ An employer must maintain a neutral position before a representation petition is filed; it can neither coerce employees who file a petition nor attempt to stop them from filing a petition. [OSEA v. Workers’ Compensation Dep’t, 5 PECBR 2762, 2766 (1980)]

✓ The neutrality obligation applies to encouraging internal union votes that would affect the certified union’s status. [Tigard Police Officers Ass’n v. City of Tigard, 8 PECBR 7989, 7999 (1985).]

Visit the Oregon Employee Relations Board website.