Henry Harrison

Research Assistant II, VGTI, West Campus (he/him)

I want a Research Workers Union because Research Assistants are unfairly treated by administration either as stepping stones to graduate school or as short term employees that are likely to leave for higher wage jobs in industry. This undervalues our work, keeps us in a vulnerable position for exploitation, and leaves many RAs feeling unappreciated and alienated from what should be the cutting edge of medical research. Many of us have a deep passion for our work, but rising costs of living, limited career mobility, and uncompetitive wages threaten our ability to stay in these positions long-term, despite how essential we are in maintaining OHSU’s reputation as a strong research university. At the West Campus, I’ve seen firsthand the strength of AFSCME Local 328 and how collective bargaining can secure significant protections for the most vulnerable employees, like our understaffed animal care technicians putting in 20+ unpaid hours a week to keep our research animals healthy. I’m hoping that a Research Workers Union, united with Local 328 and the Graduate Students Union, will encourage OHSU management to reflect on why so many in their workforce are burning out so quickly, and why essential employees living paycheck-to-paycheck only leads to quick turnover and less productive research. Solidarity with the working class of OHSU!