Click here to read a ten-page document summarizing the tentative agreements reached during bargaining. Please review this information before voting on whether to ratify the contract. (Voting will take place from 8:00 a.m., Friday, August 24, through 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 5.) For those of you who would like to see even more detailed information, on Tuesday, August 21, we’ll be posting scans of the actual agreements.
The employer and the union agreed to create a new, simplified compensation plan (separate from the contract) so that moves within a salary grade are uniform and more consistent. If you have questions about the new compensation plan, please contact us at email@example.com.
There will be a 3 percent difference between each salary grade; the range of each salary grade is between 32 and 36 percent. The new compensation plan will be implemented between January and July of 2014.
Although there will no longer be defined steps, employees will continue to receive a percentage increase on their anniversary dates in addition to the above across-the-board wage increases. The current longevity “step” remains in place. Each salary grade will be divided into fourths (quartiles). Under the new compensation plan, if your salary falls in the:
First quartile you will receive anniversary increases of 4.25%
Second quartile you will receive anniversary increases of 3.00 %
Third quartile you will receive anniversary increases of 2.75%
Fourth quartile you will receive anniversary increases of 2.50%.
Effective the first pay period in July 2014, salaries will be adjusted as follows:
Employees whose current rate of pay falls between the new minimum and new maximum (excluding the longevity “step 11”) will keep the same rate of pay, plus the negotiated across-the-board wage increase**.
Employees whose current rate of pay falls below the new minimum will be paid at the new minimum following the negotiated across-the-board adjustment.
Employees whose current rate of pay is above the new maximum but less than the new longevity “step” will be paid at the new maximum of the range following the negotiated across-the-board wage increase, in addition to a one-time bonus (paid within three months of contract implementation) calculated as the difference between the new maximum rate of pay and the current rate of pay, multiplied by the employee’s FTE multiplied by 2080.
Employees whose current pay is above the new longevity “step” will be paid a one-time bonus (paid within three months of contract implementation) calculated as the difference between the new longevity-step rate of pay and the current rate of pay, multiplied by the employee’s FTE multiplied by 2080.
The Local 328 bargaining team will be holding information sessions at multiple sites throughout the day on August 20 and 21. Feel free to drop in at any time during one of the sessions and get answers to your questions about our contract settlement.
Monday, August 20, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Sam Jackson Hall rm. 2306
After six difficult days of mediation, the AFSCME Local 328 bargaining team is happy to announce a successful resolution to all outstanding issues! We were able to secure good across-the-board wage increases (a total of 7.5 percent over three years), a 1 percent bonus for all employees, no cuts to health-insurance contributions, no unilateral move of hourly employees to salaried-exempt status and a reasonable transition plan for PERS employees that will carry them through the term of this contract. Within the next few days, we will provide a summary of all the tentative agreements reached during more than five months of bargaining and mediation (this information can also be found in previous bargaining updates). In the meantime, below is a summary of the resolution of the critical economic issues that had remained on the table:
No reduction in health-insurance contributions.
A 10 percent cap on health-insurance contributions in the event of premium increases. (Our premiums have increased an average of 2 percent over the last three years, and we are confident that this cap will not be a problem during the contract.)
No unilateral moves of any hourly employees to salaried-exempt status — there will be provisions for voluntary moves to salaried status, and vacancies can be filled with salaried employees.
Annual Across-the-Board Wage Increases:
July 2012: 2.5%
July 2013 1.5%
January 2014: 1.0%
July 2014 2.5%
July 2014: A 1 percent lump-sum bonus payable to all bargaining-unit members who were employed at OHSU at the time of ratification and are still employed at OHSU in July 2014.
Night-shift differentials for Medical Laboratory Technologists, Medical Laboratory Technicians II, Respiratory Care Practitioners, Pharmacy Technicians and Pharmacists will decrease by 1.5% each year of the contract.
Weekend day-shift differentials for Pharmacy Technicians and Pharmacists will decrease by 1.5% each year of the contract.
Retirement Contributions/PERS Transition:
No changes until January 2014 — at that time PERS employees will begin paying the 6 percent pick-up.
Vested PERS employees:
January 2014: A 5 percent PERS differential.
July 2014: The PERS differential is reduced to 3 percent.
Non-vested PERS employees:
January 2014: A 6 percent PERS differential.
July 2014: The PERS differential is reduced to 4 percent.
If non-vested PERS employees hired in 2010, 2011 or 2012 switch to UPP, OHSU will match their IAP contribution and pay it into UPP.
We will be holding information meetings next week to review this information and answer members’ questions. Please join us at one of these sessions:
Monday, August 20, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Sam Jackson Hall rm. 2306
Friday, August 10. When we ended mediation this day, at about 9:30 p.m., the bargaining teams were far apart on key issues. The employer had proposed a 5 percent cut in health-insurance premiums and a 5 percent cap on premium growth; the union felt that we already had a fair and sustainable health-insurance program. The employer was committed to across-the-board annual wage increases of less than 2 percent, the union to increases of more than 3 percent. The teams’ positions on the hourly-to-salaried moves were also polarized. While the teams had made good progress on a template of wages and benefits for salaried employees (many that would also benefit union employees who are already salaried), we were stuck on how the transition would take place — the employer wanted a unilateral move, the union only voluntary moves. There were also other issues (use of vacation time in overtime calculations, changes in shift differentials) on which the teams seemed far apart.
But the elephant in the room was the employer’s proposal around the PERS employee pick-up. When first rolled out by OHSU, the changes were presented to the OHSU community as a done deal. The employer argued that its PERS costs were unsustainable; the union argued that not only did the employer have buckets of money, the change it had proposed would not fix the PERS problem. OHSU had offered a transition plan to give PERS enrollees a softer landing on their way to a 6 percent pay cut, but these employees would still end up paying the full 6 percent by the end of the contract. This plan was unacceptable to the union, and further compromise seemed out of the question. The union bargaining team ended the day at about 9:30 p.m., feeling fairly discouraged and unheard.
Monday, August 13. When the mediator brought the teams back together, face to face, both sides were tense. Impasse loomed; bargaining seemed stalled. The union team spoke first, speaking of the severe economic consequences that OHSU’s proposals would have on our members. We spoke of the success of our partnership on health care and how shocking it was to see take-aways proposed in this area. This exchange of views continued for about an hour. The OHSU team listened, and asked a few questions, but did not spend a lot of time fleshing out their case. We broke for lunch at 12 noon. After lunch, the union team began the tedious work of wrapping the seemingly endless paragraphs of proposals regarding the hourly-to-salaried move into one grand final package to send to the employer. While we were engaged in this work, the mediator came to the room to let us know that the OHSU team wanted to present a package proposal to us. The union team had no idea what to expect, since we hadn’t felt, at least until that day, that our employees’ concerns had been heard.
When we reviewed the proposal, we were surprised to see that the employer had made significant movement — in a way that signaled OHSU was ready to make a deal. OHSU had dropped the health-insurance cuts and raised the premium cap to 10 percent. They had also dropped their proposal to change the way vacation time would be counted toward the overtime threshold. They increased their wage proposal to 1.50 percent, 2.25 percent and 2.25 percent over three years. In addition, they had sweetened that PERS transition plan; the new plan still left employees paying the entire 6 percent at the end of three years, but it represented positive movement.
The union team got work with a response. Sometimes, one of keys to getting a good deal is to reframe the way you think about things. We wanted to get our PERS employees a permanent differential to offset the loss of the 6 percent employee pick-up; the employer’s team still wanted a transition where employees would pay in full. We realized that getting hung up on the word “permanent” would get in the way of a deal — when you bargain a contract, there is no such thing as permanent. No matter what you agree to, it is only guaranteed for the length of the contract. With that in mind, the union team wrote a proposal for a PERS differential to make our members nearly whole for the length of the contract. Since there is, in fact, a PERS funding problem, and since PERS is, in fact, a richer benefit for most of our members than UPP is and since there is an alternate plan for our PERS members to choose, we believed that some cost-sharing was necessary. We combined our PERS proposal with a revised wage proposal and a counter-proposal on OHSU’s proposed cuts to differentials. We presented this to the employer’s team along with our hourly-to-salaried proposal (which preserved the employees’ right to choose to move to salaried status).
By 6:30 p.m. we were eating subs for dinner and optimistically waiting for management’s response. At 7:10 p.m., management informed the union team that they needed more time to review our proposal and wanted to adjourn until our next scheduled mediation session. This was quite surprising to the union bargaining team, as we thought we had achieved significant momentum and that a fair deal (and an end to bargaining!) was in sight. Our fear was that a break in the process would allow management to retrench and circle the wagons around one or two positions that were unacceptable to the union team. As it turned out, that is exactly what happened.
Wednesday, August 15. This morning, the management team returned with a wage proposal that was very close to the union’s last proposal — good news. The management team did not accept the union’s PERS-subsidy proposal (we had called for a flat 5 percent for the term of the contract) — they wanted a decreasing percentage over the life of the contract. The other sticking point was no surprise either. OHSU made several significant moves on the compensation piece of the hourly-to-salaried proposals, which meant that any employees moving to salaried (and any employees already on salaried status) would have a much better deal than they would have had at the beginning of the process. Unfortunately the employer tied these pay improvements to a unilateral move of all affected employees to salaried status. They further stated, to make their point abundantly clear, that this compensation package would not be available if the union insisted on a member vote to go to salaried status.
After receiving the employer’s proposal, the union team decided to make a counter-offer maintaining our previous proposal on PERS, accepting the employer’s wage proposal and maintaining our position on members voting to go salaried (even if it meant abandoning the salaried compensation package). We delivered this package proposal to management at 2:30 p.m.
At about 3:30 p.m. the mediator asked to meet with a subgroup of the bargaining team. She told us that the employer’s team was very resistant to not having a “step-down” in the PERS differential at some point during the contract — this was the major sticking point to reaching an agreement. OHSU saw a huge symbolic value to having a downward trend in the PERS differential. The union responded that we saw an equally large symbolic value to having a stable differential and starting the next contract in a viable position to negotiate for our PERS enrollees. Following this discussion, the mediator met again with the management team, who decided they would need more time.
Following our dinner break, the smaller subgroups met again, at which time the management team floated an informal proposal concept. The union bargaining team began its review of this information at about 7:30 p.m. At about 8:45 p.m., we decided that the offer presented by management represented a significant move by OHSU. It contained across-the-board wage increases of 7.5 percent over the course of the agreement, plus a 1 percent bonus in July 2014. The proposal contained no health-insurance cuts, and no changes to overtime calculation. The proposal did include a transition for PERS employees, paying part of their pick-up. Resolving the PERS issue was, no doubt, the most difficult part of bargaining, as well as the element of the agreement the employer was most committed to. In the end, the union was able to bargain a significant PERS-transition differential that will span the life of the contract — and the union will have the opportunity to try to continue or improve the PERS differential in the next contract. Our agreement was reached at around 10:30 p.m.
Bargaining resumed on Wednesday, August 8, after a two-week hiatus. At this stage in mediation, progress is naturally slower, but we can report that the union took the initiative by putting on the table a serious response to management’s previous proposals. Management won’t be responding until Friday, August 10, so we will not go into detail about our proposals until we see something from management — we will provide a complete report once we know management’s reaction. We hope to continue to get closer to a good settlement for our members.
We have a strategy in place and yesterday’s mediation went as we anticipated and planned for. OHSU is attempting, through its folksy communication with our members, to try to get us to move quickly. We did move in some package proposals and will continue to work toward a solid settlement, but we will be sticking to our strategy and not let OHSU distract us. Since movement by either side will likely continue to be incremental after this next mediation session, the union may not send a Bargaining Report until next week, unless there is a significant development on Friday. If you have bargaining-related questions in the meantime, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
As you should know our strike poll concluded on Wednesday. The Local 328 bargaining team was pleased by the level of participation and encouraged by the responses from our members. Our decisions at the bargaining table will continue to be guided by member feedback, as has been our practice throughout more than five months of negotiations.
Please be on the lookout for our next bargaining sticker to wear on Tuesday, August 14. We’ll also be holding a general membership meeting on August 14 from 11:00 a.m. – 12 noon in UHS 8B60 — this is another great opportunity to get answers to questions about bargaining or other union activities.
The Local 328 bargaining team will be holding information sessions at multiple sites throughout the day on Thursday, August 9 — see the attached schedule for times and locations. Feel free to drop in at any time during one of the sessions and get answers to your bargaining-related questions!
We know from our scientific telephone survey of several weeks ago that you believe OHSU’s proposals are:
Unreasonable: OHSU’s proposals are not about shared sacrifice — they are about YOUR sacrifice.
Unnecessary: OHSU is doing extremely well financially — it does not need these take-backs to stay on firm financial footing.
Unfair: OHSU proposes reducing compensation to the hard-working employees who have contributed so directly to its current financial success.
Mediation is a critical stage of the bargaining process. We need to know:
What issues — if any — we should we move on.
Where we should we hold the line.
Which issues you are willing to strike over.
The vote will open at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, August 3, and close at 12 noon on Wednesday, August 8. Go to www.local328.org on Friday morning for voting instructions and a link to the online voting site. Please download and read the attached “Key Proposals” document (an item-by-item breakdown of the outstanding major economic issues) before voting in the strike poll.
Please note: this is NOT the final strike vs. ratification vote. This IS your final chance to advise the bargaining team before we move to settle or strike.
As we move into our next phase of mediation, we are asking our members to make some serious decisions about their future. Will we accept OHSU’s cuts and take-backs or will we stick together to work for a fair and reasonable solution? The attached document is an item-by-item breakdown of the major economic issues. Please download and read it before making those decisions.
OHSU is advising managers to “engage” our members in discussions about our Stickers. “Are You Kidding Me?” is definitely getting under their skin. Your manager can share his/her viewpoint on the sticker but they should not ask you to remove it or pressure you in any way.
You also have the right to discuss bargaining and support activities at work in the same manner that you can discuss movies, sports and family. The conversations cannot interrupt work and must comply with the OHSU Code of Conduct, but they can and should happen. Keep up the good work!!!
Even though no mediation was scheduled for this week, there’s still plenty of bargaining activity to report! In fact, the next fourteen days will see the most important bargaining activities to happen so far.
What kind of bargaining activity is more important than mediation? Members visibly standing together to support each other and building union power is the most important bargaining activity we can engage in right now. Yes, talking at the bargaining table will continue, and letters to the editor and fact gathering and meeting with politicians and all that — but none of it compares to union power.
Union power is already yours — IF you exercise it. What does that mean? It could mean a lot of things. But what it boils down to is showing management that we will stick together, support each other and — by being united — fight the unnecessary take-backs of health-care benefits and PERS contributions and the unfair process of stripping 400 members of their right to overtime pay.
We can start with unity breaks.
What is a unity break? A unity break is a fun team-building way to show OHSU that, as union members, we are committed to sticking together and supporting one another during this difficult phase of contract bargaining. A unity break is a show of solidarity in which members of a work unit (or really, any group of like-minded employees) decide to take their morning or afternoon break together — at the same time, in the same location — and show in a visible way that we will work together for a better contract.
Why are unity breaks important? By showing our resolve early and passionately, we can bring pressure on the employer at the bargaining table and move everyone toward a settlement.
What happens if we don’t participate in a unity break? OHSU may well draw the conclusion that you are not committed enough to win this fight and will harden their position at the bargaining table.
We are back at the table in two weeks. We need participation in the campus-wide unity breaks scheduled for Thursday, August 2, but you don’t have to wait until then! Check out our Facebook page to see photos of the groups who are already taking unity breaks. Please join them — the sooner the better.
Please see the attached flyer about the campus-wideunity breaks scheduled for Thursday, August 2. We hope that a strong showing now will reduce the chances of drastic action later, but that is really up to our members.
OHSU and PERS: Playing a game with retirement contributions
By Gary Gillespie
With everyone fishing for answers to PERS, perhaps it’s not surprising that The Oregonian has swallowed Oregon Health & Science University’s propaganda bait hook, line and sinker (“Saving ourselves from PERS,” editorial, July 11). Alas, much of the “case” presented by OHSU is speculation and exaggeration.
First some facts. Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System is rated by many independent studies, most recently by the Pew Center on the States, as one of the most stably funded in the nation. PERS is 87 percent funded, and that number is climbing. The system was completely solvent following the 2003 legislative reforms until Wall Street crashed everybody’s stocks in 2008. PERS — and everybody else — is still recovering.
OHSU has tied its proposal to stop paying the employees’ 6 percent pickup to an alleged $20 million hike it anticipates in the employer contribution rate for the two-year period that begins in mid-2013. OHSU says it expects another $20 million increase in 2015.
It is sad to see a premier university stoop to a numbers con game. OHSU’s employer rate won’t be set until this fall — right now, no one knows what that number will be. The 2015-17 rates will be based on financial data of Dec. 31, 2013; that’s how the system works, and no one has a crystal ball that good — but almost assuredly, it won’t be $20 million. The hit that all PERS employers will take in the 2013-15 rates includes the last of the “collaring” PERS used to even out the aforementioned 2008 stock market crash. That is, rather than force employers to make up the entire 2008 deficit in the next rate adjustment period, PERS spread out (“collared”) the rates over several years. Again, the 2013-15 rates will include that last collaring adjustment, so short of another huge stock market crash within the next 18 months, the 2015-17 rates will not see the same level of increase that’s coming next year. OHSU knows this.
OHSU is also not claiming an inability to pay — it simply doesn’t want to. The reality is, OHSU’s financial numbers are the best they’ve ever been.
But the most frustrating part of OHSU’s smoke-and-mirrors game lies in the fact that eliminating the employees’ 6 percent contribution does nothing to decrease OHSU’s PERS obligation, and it robs Peter to pay Paul. Since the 2003 legislative reforms, the employee share goes into a separate individual retirement account, much like a 401(k). The employee share does not go into the PERS pool. Furthermore, statistically, the overwhelming majority of OHSU’s PERS obligation is to former Tier 1 employees who have already retired — not the current workforce, most of whom are in the less generous Tiers 2 and 3. Cutting payments to current employees does nothing to lessen the obligation to those already retired, but it unfairly hits today’s workers with a 6 percent pay cut in what the editorial properly describes as “lean times.”
We wish there were a magic solution that suits all. Our union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, works closely with legislators to sound out ideas that might help; the public often seems to forget that we have a very vested interest in PERS remaining viable and healthy. We are amenable to discussing possibilities that don’t violate our contract rights, but AFSCME will not unilaterally accede to OHSU’s bullying attitude and sloppy numbers.
This is a bargaining-table issue, but OHSU wants to play political football with our members’ retirement security on the pages of the newspaper. Shame on the paper for joining OHSU’s game. Gary Gillespie of Eugene is the statewide president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
Your AFSCME bargaining team worked for almost 14 hours yesterday. In the end, we were able to make progress on some economic issues — market-based wage adjustments, compensation structure, differentials, mandatory overtime and the time-off-between shifts-premium — moving closer, but still falling short of agreement.
OHSU insists on packaging any progress on the above issues with the union’s acceptance of OHSU’s proposed cuts in other areas – PERS cuts, health-insurance cuts and unilateral moves to salaried status — despite OHSU’s excellent financial condition.
Unreasonable — The 6% PERS Cut: This is not “shared sacrifice,” as OHSU would like you to believe. Most PERS employees are represented—by either AFSCME or ONA — and these cuts will fall squarely on our backs. And the cuts won’t fix the problem. The problem is the cost of people who have already retired, and that obligation isn’t going away. OHSU just wants you to use your retirement money to help pay theirbill for people who have already retired.
Unnecessary — The 5% Cut in Health-Insurance Premium Payments, the 5% Health Insurance Cap: If there is one area at OHSU where employees and employer have worked together to create a success story, it is our healthcare plans. We have worked together to increase benefits and control costs, better than anyone else in Oregon. OHSU is economically healthier than they’ve ever been,but apparently it’s OK with them if your healthcare suffers. It’s insulting.
Unfair — The Unilateral Move of 400 Hourly Employees to Salaried Status: This is a money grab, pure and simple. OHSU can dress it up and add some perks, but they know that if they give employees a choice, this move goes down in flames, so they are holding firm to “no choice.”
At the very end of our 14-hour day, OHSU did make a small concession on PERS, offering a “transition” plan that would spread the 6 percent pay cut over two years instead of one — ultimately members would be left on the hook for the whole 6 percent anyway. Not good enough.
No additional mediation sessions are scheduled until August 8. It’s looking like a long, hot summer. (Well, as hot as it gets in Oregon, anyway.)
The way to fight off these UNreasonable, UNnecessary and UNfair proposals is to be UNified and UNionized.
From January 1999 and projected to July 2013, OHSU’s average annual employer contribution to PERS Tier 1 and Tier 2 accounts is less than 6 percent — in some years it was less than 3 percent. From January 2004 and projected to July 2013, OHSU’s average employer contribution to OPSRP is also less than 6 percent.
As of the 2009 AFSCME Local 328 contract negotiations, the averages were even lower. Perhaps this is why OHSU proposed, during the 2009 negotiations, to reduce their employer contribution to UPP by 2 percent. Part of the rationale cited was that a reduction in the UPP contribution “will also align OHSU’s contribution costs for the UPP more closely with its contribution costs for PERS.”
So, when PERS is less costly, the tactic is to reduce the contribution to UPP. Now the tactic is to reduce the contribution to PERS. If past practice is any indication of future practice, I think we can see what’s coming for UPP in the next year or two.
OHSU will have had 14 years in which the average percentage paid for the employer portion of PERS has been under 6 percent. At no time during those years were employees offered to share in that savings (that money was allocated to other endeavors). Now that OHSU is facing likely increases to the employer contributions for the foreseeable future, we suddenly get to share the cost. When the PERS investments return to better numbers, do you think OHSU employees will get to share in the savings?
Obviously the problems with PERS go beyond just OHSU. The system has huge challenges that cannot be ignored. There are impacts to employers and there are impacts to retirements. We can’t ignore the problems and AFSCME Local 328 is not ignoring the problems.
PERS has changed over the past 20 years and has become less than it originally was. OHSU has changed —from a state agency to a public corporation — over the years as well, and it has become more than it originally was. As a public corporation, OHSU has been able to create a second retirement option as an alternative to PERS. Now OHSU wants to penalize those who began their careers with PERS and who have made their ongoing retirement planning based on PERS. Proposing to have employees pay the 6 percent employee pick-up is a direct take-back of a 30-year agreement that has survived OHSU’s transition to a public corporation. It is perverse for OHSU to place this burden on long-time employees, with nothing but a “thank you for your hard work and devotion to OHSU.”
With everyone fishing for answers to PERS, perhaps it’s not surprising that some have swallowed OHSU’s propaganda bait hook, line and sinker. Alas, much of the “case” presented by OHSU is speculation and exaggeration.
First some facts. Oregon’s Public Employee Retirement System is rated by many independent studies, most recently by the Pew Center on the States, as one of the most stably funded in the nation — at least as high as No. 7. PERS is 87 percent funded and that number is climbing. The system was completely solvent following the 2003 legislative reforms until Wall Street crashed everybody’s stocks in 2008. PERS — and everybody else — is still recovering.
The University has tied its proposal to stop paying the employees’ 6 percent pickup to an alleged $20 million hike it anticipates in the employer contribution rate for the two-year period that begins in mid-2013. OHSU says it expects another $20 million increase in 2015.
It is sad to see such a premier university stoop to a numbers con game. OHSU’s employer rate won’t be set until this fall — right now, no one knows what that number will be. The 2015-17 rates will be based on financial data of Dec. 31, 2013, that’s how the system works, and no one has a crystal ball that good. But almost assuredly, it won’t be $20 million. The hit that all PERS employers will take in the 2013-15 rates includes the last of the “collaring” PERS used to even out the aforementioned 2008 stock market crash. That is, rather than force employers to make up the entire 2008 deficit in the next rate adjustment period, PERS spread out (“collared”) the rates over several years. Again, the 2013-15 rates will include that last collaring adjustment, so short of another huge stock market crash within the next 18 months, the 2015-17 rates will not see the same level of increase that’s coming next year. OHSU knows this.
The University is also not claiming an inability to pay — it simply doesn’t want to. The reality is, OHSU’s financial numbers are the best they’ve ever been.
But the most frustrating part of OHSU’s smoke-and-mirrors game lies in the fact that eliminating the employees’ 6 percent contribution does nothing to decrease the University’s PERS obligation, and robs Peter to pay Paul. Since the 2003 legislative reforms, the employee share goes into a separate individual retirement account, much like a 401(k). The employee share does not go into the PERS pool. Furthermore, statistically, the overwhelming majority of OHSU’s PERS obligation is to former Tier 1 employees who have already retired — not the current workforce, most of which are in the less generous Tiers 2 and 3. Cutting payments to current employees does nothing to lessen the obligation to the already-retired, but it unfairly hits today’s workers with a 6 percent pay cut in “lean times.”
We wish there were a magic solution that suits all. Our union works closely with legislators to sound out ideas that might help — the public often seems to forget that we have a very vested interest in PERS remaining viable and healthy. We are amenable to discussing possibilities that don’t violate our contract rights. But AFSCME will not unilaterally accede to OHSU’s bullying attitude and sloppy numbers. OHSU wants to play political football with our members’ retirement security.
As we move through the later stages of contract negotiations (we’re currently in mediation), the Local 328 bargaining team is receiving a lot of questions about what’s in store for our immediate future. This article should answer many of those questions. One of the most important questions to address is: Where does the union’s power lie to get you a good contract? The definition of a union is a group of persons joined or associated together for some common purpose. AFSCME Local 328’s common purpose is to continue to develop a strong, active union in the OHSU workplace — one that can make a real difference in the lives of our members. The union’s power is with YOU and your coworkers. It will take all of us working together to make a difference in how we move forward in the bargaining process.
How Did We Get Here?
The Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act (ORS 243.650–243.782) establishes a collective-bargaining process for Oregon’s public employers and the unions representing public employees. OHSU is covered by the PECBA. The PECBA contains a number of steps designed to help bargaining parties reach agreement.
The PECBA requires that parties participate in good-faith negotiations for at least 150 calendar days before either party can unilaterally request the assignment of a mediator; if the parties do not reach agreement in direct or interest-based bargaining, they move to mediation. The State Conciliation Service, a division of the Employment Relations Board, is responsible for providing the mediation services.
AFSCME and OHSU were initially required to meet and bargain directly with each other, which we have been doing every week since March 7. OHSU and Local 328 mutually agreed to go to mediation prior to the expiration of the 150-day period. Our first day of mediation was July 11. Unlike in the previous weeks, when both teams were in the same room for interest-based bargaining, during mediation the parties meet in separate rooms.
So What Is Mediation, Anyway?
During mediation, the mediator attempts to get a settlement on the outstanding proposals. The PECBA mandates that parties remain in mediation for a minimum of 15 calendar days. Typically, one or two sessions will occur during this period, but it is not unusual for the parties to meet more often. After the 15 days, the parties may choose to continue mediation or either party can initiate the next step in the process by declaring an impasse in the negotiations.
If a settlement occurs during the mediation process, the terms of the settlement, along with any agreed-upon contract language, are set out in a tentative agreement. This tentative agreement is then subject to ratification by the union members. If our members vote to ratify the contract, it is signed by representatives of both parties. If a settlement is not reached, impasse will be declared.
Impasse, Final Offer and “Cooling-Off” Period
Either party may declare an impasse by filing a written notice of declaration of impasse with the ERB and the other party. Within seven days of the date the declaration of impasse is filed with the ERB, both parties are required to submit their final offer and a cost summary of their offer to the mediator. A 30-day cooling-off period follows the publication of the final offers. The purpose of this time is to allow for further attempts to resolve the parties’ dispute prior to them exercising their self-help measures.
At some point after impasse is declared, the union’s bargaining team will share management’s last offer with the members, recommending ratification or a strike. Local 328 has established participation and strike-approval thresholds to ensure a successful strike.
Strike and Final-Offer Implementation
If a strike is authorized by the members, AFSCME will send a notice (ten days) to OHSU and the ERB of the union’s intent to strike. This notice may be sent during the 30-day cooling-off period, although a strike cannot occur until after the 30-day period.
The employer (OHSU) of a strike-permitted bargaining unit (AFSCME Local 328) may implement all or a portion of its final offer after completing all the previous steps of the PECBA bargaining process. Under current ERB case law, an employer is required to provide the union with reasonable notice — five days — of the intent to implement.
During each of these bargaining phases, your bargaining team is evaluating the benefits of settlement versus pushing forward — with the support of our members. You have given us a strong message, categorically rejecting management’s unreasonable proposals, and WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT!
We hope that the current bargaining process is clear and you have a better idea about what to expect in the weeks ahead. Attached is a flowchart summarizing the above steps.
Your union will keep you posted about our upcoming decisions, which will be made in response to the direction given to the bargaining team by our members. If you have questions about bargaining, I encourage you to contact the bargaining team via Facebook or email and to attend our next general-membership meeting, being held on Tuesday, August 14, from 11:00 a.m. - 12 noon in UHS 8B60.
It has been a tumultuous week at OHSU. We, as AFSCME Local 328 employees, find ourselves at the eye of a storm with state-wide implications — the employer’s PERS proposal has sent shock waves throughout the public sector in Oregon, not just at OHSU. Although the retirement issue is getting a lot of attention, we shouldn’t forget that management has also proposed significant cuts to health-insurance contributions. An employee who makes $39,000/year, with PERS and employee + family health insurance, would face a total loss of about $2,880 annually under management’s current proposal. The bargaining team is also still fighting OHSU’s proposal to force about 400 employees to salaried status.
Today was our first day of mediation. For those of you unfamiliar with mediation, please click here for details about the process. Our bargaining report this week will be somewhat short on specifics, due to the nature of mediation. We can tell you that OHSU has not backed off on the most outrageous economic take-backs — PERS and health insurance. But be assured that the union has not backed off on our insistence that these benefits must be maintained. There has been no change in either side’s position about the conversion of certain classifications from hourly to salaried-exempt status.
Both teams worked well into the evening to try to find common ground, and some movement was seen in the following areas:
Premium pay for time off between shifts
Funding for the Labor Management Committee (including the Career and Workplace Enhancement Center)
Market-based wage adjustments
Mandatory overtime compensation
However, the movement was small enough not to have resulted in any agreements so far. Worth noting is that both parties moved on issues in the context of “packaged proposals.” That means that, in order to come to agreement on these issues, we would need to come to agreement on everything, and we are far, far apart on all of the major economic issues.
Management did respond to Local 328’s proposal for annual, across-the-board wage increases (which was for 4%, 4%, 3.5% and 3.5% over a four-year contract). OHSU has proposed a three-year contract with annual increases of — wait for it —
1.25% in year one
1.50% in year two
1.25% in year three
You no doubt notice that OHSU’s proposed cumulative wage increases are substantially less than the 6% pay cut they are offering to those of you who participate in PERS. Considering all of this, not to mention the cuts to healthcare contributions that will affect the entire AFSCME community, under management’s current proposal, many of our members would experience a net financial loss over the duration of the contract.
What’s next? Our second mediation session is scheduled for July 18. Before that, we will be contacting our members and seeking feedback that will help the bargaining team decide how best to go forward. This is a critical time in negotiations. It is not enough for those of us on the bargaining team to push back at the bargaining table — we can do that. What we also need is to push back all across OHSU, and only you — our members — can do that. Please visit our website, Facebook page and Tumblr blog for stories about ways your coworkers are beginning to stand up and let OHSU know its proposals are unacceptable.
It’s important for OHSU to know that the union bargaining team has our members’ support — talk about these issues with your coworkers, comment on O-Zone posts and our pages and take part in workplace actions**. Speaking out isn’t about being anti-OHSU or anti-manager — it’s about being FOR basic principles. Such as how when an employer is in sound economic shape, it’s unconscionable for it to propose drastic cuts to retirement and health-insurance contributions. Such as how employees should have self-determination about whether or not they are made salaried employees. Such as how all workers should have the right to have a voice about their work conditions. These are principles we can all stand up for, but they won’t go far unless we all actually do stand up.
**One workplace action you can take part in is to wear our next sticker on Tuesday, July 17. Ask your Navigator for a sticker. And, of course, wear your green on Tuesdays!
If you are not planning on attending the town hall on the PERS contribution reduction, you should! Everyone needs to come and speak on its impact. This time its PERS but UPP could be adjusted in the near future. Please remember that while there is no reduction in contributions at this time for UPP there are major changes for UPP on the very near horizon. UPP vendors will be consolidated; yes this does mean several of current UPP choices will be eliminated. Clear as mud??
Attend the town hall, get your questions answers and let your voice be heard!
Town Hall on Monday, July 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m, in the OHSU Auditorium.
Many of you have already heard the bad news about the PERS proposal that the management bargaining team presented at today’s bargaining session. We want to make sure you understand that this isn’t the only bad news. In fact, management’s healthcare-benefits proposal could, in the long run, have at just as severe an economic impact on our members as the employer’s attempted take-back of the PERS 6% employee “pick-up.” In order to cover all the bases, we’ll go through each of OHSU’s economic proposals individually.
First, we’d like to share the union’s economic proposals:
Annual across-the-board wage increases of 4%, 4%, 3.5% and 3.5% over a four-year contractNo changes to healthcare benefits or premiumsNo changes to retirement benefits or the default retirement planNo changes to differentials, except adding: 5% preceptor pay for assigned training of coworkers, in-house-standby eligibility for cardiac-cath technicians and increased differentials for stationary engineersIncreased funding for the Career and Workplace Enhancement CenterImproved double-back language (re: time off between regularly scheduled shifts)Double-time pay for mandatory overtimeIncreased pay for work out of classNo increases to the cost of Trimet annual passes (freeze at current rate)
The management bargaining team proposed the following:
When calculating overtime, vacation time will no longer count toward hours worked. In other words, when employees use their hard-earned vacation, it will be treated the same way sick leave is treated.Employees in their initial probation period will no longer have to wait until their probation ends before requesting a flexible work schedule (i.e., requesting a voluntary waiver of daily overtime).
Premium shift differentials will be eliminated for the following classifications: Medical Laboratory Technologist, Medical Laboratory Technician II, Respiratory Care Practitioner, Pharmacist and Pharmacy Technician. Under the employer’s proposal, employees in these classifications would get the standard shift differential of 7% for evening shifts and 12.5% for night shifts.
OHSU has proposed streamlining the eligibility requirements for health insurance, which will benefit some of our members. In particular, the 60-day waiting period would be eliminated and new employees would be eligible for insurance coverage on the first of the month following their date of hire. That’s the good news — now the bad news.While there would be no change to employee-only coverage (covered at 100% of the cost of the OHSU PPO Plan), for all other tiers, OHSU has proposed cutting its benefit-dollars contribution for full-time employees from 88% to 83%. The benefits contribution for part-time employees would be decreased from 77% to 75%. But that’s not the worst part.Even more potentially damaging to our employees is the employer’s proposed 5% cap on the insurance contribution that OHSU will pay from year to year. In recent years, the Employee Benefits Council has done well at controlling healthcare costs; however, in an uncertain future, that 5% cap could effectively serve to further reduce the proposed 83% contribution. For example, if we saw a 12% increase in insurance premiums, 7% would come out of our employees’ pockets.
Considering the EBC’s hard work at crafting plans that keep costs down, as well as employees’ support of a health-engagement model (e.g., Healthy Team Healthy U, Weight Watchers, the smoking cessation program, etc.) that focuses on preventive health in order to decrease healthcare costs, the union finds the employer’s insurance proposal to be insulting.
Finally, OHSU is proposing to no longer “pick up” the 6% employee contribution for employees participating in any PERS retirement plan (PERS Tier I, PERS Tier II or OPSRP). This means that all PERS-enrolled employees will see a 6% pay cut immediately upon implementation of this proposal on July 1, 2013.
Next Steps: OHSU has begun a massive internal publicity push to justify its decision to attack the PERS retirement “pick-up.” While this is an important issue, employees should not lose sight of the fact that behind the heat and smoke generated by the retirement issue is an assault on healthcare benefits. Your bargaining team believes that OHSU is serious about these proposals — it will take a serious and concerted effort by the bargaining team and union members to fight these proposed take-backs.
OHSU’s kick-off event about its proposed retirement take-backs will be a town-hall meeting with Dr. Joe Robertson scheduled for Monday, July 9, from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the OHSU Auditorium. It is vital that AFSCME bargaining-unit employees attend this meeting (and that ONA employees, unclassified-administrative employees and faculty attend). If you can, use your lunch break to go to this meeting. Look for Local 328 representatives at the meeting — we’ll have information sheets, stickers, lanyards and other materials for our represented employees.
The employer’s economic proposals affect everyone at OHSU, and we all need to support each other if we’re to preserve our retirement and healthcare benefits. Check your email and campus mail daily for union information about these proposals and how you can support the bargaining team in our efforts to fight these take-backs. We need to hear from you. We encourage you to send comments about this issue to email@example.com. We will post employee comments on our website (respecting your anonymity upon your request). The entire OHSU community needs to hear your voice!
The 2012 AFSCME Local 328 Bargaining Team
Note: Now more than ever is an important time to be a dues-paying member — only members are allowed to vote on the ratification of our contract. If you’re a member, your pay stub will say AFS DUES. If it doesn’t and you want to become a member, just print a card from our website, sign it and return it to us. We want the employees we represent to have a voice!
Cut and paste the text below to a document - print, sign and fax to 503 239 9441 - the sooner the better!
We believe that OHSU is a strong, sustainable organization, and a leader in health care. As Union members, we want OHSU to remain strong and to continue to lead.
OHSU’s attempt to convert 400 Union members to salary status is an attack on our pay, our working conditions and our families. The ability to maintain a work life balance is critical to the well being of OHSU employees, a balance that is so often missing in the private sector, which OHSU wants to compare us to.
We understand that taking overtime away from 400 members is only the first step. By protecting overtime for the 400, we are taking the first step in protecting it for everyone.
Wednesday was a relatively quiet day of bargaining, as a good portion of Local 328’s bargaining team is in Los Angeles at the 40th AFSCME International Convention. Much of the day was spent reviewing previous agreements to make sure the text was correct before signing off on them. The major accomplishment of the day was agreeing to language governing the Labor Management Committee. The LMC language is found in Article 28 of the contract. Details of the changes can be found below.
There is at least one major issue still unresolved: OHSU’s proposal to force several classifications of employees to salaried status. The union continues to resist the employer’s hard-line approach on this issue. Groups of employees — notably pharmacists — have organized a committee to coordinate member responses to this critical issue. If you are concerned about this issue — and you should be, even if it doesn’t affect you directly — contact our internal organizer, Max Roesch at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can help.
Next week, there are a few relatively minor employer proposals still on the table to which the union must respond. We expect to complete most of that work in caucus on June 27 before our day’s negotiations — on economic issues — actually start.
The 2012 AFSCME Local 328 Bargaining Team
The changes to Article 28 were:
Adding “change management” to and removing “problem solving” from the list of mission areas that the LMC will oversee. Both teams felt that the goal of providing services in problem solving was being met by LMC initiatives in conflict management and process improvement. We added the language on change management in order to look more deeply not at the mechanics of change, but at the culture of change. This is a topic that current LMC members had identified as an area of interest prior to the language being bargained.
Cleaning up outdated language. The section on labor-management partnership committees was deleted because it was essentially a duplication of language in Article 28.4.3.
Tweaking the language in 28.4.3 itself to better align with the current practices of local labor-management committees.
Making a minor language change in Article 21.4 to clarify (but not change) the current practice of granting layoff rights but not severance-package rights to downwardly reclassified employees.
Wednesday was probably the most grueling, intense day of bargaining so far; however, it was a good taste of what we can expect when we get to economic issues on June 27. The bulk of the day was spent negotiating aspects of Article 2 — Union Provisions. The teams had conflicting goals going into the day: the employer wanted to limit the impact on departments resulting from member participation in union activities (such as steward work), while the union wanted more release time and training opportunities for stewards, the union president, BridgeBuilders, etc. At the end of the day, the teams were able to reach a tentative agreement, some main elements of which are:
We increased the president’s release time to 20 hours per week.
We gained training time for the BridgeBuilders program.
We fought off management’s attempt to have paid union activities not count toward the overtime calculation threshold.
We expanded the union-leave language to exempt elected convention delegates.
We agreed to present a joint labor/management steward-program informational session twice yearly.
There is give and take in any bargaining process. We agreed to provide managers with 30 days’ notice when a steward in a department will be on call, to limit paid union activities to 20 hours per month per member, to allow managers a once-yearly hardship exemption during which they would not have to release a steward (for a three-month block) and to provide Human Resources a copy of our bargaining-unit-wide emails (such as Insight, the content of which is already made public on our website). Additional details of the agreement are listed below. While some of these provisions may present some inconveniences for the union, this can be remedied by increasing the number of union activists and better distributing our workload.
In addition, we reached an agreement on Article 6.13 — Contracting (details below). On the whole, while it was a difficult day, both sides made some gains, and the union was successful in preserving our core interests. A large portion of the union team will be out of town at the AFSCME International convention next week, but the remaining bargaining-team members will meet on June 20 and expect to make good progress on a number of issues.
Salaried-Exempt Proposal Update: Details about the classifications being considered for this change, as well as information on management’s proposal, can be found on our website. OHSU continues to propose that management has the right to unilaterally move employees to salaried-exempt status. The union continues to believe that employees in each classification in each work unit should have the right to vote to move to salaried-exempt status or remain hourly employees. Our Navigators are currently circulating petitions to let the proposed affected employees know that their coworkers support them, and let management know that we don’t want OHSU to force this change — if you haven’t already, please sign the petition when asked. If you need a copy of the petition, email Max Roesch at email@example.com. Please understand that — even if your classification isn’t being targeted now — protecting overtime, working conditions and work/life balance for these employees is important to protecting it for everyone in the future.
As always, don’t forget to WEAR GREEN ON TUESDAYS!
The 2012 AFSCME Local 328 Bargaining Team
Article 6.13 — Contracting: A labor/management task force will be created with an equal number of representatives from each side, who will share equal responsibilities. This task force will convene by August 1 and complete its work by October 31. The task force will be charged with evaluating the best value for OHSU — as to service, quality and cost — in terms of contracting out vs. utilizing OHSU employees to get projects done. The task force will present its recommendations to the Associate Vice President of Facilities and Logistics.
Article 2 — Union Provisions: In addition to the areas mentioned above, other details of this tentative agreement include:
A process will be developed to address the time spent by bargaining-team members on other union activities while negotiations are ongoing.
Bargaining-team pay will apply when the employee has been released from his/her regularly scheduled hours.
Release time for union activities will be capped at 20 hours per month per member, excluding legislative activities, union work requested by the employer and events for which the member is serving as an elected delegate.
Requests for additional steward release time will be submitted to Human Resources, who will work with the stewards’ managers to make a determination
We reached a tentative agreement on Article 19 — Layoff (details below) and started work on Article 6.13 — Contracting. In order to ensure buy-in from key stakeholders in Facilities and Logistics before we come to a tentative agreement on contracting, members of the two teams will share the information from this week’s discussion at a meeting with Scott Page, Associate Vice President for Facilities and Real Estate. In addition, management had wanted to eliminate the provision of paid leave for search/rescue operations (Article 14.1.3) and for testing and interviews (Article 14.1.5), but after hearing feedback from the union, the management team withdrew the issue, so our members will maintain access to these types of leave with pay.
Our scope-of-bargaining-unit and salaried-exempt subcommittees continued their work outside of the regular weekly bargaining session. The scope-of-bargaining-unit subcommittee reached a tentative agreement. Unfortunately, the two teams remain far apart on the salaried-exempt issue. Summaries of these two subcommittees’ activities follow — full details can be found on our website.
On June 13 we will finish bargaining on the contracting article and will negotiate several aspects of Article 2 — Union Provisions, including the union’s use of OHSU’s email system, stewards’ paid release time and retirees, as well as work on Article 23.3 — Investigatory Interviews and Article 28 — Labor Management Committee. There are only a few more bargaining sessions left before our contract expires, and we are moving into issues that both sides anticipate will be difficult, so stay tuned for important updates.
If you have questions about bargaining or other union matters, please join us at our general-membership meeting on Tuesday, June 12, from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. in UHS 8B60— light refreshments will be served. As always, don’t forget to WEAR GREEN ON TUESDAYS!
The 2012 AFSCME Local 328 Bargaining Team
Article 19 — Layoff: OHSU had wanted to eliminate our members’ right to bump after a layoff. We preserved the bumping option, and negotiated changes that will give laid-off employees greater flexibility in their options.
Layoff notice will now consist of a three-day process: on day one, OHSU will give notice of the layoff to the union; on day two, OHSU will give notice of the layoff to the affected employee; and on day three, the union will follow up with the employee to offer assistance with the layoff process.
The preferential-hire list will be eliminated and be replaced with the expanded preferential-hire list for all affected employees — this will provide our members with a much greater likelihood of a successful placement, as well as offer them more say in what job they would be placed in. Employees placed on the EPHL have the opportunity to be hired into any position for which they are qualified, not just into the classification they were removed from.
Employees returning to work after extended medical leave will be eligible to stay on the EPHL for one year, and will have the opportunity for one placement from the list.
The laid-off employee’s qualifications will be assessed against the job description of the position they wish to be placed into.
Employees will be able to waive the geographic restriction (which states, for example, that employees laid off from a position at West Campus would not be placed into a position on the hill) if they choose — this would apply only to filling a vacancy or placement from the EPHL, not not for bumping.
Scope-of-Bargaining-Unit Agreement: Our tentative agreement covers six main areas: managerial employees, temps, student workers, research employees, HR employees and supervisors. Both parties achieved some important objectives with this agreement, but at the end of the day, the union was able to ensure that our members will be able to make their own decisions and will be deciding for themselves — they will not have decisions made for them by either the employer or by members outside their work unit. Please read the article on our website for full details of the agreement.
Salaried-Exempt Subcommittee Update: OHSU continues to propose that management has the right to unilaterally move employees to salaried-exempt status. The union’s position has not changed — we believe that employees in each classification in each work unit should have the right to vote to move to salaried-exempt status or remain hourly employees. At the June 6 meeting of this subcommittee, OHSU provided a written proposal that included, in part, a proposed salaried compensation structure, two additional days of vacation for certain employees, an additional holiday, no provision for merit increases and the addition of three new classifications to the list of employees they want to move to salaried-exempt status. Please read the article on our website for details of management’s proposal.
Both bargaining teams have reached a level of comfort with interest-based bargaining that allows us to make increasingly rapid progress through fairly complex issues. One of our big wins this week was the recognition that severe weather that has not been declared “official” inclement weather by OHSU can also cause commute difficulties for employees — management will now be prohibited from disciplining employees who arrive late after making a reasonable attempt to get to work on time during such severe weather conditions.
We plan to continue making good progress on the remaining issues and plan to work on the following topics on June 6: Article 19 — Layoff (layoff notice, bumping/ placement and the preferential hire list), Article 14.1 — Leaves of Absence without Pay and Article 6.13 — Contracting.
In addition, Local 328 staff and bargaining team members will be scheduling additional union-only meetings with the employees who are potentially affected by OHSU’s salaried-exempt and managerial proposals. Look for upcoming emails for details.
Specifics about this week’s consensus agreements follow. As always, please contact us if you have any questions, and don’t forget to WEAR GREEN ON TUESDAYS!
The 2012 AFSCME Local 328 Bargaining Team
Changes to Work Schedule (Article 7.2.7)/Job Bidding (Article 18.1): We have protected the job-bidding process. In the future, when the employer needs to make schedule changes (when no vacancy is created), if there isn’t a volunteer to accept the change, the least senior employee will be the one affected. If the change will cause the affected employee’s work to be moved to a different geographic location (requiring alternative transportation or child-/elder-care arrangements) the employee will be given 14 days’ notice of the change. In addition, the nine-month restriction against new job bidding will be waived in these circumstances.
Article 7.12 — Inclement Weather: We clarified that this contract language applies when there is an official declaration by the Provost (or his/her designee) and added language about severe weather conditions. Now, even without a formal declaration of inclement weather, during severe weather conditions employees who make a reasonable effort to get to work on time will be allowed to report within two hours of their start time without discipline and to use vacation or comp time to cover the time they missed due to arriving late.
Article 18 — Filling of Vacancies: The teams clarified the posting requirements for relief, flex and limited-duration vacancies. Relief-position vacancies will be posted like any other vacancy — first within the work unit, then internally throughout OHSU and then externally for outside applicants. Flex and limited-duration vacancies will only be posted within the work unit. This reflects current practice, which had never been clearly spelled out in the contract before.
Article 18.4 — Training Positions: Both sides want to present more opportunities for employees to promote from within and to gain on-the-job experience. We agreed to modify this article to allow managers to post training positions within a department before posting OHSU wide. In addition, we eliminated the pay limitations on training positions, so managers can offer higher pay to employees as incentive to seek these positions. Qualified applicants and trainee applicants may both apply for these positions, but qualified applicants will be considered first. Seniority will determine who is accepted for the position if the final applicants are equally suitable. Within the first 30 days of the training assignment, the employee may opt out and return to his/her previous position without penalty; after 30 days, the employee will be reinstated to his/her previous position if the training position was in the same department, or will be placed on the preferential hire list if the training position was in a different department.
This week the teams reached a tentative agreement on a new attendance policy. This was the most complicated issue we’ve taken on so far, one that will have far-reaching consequences for our members. There will be major changes to the attendance policy — the no-fault/lockstep-discipline attendance policy (in effect since the late 1990s) is being eliminated. OHSU will be moving to a system that will fully take into account individual circumstances, such as public-transportation issues, cases when an ill employee is sent home by a manager, etc. Employees who had been having attendance issues but are improving their attendance will now have more opportunity to get off the disciplinary track.
Employees will now know exactly what their work unit’s attendance policy is — it will be clearly posted, and will include a clearly defined set of factors that managers must consider before deciding whether to enforce discipline. The change should also allow managers to effectively deal with sick-time abusers, without sweeping up non-abusers into a rigid discipline structure. With the move away from the past lockstep attendance policy, attendance-related discipline will be covered by the just-cause/discipline language in the contract.
The new attendance policy will be a great benefit to and positive change for our members. Both sides shared similar concerns about attendance and recognized problems with the current policy, so this can be seen as a win-win. Details of the new policy, which will go into effect January 2013, include:
Management will develop (with union involvement) criteria to be used to determine whether tardiness or an absence will be considered an occurrence. These criteria will include low sick-leave balance, a pattern of sick calls on Mondays or Fridays, etc.
Managers will give consideration to whether tardiness was caused by extenuating circumstances, such as a traffic or Trimet issue.
Each department will be subject to a recognized attendance policy, and when employees are disciplined for attendance, they will be given a copy of the attendance policy.
A consensus agreement was also reached on Article 7 — Hours of Work. The teams agreed to expand the option to request flexible start and stop times or other flexible work schedules. The current contract specifies that an individual can request a flexible schedule. Language will be added that will enable work units/groups of employees to make these requests.
On May 30, the teams will finish working on the remaining sections of Article 7 — Hours of Work (scheduling of work, time off between shifts and inclement weather) and begin negotiating on the next issues of concern (Article 18 — Filling of Vacancies and Article 19 — Layoffs). In addition, the subcommittee on the scope of the bargaining unit will meet a fourth time — the union team presented management with a counterproposal at the May 22 subcommittee meeting.
As always, please contact us if you have any questions, and don’t forget to WEAR GREEN ON TUESDAYS!
This week the bargaining teams were back together, with our facilitator, negotiating in the large-group format again instead of sub-committees. Despite some logistical challenges associated with meeting on the hill so that the teams could attend the AFSCME/OHSU Career Fair (which was a great success), we quickly got back into the swing of things. Both bargaining teams were pleased with the progress made today.
Tentative agreements were reached on the contracting severance-benefit option and on vacation scheduling. In addition, the teams discussed proposed changes to the establishment of work plans and began sharing stories around attendance-policy issues.
Consensus agreements were reached on the following:
Article 6.13.1 — Contract Severance Benefit Option: This article addresses an employee’s options when he/she is displaced as a result of contracting out (outsourcing). Management wished to harmonize this contract language with that in Appendix F — Severance Program, which is used for layoffs. The union views the contracting-out severance benefit as a deterrent to outsourcing. The bargaining teams were able to reach an agreement that met both sides’ interests — the two types of severance were brought into harmony in a way that spreads the benefits out to more employees while maintaining language that may discourage contracting out, in order to keep jobs within the bargaining unit.
The current contract language in Appendix F will be maintained for employees opting to take severance benefits upon layoff — this language provides for: (a) four weeks of base pay for less than five years of service, with an additional week of base pay for each additional year of service, (b) a cap at 26 weeks of base pay and (c) one to seven months of COBRA (continuation of insurance benefits) subsidy based on years of service. New contracting-out severance benefits, modeled after Appendix F, will be added: (a) four weeks of base pay for less than five years of service, (b) two weeks of base pay for each additional year of service for five years and up, with a third week of base pay for each year of service beyond 15 years, (c) no cap and (d) COBRA subsidy as above. Newer employees who are contracted out will now receive a higher minimum severance compensation, and contracted-out employees will now receive a COBRA subsidy that will, in most cases, be higher than the current $1500 flat sum paid to them to help with insurance coverage.
Article 12.4 — Scheduling of Vacations: The focus of discussion here was on the scheduling of vacations on and around holidays. Management’s interest was to offer holiday scheduling to less senior employees more often; the union’s interest was to allow more employees in general to have access to time off around the holidays. The teams agreed to maintain the current contract language and coordinate future communications to make employees and managers better aware of the availability of options that would empower work units to develop alternate vacation-scheduling practices. These options include consensus agreements (which would be used to develop custom vacation-scheduling policies that better serve the work units’ needs), interest-based decision-making training offered by the Career and Workplace Enhancement Center (to ease the process of reaching a consensus agreement), and managers taking a closer look at what vacation opportunities can be reasonably offered around holidays.
The teams also took a look at the provisions of Article 6.6 — Work Plans. The article currently addresses non-disciplinary work plans and corrective-measure work plans. Today the union team reviewed management’s proposed changes to this article and proposed our own revisions. The union would like this article to include new language on individual development plans (career-/skill-related, non-disciplinary) and clarify the language about non-disciplinary, employee-initiated work plans (related to workload expectations, etc.). The union also proposed that the language on corrective-measure work plans be moved to the article that addresses discipline. The management team will draft a new proposal that will be reviewed by the teams during our next bargaining session.
In addition, the teams started sharing stories around Appendix H — Model Attendance Policy. Both sides have a lot of emotion around this issue and both have experienced frustration with the current attendance policy. Both teams recognize that good attendance benefits both the organization and our members, and that absenteeism is problematic for our members as well as for OHSU. Neither side wants to make any changes that would enable abuse of sick-leave usage. A solution will be difficult to reach.
Next Week’s Plan: The subcommittee on the scope of the bargaining unit (i.e., which employees should be included in or excluded from the union) will again meet outside of our regular weekly bargaining session to continue the work and discussions from their two previous sessions. This is the subcommittee looking at which — if any — bargaining-unit employees should be made “managerial” (unclassified administrative), which is a very complex area to negotiate.
The following areas of interest will be worked on during the May 23 bargaining session: attendance policy, work-plan proposals and Article 7 — Hours of Work.
As always, don’t forget to remind folks to WEAR GREEN ON TUESDAYS and please contact us if you or your co-workers have any questions.
This week the bargaining teams worked on four issues — salaried classifications, market-based wage increases, separation agreements and fair-share contract language — in the subcommittee format. Wednesday’s negotiations were constructtive, but we’ve noticed a definite shift in mood — bargaining seemed a bit more positional and intense this time, reminding us that difficult work lies ahead. The union team is looking forward to next week’s session, when we’ll return to bargaining as a large group, and hope to make good progress.
As you know, OHSU is proposing to change a number of AFSCME-represented employees to salaried-exempt status or "managerial" status. Please take a look at the linked lists of proposed classifications — if you could be impacted by the proposed changes, keep an eye out for emails about meetings that’ll be scheduled soon to give you information and answer questions. We can’t stress enough how important member feedback will continue to be in our decision making around these proposals. Please visit the union’s Tumblr blog, where you can read — and comment on — our updates.
Salaried-Exempt Classifications: More information is needed before an agreement can be reached. Management wants to streamline the existing process for voluntary moves to salaried (such as for smaller groups of employees within one department). Both teams have agreed to hold group Q-&-A meetings with employees who may be affected by the proposed non-voluntary switch.
Market-Based Wage Increases: Consensus was reached in this area, with one aspect still pending. When market-based wage adjustments are considered, OHSU’s wages will now be compared to those at other academic medical schools, instead of those within the Oregon University System (where pay is significantly lower than at OHSU) — OUS salary data will only be used in cases when other comparison data is unavailable. Still pending is the issue of when a wage review is triggered — the union wants more classifications to be considered for market-based wage increases, but the management team has not yet agreed.
Standardized Separation Agreements: Additional discussion is needed before an agreement can be reached. The teams worked on developing some of the standard legal language that is included in these agreements, which are sometimes used when an employee wants to resign instead of being terminated.
Fair-Share: Consensus was reached in this area. The updated contract language will clarify the difference between dues and fair-share payments.
In addition, we reviewed about a dozen of the management team’s counter-proposals on some other issues and we reached some agreements that result in great wins for our members! Highlights include:
Personnel records: Employee personnel records will now be considered confidential, enhancing OHSU’s ability to protect this information from public disclosure.
Holiday work schedules: All AFSCME-represented employees will now be given 28 days’ notice when they are scheduled to work on a holiday and when work will not be available around a holiday. This doubles the notice many of our members will receive re: holiday scheduling.
Bereavement leave: All employees will be able to take up to five days for bereavement leave, regardless of travel distance involved. Additional bereavement leave may be granted with manager approval.
"Household members": The union successfully fought off management’s attempt to remove this term from the contract articles regarding sick-/bereavement-leave usage. This prevented reductions to when/whether our members are eligible to use their sick and bereavement leave.
Workers’ compensation: We clarified the employee’s responsibility around responding to a return-to-work offer made once he or she is medically able to return. The employee will need to respond to an offer in a timely manner, within a timeframe specified in the contract.
Our May 16 session will be held at OHSU — instead of at the AFSCME office — so that bargaining-team members may attend and participate in the OHSU Employee Career Fair at the BICC Gallery. We’ll again be working together as a large group, and our facilitator will be back with us. We’ll work on finalizing loose ends remaining from our subcommittee work, deciding which issues we’ll work on next and firming up the rest of the year’s bargaining schedule — which we expect to be grueling from here on out.
As always, please contact us if you have any questions, and don’t forget to WEAR GREEN ON TUESDAYS!
Please join us for the general-membership meeting in UHS 8B60 on Tuesday, May 8, from 11:30 a.m. - 12 noon — this is a great opportunity to ask questions about bargaining. Light refreshments will be provided.
On Wednesday the bargaining teams spent the day in subcommittees working on four issues — scope of the bargaining unit, upward pay adjustments, parking/transportation and telecommuting — and reached agreement on two areas (see details below). Not as many agreements were reached during this session because the issues are becoming more complex and have wide-ranging implications for our members. It remains important for our members to respond to our surveys and requests for feedback, as our members’ opinions will be critically important to the union’s decision making during bargaining.
The scope of the bargaining unit (i.e., which employees should be included in or excluded from the union) is a very complex area to negotiate. If the teams only tweak the contract language that deals with confidential (such as in HR) and “managerial” employees — excluding only a very limited number of current members who actually prefer to go unclassified administrative — the number of affected employees could be very small. However, a different decision could have far-reaching impact, with more than 100 people either leaving the bargaining unit or entering it. Both sides have clear interests in this area, only a few of which overlap, and both teams are aware of the pitfalls involved in coming to agreement on these sensitive issues. This subcommittee needs to review additional information before finishing its work, so will meet again next week outside of our regular bargaining session.
Our members should understand that no decisions have been made in this area, and that the union bargaining team is committed to protecting the interests and integrity of the bargaining unit. Any rumors that may be circulating about changing anyone’s bargaining-unit status are just that — no decisions have been made. If you hear of rumors, please use the "Contact Us" link on the Local 328 website so that we can share accurate information with our members.
The other issues that were bargained on were:
Upward Adjustments:We reached consensus to maintain the current contract language for upward pay adjustments due to promotions and upward reclassifications. Upward adjustments for work out of class will be determined during our economic discussions around salary administration, later in bargaining. Upward adjustments related to market-based wage changes will be determined by the market-based-wage committee.
Parking/Transportation: Additional data related to the Trimet bus-pass program is needed from OHSU’s Strategic Transportation and Parking Committee before further discussion takes place. Since most of the proposals or changes in this area would have an economic impact, further discussion is being deferred to our later economic discussions.
Telecommuting:There’s currently a good telecommuting policy in place. We reached a consensus agreement to add language to the contract that clarifies the intent of the policy and better publicizes the telecommuting option. In addition, language will be added to give our employees the right to request a written explanation if their manager denies a request to telecommute.
Looking Ahead:Next week is our last week of negotiating in our smaller subcommittees. The following areas of interest will be negotiated on May 9:
Classifications/Compensation: OHSU wishes to expand the classifications that are salaried-exempt (i.e., ineligible for overtime). Please check out the list of classifications in question and give us your feedback.
Market-Based Wage Increases
Standardized Separation Agreements
The union will also be surveying HR employees in the upcoming week — timely feedback is needed for us to make good decisions re: possible changes in these employees’ bargaining-unit status.
Not surprisingly, rumors are beginning to surface as bargaining progresses. One rumor being talked about last week was that there would be no across-the-board pay
increases in the next contract. This is untrue — the issue of across-the-board raises hasn’t been negotiated yet. If you or your co-workers are concerned, however, please be sure to show the union your support by wearing green on Tuesdays, wearing the bargaining stickers (please ask your Navigator for the latest sticker, to wear on Tuesday, May 1) and staying engaged. Our members’ support is CRUCIAL to our ability to negotiate fair across-the-board pay increases in the next contract.
This week the bargaining committees worked in sub-committees on the following issues:
Mid-Contract Bargaining: A consensus agreement was reached with some fine-tuning of the language in this article (which deals with whether/how to bargain on issues that might come up after the contract has been ratified).
Compensation Structure: The teams began discussing ways to “square up” the compensation plan so it’s easier for employees to understand and for OHSU to administer, but additional salary-related data is needed before an agreement can be worked on. Both sides are committed to (a) providing annual pay increases (e.g., step increases) in addition to any across-the-board increases, (b) allowing for merit-based pay increases and (c) ensuring that any changes to the compensation structure have no negative financial impact on employees when implemented.
Vacation Donation: The teams agreed to a new approach to vacation donation. Under the new contract, employees dealing with illness (their own or a family/household member’s) who are in need of vacation donations will be able to draw from a pool of donated leave and won’t be placed in the awkward situation of asking co-workers for donated leave. The new system will be easier for OHSU to administer, and unclassified employees will still be able to donate vacation time.
Uniforms: We established a minimum allotment of uniforms (three upon hire, two replacements per year on request), consistent with our existing agreement but allowing departments to come up with their own uniforms policy under a letter of agreement.
Next Week’s Plan: The following areas of interest will be worked on in subcommittees on May 2:
Scope of Bargaining Unit: OHSU wishes to exclude “managerial” employees from the bargaining unit — the affected employees would become unclassified-administrative employees. The employer has proposed a list of classifications — available on the Local 328 website — that they want to exclude from AFSCME representation. Please be assured that these are only proposals — nothing has been agreed to yet.
Salaried Classifications/Compensation: OHSU wishes to expand the classifications that are salaried-exempt — the affected employees would be ineligible for overtime and other economic benefits. This information is also available on our website. Again, these are only proposals at this point.
Telecommuting: The union wants to expand the ability of our members to take advantage of telecommuting options.
Market-Based Wage Increases: The union wants to improve the criteria used to make these adjustments.
Please provide your feedback on the above classifiction-related changes by responding to this e-mail.
As always, please contact us if you have any questions, and don’t forget to WEAR GREEN ON TUESDAYS!
Many very important issues — a number of issues for which the two teams have very different interests — were discussed
Wednesday in an intense, exhausting bargaining session. Several areas may turn out to be very difficult to come to a consensus solution on, but based on our track record together, we’re optimistic that members of both bargaining teams have the skills to do it. We’re at a key transition point now and are moving into more difficult and challenging territory.
To prepare for the next three weeks of subcommittee bargaining, on Wednesday the teams shared stories and interests on a dozen key issues:
Mid-Contract Bargaining: OHSU wishes to narrow this language in response to an arbitration that the union won in 2011.
Compensation Structure: Variations between pay steps and between salary grades has resulted in a compensation plan that is difficult for employees to understand and for the employer to administer.
Vacation Donation: The current system requires members in need to ask for donations, which can result in awkward situations; in addition, members don’t currently have a donated-vacation pool to draw from.
Uniforms: In some work areas, the uniforms provided are inadequate; in addition, OHSU wants a broader ability to require employees to wear uniforms.
Scope of Bargaining Unit: Both teams want to clarify who should be represented by AFSCME and who shouldn’t be.
Upward Adjustments: This covers reclassifications, promotions, work out of class, and market-based adjustments. The amounts of these adjustments are inconsistent and can result in employees being “off-step,” requiring a lot of manual work for Payroll and HR.
Parking/Transportation: It should come as no surprise that nobody’s really happy with it! Our members feel that parking at OHSU is too expensive and that there’s not enough of it.
Telecommuting: The union wants broader access to telecommuting options for our members.
Salaried Classifications/Compensation: OHSU wishes to expand the classifications that are salaried-exempt and to make these designations without the agreement of the union or the affected employees.
Market-Based Wage Increases: The union wants to improve the criteria used to make these wage adjustment.
Standardized Separation Agreements: Both teams want to standardize these legal agreements that are sometimes used to transition workers out of OHSU employment.
Fair-Share: Management wishes to make the fair-share contract more explicit.
As always, please contact us if you or your co-workers have any questions.
Bargaining on Wednesday continued to be collaborative and productive. The discussion around Code of Conduct complaints was intense, but we worked through it. Many difficult stories/examples were shared with and heard by members of the management team, who worked hard with us to come up with a constructive solution that would meet our members’ needs. The union and management teams reached consensus on the following:
Working at the Top of One’s License (Task Force)
A task force of interested stakeholders (including Local 328 representatives) will meet no later than 60 days after the effective date of our new contract, with a goal of completing work within nine months of the effective date of the new contract.
The task force will be charged with ensuring the cost-effective and safe delivery of patient care, protecting the work done by bargaining-unit members and promoting collaboration within work units so that those closest to the work will participate in making decisions about it.
Code of Conduct Complaints Process (new Memorandum of Understanding)
OHSU will develop training materials on the process for employees to file complaints (Code of Conduct issues, AA/EEO violations, etc.) — these materials will be given to Local 328 to distribute to our members. The union will be informed of the process to file and check to see how complaints have been resolved.
All Code of Conduct complaints against managers (including those concerning retaliation) will be filed through the Integrity Office and will then be routed to the appropriate HR director. The HR director will then refer the complaint to an individual uninvolved with the initial concern to conduct an objective review.
When managers are notified that a Code of Conduct complaint has been made against them, they will be given a written notice reminding them of OHSU’s policy of non-retaliation.
The establishment of a task force that will look at working at the top of one’s license is a significant win, and the task force’s work should help our members who’ve struggled with their non-AFSCME colleagues about “whose work is whose.” Management really listened to our stories about employees’ experiences with Code of Conduct complaints, and recognized that the current process is not well known or understood, as well as that there is a perception that complaints are not taken seriously. We now have management commitment to a more transparent complaint process, with appropriate safeguards against retaliation. In addition to finishing bargaining on the above issues, the teams agreed to start thinking about and discussing how healthcare reform and other changes to healthcare delivery might affect jobs at OHSU in the future.
Looking Ahead: On April 18 the teams expect to share stories and interests around 10-12 different issues, in preparation for subcommittee work that will begin the week of April 25.
The teams will soon begin bargaining on issues with a direct economic impact on members. It’s clear to the Local 328 bargaining team that OHSU believes that containing labor costs is the key to OHSU’s continued economic health. OHSU will likely expect our members to bear the burden of maintaining its economic health.
In 2009, members who signed petitions and sent concerned emails about reductions in health-insurance benefits turned the tide in that year’s contract negotiations. We expect that this year will be no different, so be on the lookout for ways you can help as bargaining proceeds. While bargaining hasn’t been contentious yet, many difficult issues are looming on the horizon, and the union will need our members to step up and show their support in order for us to negotiate the best contract!
We’re seeking your help in supporting upcoming negotations. If you have any stories about the following two areas, please email your responses to the following questions to firstname.lastname@example.org 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11.ALL RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL.
Code of Conduct complaints: Have you ever filed one? If so, what what the result? Was your complaint resolved? Did you feel that you were retaliated against?
Non-AFSCME employees & bargaining-unit work: Have you ever observed supervisors, students, nurses, contractor, temps, etc. doing bargaining unit work — your work? If so, what type of worker and in what department? What was the type of work done, and approximately how many hours a week did it take place?
We really need to hear from our members on these issues, so please email us if you have any input!
Wednesday was another productive day of bargaining. After much hard work, we were successful in making significant gains on one of our members’ most important issues. Our pre-bargaining survey indicated that one of the highest priorities for our members was the ability to utilize education, training and career-development opportunities, so the union is very pleased that we made great gains in this area for our members. Our members will now be able to take advantage of an increased number of yearly training hours! In addition, courses offered by the OHSU/AFSCME Career and Workplace Enhancement Center will now qualify toward these training hours.
The union and management teams reached consensus on the following:
Definition of “Emergency” (affects multiple articles)
The word “emergency” as it applies to Articles 7.2.5 (Hours of Work — posting of varying work schedules) and 9.1.4h (Overtime and Premium Pay — scheduling and assignment of overtime) will be defined as “a situation that is unforeseen and could not be prudently planned for.” Supervisors will also be permitted to perform overtime work typically assigned to AFSCME-represented employees if doing so prevents the assignment of mandatory overtime.
"Emergency" will be removed from Article 6.13 (Employment Practices and Procedures — contracting) , as both teams felt that it wasn’t useful/applicable in these situations.
"Emergency" in Article 23.3.1 (Discharge and Discipline — notice of investigatory interviews) will be replaced by "unless there is a reason to believe the notice period would result in the compromise of evidence or pose a risk to staff or the public."
Article 22 - Education, Training and Career Development
Language clarifying that career-development training goes hand in hand with job-related training will be added to the article.
The yearly maximum number of average training hours available to full-time employees through this contract provision will be increased from 20 to 24.
For employees on an individual development plan (a plan developed by the employee and manager that sets out job-related development goals for the coming year), the number of job-related training hours guaranteed per contract year will be increased from 10 to 15. All other employees will continue to be guaranteed 10 hours of job-related training each year.
Courses offered by the CWE Center will now qualify toward the above training hours.
A commitment was made to further educate both sides on investigating and publicizing the educational opportunities that are available to our members. Language clarifying that career-development training goes hand in hand with job-related training will be added to the article.
Next Week’s Plan: The focus on April 11 will be to bargain on working at the top of one’s license, Code of Conduct issues and protecting bargaining-unit work, as well as possibly beginning negotiations on the contracting severance-benefit option. Looking ahead, starting on April 18, the teams will break into several subcommittees in order to accelerate the bargaining process.
As always, please contact us if you have any questions, and don’t forget to WEAR GREEN ON TUESDAYS!
Also, please come join us at our next general-membership meeting, being held on Tuesday, April 10, from 11:30 a.m. – 12 noon in UHS 8B60. We’ll be discussing our negotiations with OHSU and taking questions from the audience. Light refreshments will be served.
Wednesday was a great day of bargaining. We dealt with two difficult articles and were very successful in meeting the interests of both teams, in a way that advances the interests of our members on a number of levels. The streamlined processes around grievances and discipline will greatly reduce the stress felt by our members.
The union and management teams reached consensus on the following:
Article 24 - Grievances and Arbitration
The current three-step grievance process will be reduced to two steps (the current steps 1 and 2 will be collapsed/combined into one step).
Step 1 grievances will be filed with the employee’s immediate supervisor and director, within 21 days of of the occurrence.
Step 1 will use the problem-solving process for non-disciplinary grievances.
Verbal warnings will not be grievable, but will only be placed in the employee’s file for one year. After a year, the verbal warning will be removed from the file at the employee’s request.
The employee may make a written response to a verbal warning — this response will be placed in the employee’s file.
If a related written warning is filed within one year, both the written warning and the previous verbal warning will be grievable.
Step 2 (currently known as Step 3) grievances will be filed within 21 days from the Step 1 filing date.
The union will submit information requests within 7 days of the Step 2 filing date, and the employer will respond within 21 days of the request.
Investigatory meetings will be scheduled within 14 days of the receipt of the information request.
The employer will respond to the Step 2 grievance within 14 days of the investigatory meeting.
The union will file for arbitration, if needed, within 14 days of employer-response due date.
Article 23 - Discharge and Discipline
The employer will provide the union with electronic notification of pay reductions, suspensions, pre-disciplinary meetings and terminations on the same day that notification is given to the employee.
The pay-reduction stage of the progressive-discipline process will change to a reduction of up to two steps for up to three pay periods or a one-step reduction for up to six pay periods.
After an investigatory meeting has taken place, it is the intent of both the union and the employer that any disciplinary action will be issued no later than 21 days from the date of the meeting, except in cases where a complex investigation is required.
Managers will be trained to notify employees if it is determined that no disciplinary action will take place.
Attendance issues will be handled by a new process: The manager will either (1) follow the current process and notify the employee that an investigatory meeting will take place or (2) notify the employee, in writing, of the details of the attendance issue, at which point the employee may (a) request an investigatory meeting, (b) respond in writing (with steward assistance, if desired) within 14 days or (c) take no action.
In addition to finishing bargaining on Articles 24 and 23 and beginning to share stories related to the definition of “emergency” in the contract (this impacts schedule changes, overtime, etc.), the teams agreed to harmonize the contract language around the restoration of sick leave and seniority. If an employee leaves OHSU employment voluntarily but returns to work at OHSU within 90 days, his/her sick leave and seniority will be fully restored. (Note: layoff is not considered voluntary.) This restoration will not apply to retirees returning within 90 days of retirement, which means that returning retirees will not be able to bump members in vacation requests or job bidding.
Next Week’s Plan: The focus on April 4 will be to finish bargaining on the definition of “emergency,” begin working on large bucket of issues related to training/development/conferences and set up subcommittees to work on bargaining certain issues in smaller groups. We will also hear a 90-minute presentation by OHSU’s chief financial officer.
Please join us on Friday, March 30 at Voicebox Karaoke Lounge 2112 NW Hoyt St., Portland from 7:00 – 11:00 p.m.
We’ve reserved a private booth for AFSCME members for a fun night of singing and interacting with your union brothers and sisters. Please contact Matt Hilton at email@example.com with questions and to RSVP.