A celebration of life was held Aug. 10 in Berkeley, Calif., for Jim Gallagher, a retired associate professor at the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center (LERC). Gallagher died in Portland May 22 after a long illness. He had suffered a stroke about three years ago, and had aphasia.
Gallagher played a significant role in starting LERC because he had a respected track record as a trade unionist, and he could convey that knowledge in the classroom. He was the second staff member to be hired at LERC. His biggest accomplishment there was establishment of an ongoing, tri-partite (labor, management and neutrals) conference on public-sector labor relations. The Public Employment Relations Conference (PERC) continues to this day.
He was founder and editor of the LERC Monograph Series. The 11 monographs are recognized both in Oregon and nationally as a tool for practitioners and as a reference for professionals and academics. The LERC Monograph Series is the only publication from other than a law school which is listed by the prestigious Westlaw Publications directory.
James Joseph Gallagher was born July 3, 1934, in Irvington, New Jersey.
He enlisted in the Air Force at the age of 18. Stationed in Europe, he wrote for one of the armed forces newspapers.
He moved to California in the late 1950s. He majored in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and graduated in the early ’60s.
Gallagher’s career in labor relations started in Eureka, Calif., when the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) hired him as a business agent for the Humboldt County Employees Association. He worked there for two years before accepting a job at the California Nurses Association in San Francisco.
Gallagher represented registered nurses through the early part of the ’70s and then went to work for Municipal Employees Federation/AFSCME Local 101 (San Jose), the California Federation of Teachers, the McGovern Labor Committee, the UCLA Institute of Industrial Relations, and finally LERC, from where he retired in 1992.
Gallagher was preceded in death by his wife, Pat Cook. She was a staffer at the national AFL-CIO. They met while attending George Meany National Labor College. They married in 1991.
Gallagher is survived by three daughters from previous marriages; six grandchildren; and an older brother.