Election Results!

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After a week of voting — with record-breaking turnout — your ballots have been tallied and we are pleased to inform you of the following election results:

  • Our 2019 – 2022 contract was ratified by an overwhelming majority: 98.9%.
  • Your delegates to the Oregon AFL-CIO convention will be Jamie Roberts, Michael Stewart, Theresia Lloyd-Siemer and Trisha Crabb. 
  • The members of our 2019 – 2021 executive board are:
    • President: Matt Hilton
    • Vice President: Michael Stewart
    • Secretary: Jennifer Barker
    • Treasurer: Claire Irvan
    • Chief Steward: Haley Wolford
    • Data Maintenance: Trisha Crabb
    • Education & Training: Molly Clasen
    • Internal Communications: Jesse Miller
    • Building Manager: Mark Chapman
    • At-Large: Ashlee Howard, Brandy Goldsbury, Casey Parr, Cassie Barton, Christine Murray, Cynthia Peckover, Eli Shannon, Jamie Roberts, Jim Cherveny, Karri Garaventa, Karyn Trivette, Kasey Zimmer-Stucky, Roger Clark, Roxana Logsdon

Congratulations to all who were elected, and congratulations to our bargaining unit on the ratification of a great contract! We did this together, and we have a lot to be proud of.

After our tentative agreement with OHSU was reached, we heard the occasional sentiment that our union was lucky to have discovered that members of management’s bargaining team were trolling our union on social media, engaging in what we believe to be unfair labor practices. However, it’s not accurate that the success of our contract campaign was directly linked to this behavior. Frengle and Forbes’s actions didn’t preserve existing benefits or bring about historic wage increases and pages of beneficial new contract language — our members’ actions did. While what occurred may have embarrassed OHSU, it didn’t bring 900 people to our June 13 rally. When our members packed the room, in a sea of green, at the June 27 OHSU board of directors’ meeting, it was because our members were willing to escalate the fight for a fair contract. All of these actions took place before our union had even uncovered management’s trolling. Dan Forbes is leaving OHSU on November 1, but the approximately 1,400 members, friends and community supporters who marched and chanted at our August 8 informational picket aren’t going anywhere. 

Our new contract is a long-term financial commitment by OHSU to our bargaining unit — won by our members’ engagement and hard work — and a couple of anti-union bad actors don’t get to take credit for it. Our members showed OHSU that they had had enough and would take collective action to get a fair contract. OHSU saw that our members were willing to escalate — likely to the point of striking — and wisely decided to settle for the fair contract that we deserve. On a related note, our unfair labor practice complaint against OHSU is moving forward and mediation has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 1. We’ll update our members about the ULP as soon as we have new information to share. 

Although this contract campaign is behind us, that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop being engaged with our union. Our next contract campaign may seem like it’ll happen in the distant future, but it’s really not that far off — we’ll elect and begin training our next bargaining team in only two years! Retaining the current level of engagement and activism over the next couple of years will ensure we start bargaining in 2022 from a position of strength. OHSU can no longer assume our members are unengaged and will tolerate disrespect and contract take-back after take-back. What we accomplished this year will have a positive effect on negotiations for years to come. We are truly stronger together — all of us. 

Information for Ratification Vote

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At the links you will find documents highlighting and explaining the proposed changes to our contract and comparing the tentative agreement to the previous final offers:

The members-only ratification vote will take place online from 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 1, through 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 8. If you’ve never voted in one of our online elections before, check out our How to Vote on the eZone tip sheet. (Note: If you log in from a mobile device and just see a blank screen, select “full site” to see the voting options.) Information about in-person voting can be found in our August 30 blog post.

If you have any questions before the vote, feel free to ask them here. If you are not currently a dues-paying member but would like to vote on the contract, you may sign and submit a membership card here.

**Note: A couple of members have been confused by the “pay for work on holidays” entry at the bottom of this chart. There has been no change to holiday pay! (See Article 11 of the contract.) The entry refers only to the fact that we had asked for holiday pay for salaried employees (which would be new for them) and didn’t get it.

EBC Decision Revisited—Wellness Surcharge Indefinitely Delayed

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We are pleased to inform our bargaining unit that on Tuesday, August 27, the Employee Benefits Council voted to rescind the wellness decision made earlier this year. This means that the wellness requirement/surcharge is indefinitely delayed until the EBC gathers further employee feedback and conducts further evaluation.

As stated in our previous blog article about this matter, our union’s representatives on the EBC had been led to believe that the OHSU president would break any tie and the surcharge would proceed regardless of how our union voted, and that it was better to vote yes and be an active participant in planning the program than vote no and refuse to participate.

Upon further discussion in recent days, we learned that OHSU did not have the intention to have the president break the tie; our understanding of other aspects of the wellness requirement/surcharge also changed. Because of this, our EBC representatives’ rationale to vote yes also changed. Our union appreciates OHSU’s willingness to revisit this decision, and we are grateful that the entire EBC supported suspending the wellness surcharge indefinitely.

Our union does support employee wellness initiatives and we do want to find ways to save our members’ money on their health-insurance premiums through improved health outcomes. However, it’s clear that we need to gather more feedback from our members before our EBC representatives make decisions about wellness initiatives. 

In the days ahead, our union’s representatives on the EBC will also be changing. Please stay tuned for additional information.

Executive-Board Candidate Statements

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It’s almost time to vote to ratify our new contract! The ratification vote will take place online from 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 1, through 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 8. However, your contract-ratification vote isn’t the only important vote our union is asking you to make during the voting period. We will also be electing the 2019-2021 Local 328 executive board during this time.

We have a record number of candidates running, resulting in a number of contested seats. The board members will manage our union’s operations for the next two years — your vote in this election is important! We will also be selecting delegates for the fall Oregon AFL-CIO convention in this election. All three of these votes can be cast at the same time.

Submitted candidate statements (unedited) are posted below, listed by office in the order received. (Additional candidates are running–the full list can be found in the comments below.) Please review the statements prior to casting your vote.


Candidates for 2019-2021 Local 328 Executive Board

*Secretary*

Jennifer Barker

I’m running for re-election as our union’s recording secretary. One of the key duties of this position is taking minutes for the executive-board/-committee meetings. When I first ran for this office four years ago, I mentioned in my candidate statement that love taking minutes—I still do!

More importantly, I understand the importance of working as a team to make decisions, of communicating clear information to our represented employees, and of being a conscientious steward of our members’ dues money. I look forward to continuing to serve our union in this way.

During bargaining this year, our membership was the most active I’ve seen in more than 20 years at OHSU, and it shows in the good contract we were able to negotiate. I’m excited to work with a new, energized executive board in 2019-2021 to keep our members engaged with our union in order to build strength for our next contract campaign.

*Treasurer*

Claire Irvan

I’ve worked at OHSU for 18 years. My first ten years at OHSU were spent working in the outpatient clinics, starting on the hill and then at CHH when it first opened. I joined the Centralized Managed Care Department in 2012 where I am currently the Financial Coordinator for Pediatric and Adult Bone Marrow Transplant.

To offer you a sense of who I am I have served as unit steward, lead steward, been on the market based wage committee and was part of the 2019 contract bargaining team. I’m a numbers person and a long-range planner. I brought myself out of debt working a 32 hour week while raising two small children and my personal household budget is currently built out to April 2020. I am co-developing a wealth building principles training, the premise of which is to help others get out of debt while creating wealth for self and family.

I enjoy spending time with my young adult sons going to the movies and challenging each other playing board games. My personal hobbies include hiking and reading – I’m a huge literacy advocate. I travel when I can and serve on a variety of committees including PBOT’s Fixing Our Street Oversight Committee which oversees the spending of millions of tax dollars being used to fix streets, sidewalks and intersections throughout the city.

It would be an honor to serve as treasurer for our Union –       AFSCME Local 328. Vote Claire Irvan for treasurer.

*Chief Steward*

Haley Wolford

I have been serving as Chief Steward of our local since January of this year. My goal continues to be providing the best possible support and representation for AFSCME members. The new contract has broadened the range of concerns that can be reported directly to our union for investigation—I am excited to have been a part of the bargaining team that made this possible and I feel confident that my experience will benefit members seeking help. I am also proud to represent my coworkers at the West Campus within union leadership. It has been a successful year, a wild ride to be sure, and I am energized by the involvement of all of you! Please help me to continue the work I am doing with the Steward Program by voting for me as Chief.

Endorsed by Matt Hilton, Jennifer Barker, and Casey Parr.

*Education and Training Chair*

Theresia Lloyd-Siemer

I am asking for your vote for the Education &Training Chair

I have been at OHSU since Nov 1998. I work nights as a HUC in the NICU, where I have been for almost 21 yrs. As soon as I could I got active as a steward, on the Executive Board.

The positions that I have held at the local level:

• Trustee for Council 75
• Diversity Chair
• Community Liaison
• Steward & Unit steward
• Delegate to SWW Central Labor Council
• Delegate to NOLC
• Currently the Education & Training Chair

Positions I hold at Council 75 Level:

• I’m currently the Chair of Council 75’s Women’s Committee
• I’m currently a Trustee for Council 75

I’m running for the Education & Training Chair.

I’m the current Education & Training chair and have been for 2 terms. I love helping our members to learn more about the Labor movement, by sending them to classes that will help them understand more about why unions are important now and into the future. I also love doing the Labor Day Picnic. And have been for the last 8 years. It is just one of the many things that our union does for our member.

Thank you for your support and considering me once again for this position.

Molly Clasen

Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I am running for the education and training chair on the AFSCME e-board because I want my fellow AFSCME members to have access to affordable education so we can change our OHSU community for the better.

As a unit steward and the CWE Center’s program and outreach coordinator, I have seen firsthand how education can help our membership develop valuable skills, accomplish their dreams and serve others less fortunate. I am committed to fostering a culture of growth and learning for our diverse, talented membership. My goals include:

Sharing information about training and education opportunities
Publicizing scholarships
Creating an education-specific e-newsletter
Listening to your feedback and serving your learning goals
goals

Thank you for considering me for this position. I am excited to hear your educational goals and help make them into realities.

Endorsed by Jennifer Barker, Haley Wolford, and Matt Hilton.

*Internal Communications Chair*

Angela Javens

Hello,

I am a Certified Medical Assistant here in Vascular Surgery. I have been an employee here at OHSU for 3 years.

I am running for Internal Communications for AFSCME Local 328. I joined AFSCME upon being hired and have continued to become more and more involved in the past 2 years. I was able to attend both the Women’s Conference in March of 2018 and just returned from AFL-CIO union Summer School at the beginning of August where I attended a class on how to Organize Our Internal Members. How to get people excited on what is going on within our union and how to get people more involved.

I believe communication is the upmost importance not just within an organization, but for all in our community. The more we know the more empowered we are. I would like to help build a broader communication system with details of not only the generic information regarding our union, but hopefully bring out more detailed information regarding the current grievances we have filed and where they stand at the time being. I am hoping this will help empower those who are fearful of the process or of management retaliating. I have been that person and have finally found my voice to take on the upper ups.

I am proud to be an AFSCME member and proud to strengthen our union with information.

I look forward to serving all of you.

Ange

Jesse Miller

My name is Jesse Miller and I’m running for Internal Communications Chair so that I can continue the work I’ve been doing since I began running the majority of Local 328’s social media in January. During that time, we’ve seen a more than 10% growth in our followers and I was instrumental in catching members of OHSU management using made up identities to spread misinformation and undermine our union in the midst of an already stressful contract negotiation.

Coverage of this story can be found in Willamette Week, Portland Business Journal, and NW Labor Press.

I look forward to continuing to bring truth to light, educating and engaging our members, and helping to foster a platform where we can support each other and connect with the larger labor community.

I carry the endorsement of Matt Hilton and Jennifer Barker. I work as a Patient Access Specialist for Outpatient Rehabilitation, I’m a current member of the Executive Board for Local 328 and Council 75, and serve as a lead, investigatory, and unit steward. I appreciate your consideration.

*Building Manager*

Mark Chapman

I nominated myself for the position of Local 328 Building Manager for the following reasons:

1) OHSU has been my employer for 25 years. 
2) I have 11 years experience as a Research and Academic Zone Building Technician
3) I find the opportunity to serve the organisation and membership of AFSCME alluring 

If you find my reasons for self nomination compelling, please vote for me.

*At-Large Member*

Brandy Goldsbury

I’m a medical assistant 2(CMA/ AAMA) in Pediatric Surgery in the surgical specialties dept. I have worked at OHSU for the last 6.5years. I am running for a member at large position because I want to share information with my union brothers and sisters I find so many members do not know what is going on between OHSU and AFSCME. I believe knowledge will make our members stronger, I feel it is time for me to take a hand on approach, be actively part of what is going on and share information I acquire with other 328 members.

Shane Brown

If i’m elected as a board member of our local 328 I intend to fight for the needs of our union member. We need to be treated fairly and equitably by OHSU and I will do everything within my power to insure that happens. With the new Employee advisory council we will have a strong position to hold Danny Jacobs and the rest of executive management accountable for our issues and concerns. My other main focus will be staffing and using the new twice yearly meeting with OHSU we can work toward making sure we work with appropriate staffing levels in every area our work. With this new contract we will have some great opportunities to make all of our working lives better and I would love to be a part of this bright future for all of us in OUR union AFSCME Local 328!

Roger Clark

I am running for an At Large Executive Board position. I have spent the last several months serving on the bargaining team for AFSCME. This has been a huge commitment, but a very satisfying one. After the 2015 contract I attempted to become a unit steward, but our work group already had one, so I continued to be active in our group in understanding and educating others on Union issues. After serving on the bargaining team I can no longer sit on the sidelines. I was told at the beginning of bargaining that union activism would hook me and pull me into future activities. I am so glad that it has. I have been able to participate in many fulfilling activities such as Lobby Day in Salem, multiple member outreach events, and of course, solidarity events including the Rally and Informational Picket. I would like to continue my activism by serving Our Union on the Executive Board. I want to continue to speak up for our diverse membership, and I want to continue to grow our amazing steward program (I will become one thanks to new contract language). After such great success with our hard work on the bargaining team, I’m encouraged to bring that hard work and dedication to the Executive Board. Please vote for me, you won’t be disappointed!

I am endorsed by the following members: Matt Hilton, Michael Stewart, Jennifer Barker, Casey Parr, Karyn Trivette, Kasey    Zimmer-Stucky, Jim Cherveny, Cassie Barton

Casey Parr

I have been a respiratory therapist for 11 years, the last 9 of which have been here at OHSU.  I recently had the opportunity to proudly serve on the 2019 AFSCME Local 328 bargaining team.  While I’m pleased with the contract we negotiated, the scandals that tainted the bargaining process are evidence of how much work still needs to be done.  In the last several years, I’ve seen OHSU shift its focus from serving the community, to serving its executives.  I’m running for an at-large position on the AFSCME executive board so that I can continue to serve OHSU employees, and by extension, the community for which they serve.

Endorsed by Matt Hilton, Michael Stewart, Jennifer Barker, Kasey Zimmer-Stucky, Roger Clark, Karyn Trivette, Jesse Miller, Jim Cherveny, Claire Irvan, Haley Wolford, Mike Bandy, and Cassie Barton.

Karri Garaventa

Hi, I’m a Hematology/Oncology admin coordinator and Local 328 board member since February 2019. I found that serving as an at-large board member was a positive and empowering addition to my role as a unit steward. Given the opportunity, I would like to continue in this role to help represent my colleagues in Hematology/Oncology, the South Waterfront, and administrative roles as a whole. This has been a very busy year of bargaining and other very impactful activity between OHSU and AFSCME Local 328 – I myself became more active than ever before, and recognize that the work continues. I’ll appreciate your vote to remain on the board as one more voice to work to keep our membership strong.

Kasey Zimmer-Stucky

I am a Sonographer at OHSU and have been an active AFSCME member since 2016, as a Unit Steward and most recently, a member of the 2019 AFSCME bargaining team. My involvement in AFSCME stems from my desire to ensure that all employees at OHSU are treated with respect, and as equals, regardless of their job description or education. Over the last year, I believe that AFSCME members have felt more like a community than ever before because they felt like their opinion mattered. It’s that sense of community that got us a great contract that was long overdue and much deserved. Being elected to the Executive Board would allow me continue to ensure that all members are treated fairly and are given a chance to be included in the conversations that effect us all. Thanks for your support!

Endorsed by:

• Johanna Meier-Ultrasound Technologist
• Casey Parr- Respiratory Therapist
• Roger Clark-Pharmacist
• Cassie Barton-Pharmacist
• Karyn Trivette-Physical Therapist

 

Cassie Barton

I would like to serve on the Executive Board because I believe I can make a difference for our members. I first got involved with our Union because my workgroup had no steward, and we needed management to hear our voices. During my four years as unit steward I have seen just how impactful our actions can be. Working with my colleagues and Union staff, we have been able to address serious departmental issues with consensus agreements for fair vacation scheduling and letters of agreement for fair payment of work for salaried employees.

The recent contract negotiations have reminded me of why I began my work as a steward. We need our voices to be heard, and if we want change we must all step up and make it. We demanded a fair contract, and with hard work and organization, we now have one. Specifically for my department, and all salaried employees, we have won back basic protections including quartile pay progression and the guarantee of meal/rest breaks.

I want to continue to fight for what is fair and what is right, not just for my department, but for our Union as a whole. I am known for my hard work, effectiveness, compassion, and willingness to speak up when something is wrong, even if my stance is unpopular at the time. I believe I am an ideal candidate for this position and promise to fight to affect meaningful change for the good of all AFSCME employees.

I am endorsed by: Roger Clark, Casey Parr, Karyn Trivette, Kasey Zimmer-Stucky, Jim Cherveny

Jamie Roberts

I have been board member 12 at large since October of 2017 and I am looking to start unit steward training in the near future. I have enjoyed being a part of the executive board and have learned a lot about how our local helps our members and the importance of having a union. I have continued to volunteer anywhere I am able and attend as many trainings as I am available for so that I learn as much as I can to help our members stay active. I would like to continue to grow in my role on the executive board and ask for your vote to help me do so.

Roxana Logsdon

I am currently on the Executive Board, at large position 4, and I am running for re-election. I have been at OHSU for almost 11 years now and have been active in the Union for 3 years. I am continually learning more about our strong union leadership and would like to continue to do so. I am asking for your vote to help me continue to learn and help our union stay strong.

Thank you for your consideration,

Roxana Logsdon

Executive Board Member, At-Large Position 4

Eli Shannon

In the two years that I have been at OHSU, I have tried to be involved with AFSCME as much as I can. As a Unit Steward The bargaining experience has been very educational for me. I believe that a strong Local 328 means a strong labor movement throughout Portland, and beyond. I have previous Board experience from working at Alberta Cooperative Grocery in my role as Board Link. I helped plan Co-op Board Meetings, Board Retreats, and Strategic Planning sessions, as well as prepared staff reports to the Board. I have extensive experience in meeting facilitation and consensus decision making. I look forward to growing my footprint within Local 328 and thank you for the nomination. Solidarity!

Candidates for 2019 Oregon AFL-CIO Convention Delegate

Theresia Lloyd-Siemer

I am asking for your vote to be one of the Delegates to the Oregon ALF-CIO Convention in Sept 2019

I have been at OHSU since Nov 1998. I work nights as a HUC in the NICU, where I have been for almost 21 yrs. As soon as I could I got active as a steward, on the Executive Board.

The positions that I have held at the local level:

• Trustee for Council 75
• Diversity Chair
• Community Liaison
• Steward & Unit steward
• Delegate to SWW Central Labor Council
• Delegate to NOLC
• Currently the Education & Training Chair

Positions I hold at Council 75 Level:

• I’m currently the Chair of Council 75’s Women’s Committee
• I’m currently a Trustee for Council 75

I’m running for the Education & Training Chair.

I have been to 4 of the Oregon AFL-CIO conventions in 20 yrs. that I have been an active member of our local union. I love inter acting with and making to connections with likeminded members of other unions. As union members we need to stick together.

Thank you for your considering me as a delegate to the 2019 Oregon AFL-CIO Convention.

Jamie Roberts

I have wholeheartedly enjoyed my time being a part of this union since I joined the executive board in October of 2017. I learned so much at last year’s convention that I would love to be a part of this year’s as these conventions are such a vital part of union activism. I have functioned as a unit steward in my work unit, I attended the rally and picket for a fair contract, I have seen what a force of energized members can do and I will work to help our members stay active. I feel that since local 328 is one of the biggest locals in the state, that it is important to have a mixture of very experienced activists and those of us that are still learning. Please vote for me!

Michael Stewart

I running to represent our local at the AFL-CIO convention. I view the convention as an opportunity to share with other locals and unions how we were able to energize our members to an unprecedented level of activism which was vital to our ability to get the best contract in recent memory. This new model of member run contract bargaining I believe is important to keeping membership high in the age of Janus. I humbly ask for your vote. Thank you.

In Solidarity

Michael Stewart

EBC and the Wellness Requirement

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Note: This EBC decision has been rescinded, so comments are now closed on this post. Please see the update for additional information and commentary.


Several days ago, OHSU announced that it is resuming a wellness requirement, with a surcharge for non-compliance. This has understandably has upset a lot of our members and other OHSU employees. While the information we’re sharing here won’t change any minds about the wellness requirement itself, we hope that it does illuminate the process behind the decision and ease folks’ minds about our union’s role in the EBC. (We apologize that it has taken us a few days to get this information out to you.)

What is the Employee Benefits Council?

The EBC is a body that provides employee input on OHSU’s benefits decisions. It is made up of representatives from AFSCME and ONA, as well as unclassified employees (management and faculty). OHSU has three votes, AFSCME has two and ONA has one. The EBC is responsible for making decisions about OHSU’s medical-plan design and benefits, including health-promotion and disease-management programs. In the event of a tie vote within the EBC, OHSU’s president (or designee) serves as tie-breaker. 

Why aren’t these decisions made during bargaining?

While our union successfully negotiated a contract that preserved existing benefits contributions, expanded our bereavement-leave options and prevented a spousal surcharge, certain decisions fall within the scope of the EBC and aren’t part of contract negotiations. The EBC determines things like what types of medical plans OHSU offers, what vendor is used to administer claims (e.g., Moda) and what wellness programs are offered (and what sort of incentives or penalties might be applied). Previous iterations of the EBC have approved wellness requirements such as getting a flu shot or taking an online health assessment. 

What are the disadvantages to the current structure of the EBC?

When the EBC was discussing the wellness requirement and surcharge, many of its members expressed a desire to see more of a “carrot” and less of a “stick” approach to employee wellness. Although the EBC was designed to work by consensus, one of the disadvantages its current structure is that OHSU can ultimately force through a change or new requirement if consensus can’t be reached. Since OHSU has three votes by itself and the two unions have three votes total, a tie can result. If the unions vote against something OHSU wants, OHSU can take the issue to its president to break the tie and side with the employer. We wrote about the problems with this model about a year ago (see here).

Why couldn’t AFSCME have prevented the surcharge?

Some of you may recall that in 2018, AFSCME won an arbitration against OHSU about the EBC trying to force a spousal surcharge. (OHSU tried this again during bargaining this year and was again defeated). The arbitrator determined that a surcharge like the spousal surcharge cannot be implemented by the EBC. However, the arbitrator specifically called out OHSU’s previous wellness surcharges and its existing tobacco surcharge as examples of surcharges that are justifiable under our agreement. This means that OHSU has the authority, through the EBC, to impose a surcharge associated with non-compliance with a wellness program.

Why did AFSCME’s EBC representatives vote for the wellness requirement?

To summarize the situation: OHSU decided that resuming a wellness requirement with a non-compliance penalty was a priority and proposed it to the EBC. (The amount of the surcharge is the same as in previous years.) A recent arbitration decision highlighted that a wellness surcharge was within the purview of the EBC. OHSU has half the votes in the EBC, and the ability to break a tie should the need arise. Simply stated, there unfortunately wasn’t a scenario in which the wellness requirement and surcharge weren’t going to happen.

We realize that many of our members don’t understand why our union’s EBC representatives didn’t vote no on this on principle. By voting no, we would have given up any role in the process and any chance to make the requirements less onerous for our bargaining unit. After weighing it over, we felt that AFSCME could better serve our members by being an active participant and working to mitigate things to the best of our ability.

What does this mean, practically speaking? We were instrumental in getting OHSU to offer the screenings more frequently and in more locations, to make the process less inconvenient. The health evaluation is now narrower in scope from OHSU’s initial plan. Employees who are penalized will be able to appeal that decision before an appeals committee and our union will have representation on that committee. Other ways the requirement has been made less burdensome include offering resources to employees who speak English as a second language, offering the screenings during a variety of shifts and including the option to be screened by one’s own medical provider. We are also firmly committed to get an extension of the deadline for compliance with the requirements. 

What can we do to change things?

In the short term? The EBC can always amend its decisions. Keep the feedback coming! The EBC works on plan design every year, so things could change in 2020.

In the long-term? While we can’t do anything in bargaining to eliminate wellness requirements, we absolutely can fight to change the structure of the EBC to hopefully prevent this kind of thing from being implemented in the future.

Some of you may recall that during the negotiations that just ended, our union introduced a proposal that would have prevented OHSU from using Dr. Jacobs to break a tie to get its way — instead, the EBC would have been required to work through any ties until consensus is reached. (You can read more about our proposal here.) Not only did OHSU refuse to consider our proposal, it made a counterproposal to turn the EBC into an advisory body only, meaning our members would have effectively had no voice in the process at all — instead, OHSU proposed that the vice president of HR (yes — Dan Forbes!) be the ultimate decision-maker about your benefits. While OHSU dropped that proposal, management made it abundantly clear that we wouldn’t reach an agreement that included our proposed change to the EBC. Our bargaining team didn’t feel that this was strike-worthy as a stand-alone issue, so we withdrew our proposal. Our union will absolutely reintroduce this proposal during negotiations in 2022.

Contract-Ratification Vote Scheduled

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The ratification vote for the OHSU/AFSCME 2019-2022 contract has been scheduled for Sunday, September 1, through Sunday, September 8. More details coming soon!

In the meantime, mark your calendars for a ratification-FAQ town hall on Wednesday, August 28, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. in UHS 8B60. We’ll use this time to answer questions about changes to the contract and about the ratification process.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments — we’ll answer them here, but will also compile them and share the answers at the town hall. Please also let us know what type of information you’d like to have about the tentative agreement.  We’ll be preparing some comparison tables and will share the draft new/changed contract language, but we want to be sure we’re communicating the information our members want to know, in a format that will most helpful to folks.

Tentative Agreement Reached!

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We did it! After 21.5 hours in mediation, following more than five difficult months of bargaining, AFSCME Local 328 and OHSU have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. Thanks to the support of our members, our bargaining team was able to negotiate a fair contract with a lot of beneficial new language, while fighting off health-insurance take-backs, PTO and union-busting tiered contract language. Highlights include:

  • Length of contract: three years
  • Across-the-board wage increases: 3.25%, 3.0%, 3.0% (first increase is not retro to July); lump-sum payment of $1,000/employee, prorated by FTE
  • PTO: no
  • Tiered-contract language: no
  • Vacation accruals: one additional day for all employees hired after September 11, 1998
  • Transit passes: TriMet pass for $50/year for duration of contract
  • Hardship fund: $100,000/year for duration of contract, to provide relief for food, transportation or housing insecurity
  • Health insurance: no take-backs; lower-cost PPO option with a monthly subsidy
  • Vacation cash-out: no change to cash-out amount (up to 250 hours) upon termination; voluntary cash-out up to 80 hours/year
  • Differentials:
    • Weekend: $0.50/hour
    • Preceptor pay: $1.00/hour, for selected clinical positions
  • Appendix A (salaried employees):
    • Same progression increases as hourly employees (1.5% – 4.0%)
    • Meal and rest breaks
    • Modified-operations protections
  • Paid parental leave: no, unfortunately; we will, however, participate in a joint task force to explore a paid family leave program
  • Co-branding: acknowledgement of Local 328’s role in the Career and Workplace Enhancement Center and in new jointly developed initiatives and projects with OHSU
  • Employee advisory council: similar concept to our union-proposed community advisory board, bringing employee representatives together to bring issues and concerns to OHSU’s president
  • Staffing issues: twice-yearly meetings between Local 328 and OHSU administration to discuss staffing concerns
  • Steward program: strengthened language, including improved release time, increased steward hours and additional stewards to cover evening and night shifts
  • Bereavement leave: expanded definition of “immediate family;” broader leave eligibility, at manager discretion
  • Mental-health support/peer-to-peer group counseling: program to train members to provide critical-incident debriefings; hiring of internal counselor to provide on-site group counseling/support
  • Code of Conduct complaints: mechanism for employees to report bullying, intimidation and harassment (not related to protected classes) directly to our union
  • Preferential hire list: language improvements, including changing the amount of time an employee has on the PHL after extended medical leave

We will NOT be holding our strike-FAQ town hall on Wednesday, August 14. We will be sending out more detailed communications in the coming days, and will schedule a new town hall to go over the tentative agreement and discuss the process to ratify a new contract. In light of today’s agreement, the strike-authorization vote for August 19 – 29 is canceled. We will instead hold a ratification vote in early September.

Thank you again for your support. This contract campaign has shown us — when we fight, we win. Solidarity forever!

Thank You for a Great Picket!

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Approximately 1,400 people turned out on August 8 to support our union on the picket line. Please check out the event photo album and other picket posts on our Facebook page.

While the crowd consisted primarily of AFSCME Local 328 members, we were joined by supporters such as Jobs with Justice, teachers, postal workers, several AFSCME Council 75 locals (including OHSU Graduate Researchers United), the Oregon AFL-CIO, SEIU Local 49 and Operating Engineers. We were also quite pleased to see many coworkers represented by the Oregon Nurses Association marching alongside us. In addition, many employees brought members of their family, community or social circle.

Prior to the march, we heard from AFSCME International president Lee Saunders, who flew in from Washington, DC, specifically to support our picket, Oregon House of Representatives Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, Oregon AFSCME executive director Stacy Chamberlain and others. 

Rep. Williamson also mentioned to our union leadership that she had called Connie Seeley — OHSU executive vice president, chief administrative officer and chief of staff — and made it abundantly clear how serious the Dan Forbes resignation and the lack of a contract settlement with our union are.

We’d like to express special thanks to OHSU’s department of public safety, which was extremely helpful with crowd control and pausing traffic as needed, ensuring our picket was safe for participants and for OHSU patients and visitors. 

Finally, we would like to thank all of our members who attended the picket — we couldn’t do any of this without you. We’re not just stronger together — we’re unstoppable.

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