2019-2022 Contract Draft PDF Now Available!

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We’re pleased to let you know that a draft PDF version of our union’s new 2019-2022 contract with OHSU is available here.

The language in this PDF is final and accurate, but there are still some formatting tweaks that need to be made before the final version is posted. We’ll update the link as soon as the final PDF is ready, and will have hard copies printed after that.

Note: This version doesn’t include the letter of agreement that addresses the dispute re: salaried employees and the weekend differential (see here for additional information).

Conflict Coaching Certificate Program Now Accepting Applications

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Applications for the next cohort of the Conflict Coaching Certificate Program, offered by the OHSU/AFSCME Career and Workplace Enhancement Center are due on Friday, November 15. This is a unique training opportunity that only occurs every two to three years, and half the seats in this cohort are reserved for AFSCME members.

Are you a good listener? Are you comfortable handling conflict? Are you motivated to serve the OHSU community? The CWE Center Conflict Coaching Certificate Program identifies strong interpersonal communicators at OHSU and trains them to provide conflict coaching in order to help colleagues manage early stages of workplace conflict.

• Be an OHSU employee in good standing
• Attend all required training sessions
• Commit to four hours of coaching per month after certification
• Demonstrate an aptitude for coaching during the application process
• Provide a letter of support from  your manager

Applicants must be available for trainings from 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays from January 16 through February 27. The program may also require additional time commitments.

For additional information, visit  the program page on O2.  To apply for the program, submit the online application by Friday, November 15.

Take Our Post-Bargaining Survey!

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We’d like to thank the hundreds of employees who came out for our contract-ratification celebration. We have a lot to celebrate! Not only did our members take a firm stand to help our bargaining team protect health-insurance benefits and prevent an unpopular PTO system, but we also added new differentials, improved wages and created a variety of programs to help members in need.

It’s been about two months since our bargaining team reached an agreement with OHSU.  little over a month ago, a record-breaking number of members participated in the ratification vote and Local 328 executive-board election. Now that bargaining is over and the election of new union leadership is behind us, has the window for members to give our union direction and feedback ended? Far from it! As a member-driven organization, Local 328 thrives when our represented employees’ voices are heard. There are a number of ways you can communicate with our union:

    • Read and comment on our Facebook page and blog posts. Interacting with our members via our blog was invaluable during bargaining, and we want our members to continue to reach out in this way.
    • Touch base with your unit steward — or become one. Ideally, you have a unit steward in your department who shares information about current union news and asks for your feedback. If not, you should consider becoming the unit steward for your work area — for more information, email Jordan Muehe at trustee3@local328.
    • Attend a quarterly membership meeting. Our union will be transitioning from the monthly town halls of bargaining to quarterly membership meetings in the weeks ahead. Our members are encouraged to attend and bring questions or topics to discuss. In addition to discussing union news and business, we anticipate bringing in guest speakers — community leaders, elected officials, labor activists from other unions and more. These meetings will be live-streamed just as the bargaining town halls were. Stay tuned for details.
    • Take our post-bargaining survey! Something that was crucial to our union’s success at the bargaining table was feedback from the many members who helped inform our strategy by taking part in our surveys before and during contract negotiations. We’ve just launched a new post-bargaining survey for our members — check your email for the survey link. Please take the survey and let us know how you feel about a variety of bargaining- and work-related subjects. How satisfied are you with Local 328’s 2019 bargaining campaign? What are your thoughts about the social-media trolling incident involving members of OHSU’s bargaining team? Do you believe there’s an anti-union bias in certain OHSU work areas? The survey opens at 7:45 a.m. on Friday, October 18. We greatly value your feedback.

As our union moves forward with an engaged membership and a passionate new executive board, we are committed to making OHSU better for you, your peers, our families and our community. We are stronger together.

Where’s the Contract?

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As you are probably aware, AFSCME Local and OHSU reached a tentative agreement on a new contract in mid-August, after a marathon bargaining session of almost 22 hours. To prepare for the ensuing ratification vote, we provided our members with an annotated, red-line version of the contract showing the changes, new letters of agreement and highlights of the new contract. On Monday, September 9, after a week of voting, our 2015 – 2019 contract was ratified with almost 99% of the vote.

So, where can our represented employees find a PDF of the final contract? How do union activists request a printed copy? Well, we still don’t have them.

What’s going on? With every new contract there are a number of “housekeeping” items that the parties work on, such as removing typos, making sure all the new language is included in the PDF, renumbering the contract articles, etc.

However, there remains a sticking point that our union and OHSU haven’t agreed to. OHSU has taken a position that salaried employees aren’t eligible for the new weekend differential. Local 328 has been clear that we did not agree to this exclusion at the bargaining table. The weekend differential is one of the last items we reached agreement on; as part of the discussion, both our union and OHSU presented estimates of how much the new differential would cost over the length of the contract. OHSU’s cost estimate was significantly higher than Local 328’s estimate, so we asked their team to explain how they arrived at their number; during management’s explanation, they did not specify that salaried employees would not receive the differential. In fact, OHSU’s team didn’t seek to clarify their position on this matter at any point in the discussion around the weekend differential.

OHSU’s bargaining counsel followed up with Local 328 yesterday, letting us know that management retains their position that salaried employees are excluded from the weekend differential. Unfortunately, since we have a significant disagreement, this matter will likely end up in arbitration. Two things will happen in the meantime: (1) We may meet with OHSU to discuss the matter. Our union is amenable to this, but want to make it clear to our membership that we will not agree now to something that we didn’t agree to at the bargaining table, and (2) We are proceeding with printing the final contract and preparing the PDF so there is no further delay in making the document available to our membership.

We’re sorry that we’ve reached a snag in what’s usually a routine post-ratification process. Should our arguments prevail with the arbitrator (or, hopefully, with OHSU prior to that), a letter of agreement will be prepared stating that the weekend differential does apply to our salaried employees. We’ll keep you informed when we have updates on this process.

ULP Mediation Today, No Settlement Reached

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On Tuesday, October 1, attorneys and representatives from AFSCME Local 328, Graduate Researchers United, and OHSU met with a state mediator to attempt to mediate a settlement for our respective unfair labor practice complaints. After some back and forth exchange of proposed remedies via the mediator earlier in the day, Local 328 and GRU presented settlement proposals (see below) directly to OHSU in the mid-afternoon. Unfortunately, OHSU declined to agree to these terms for a settlement and did not present a counter-offer, ending the mediation session at 3:30 p.m. The ULP complaints will now proceed to a hearing with the Employment Relations Board. We will share updates on this process as they become available.

Local 328 Settlement Proposal:

1. Make a public statement as follows:

“OHSU admits that two members of its bargaining team (the VP of Human Resources and a financial consultant) engaged in social-media trolling and unlawful anti-union behavior that impeded the bargaining process and interfered with the rights of AFSCME Local 328’s bargaining-unit employees to engage in protected union activity. OHSU further acknowledges that these behaviors occurred because of a systemic anti-union bias in Human Resources and elsewhere in management. OHSU pledges to work with AFSCME in good faith to address these issues and to adhere to all recommendations arising from an independent investigation agreed upon in mediation with AFSCME Local 328 on October 1.”

This statement will be emailed to every OHSU employee, posted on OHSU Now with comments turned on, and shared to OHSU’s Facebook page.

The verbiage of OHSU’s initial proposed apology/acknowledgement doesn’t differ significantly from the OHSU Now statements previously made by Dr. Jacobs, and thus is wholly inadequate as a remedy. We’re asking for this statement not to embarrass OHSU, but in the hopes that OHSU leadership will sincerely acknowledge that there has been systemic anti-union bias at OHSU and indicate a willingness to change this. If OHSU means it when they say they want to restore trust and rebuild a partnership with Local 328, this is the first step in doing so.

2. Engage Kathryn Dammell to conduct an independent investigation of the conduct of the OHSU bargaining team, Human Resources, and unlawful anti-union behavior at OHSU.

We already know what behavior the two specific members of the OHSU bargaining team engaged in to prompt our ULP complaint, and aren’t interested in a remedy that limits an investigation to just those parties. We feel there is a systemic anti-union bias at OHSU that needs to be investigated. Departments in which there have been issues include but are not limited to: Patient Transportation, Food & Nutrition, Respiratory Therapy, Physical Therapy, Child Life Therapy, Center for Women’s Health, School of Dentistry, and Occupational Health.

3. Pay $25,000 to Local 328 to reimburse our treasury for expenses incurred due to OHSU’s bad-faith bargaining.

We appreciate the offer to augment the hardship fund, but the expenses in question were incurred by our union, not by our membership. Our union’s treasury needs to be compensated for these expenses.

4. Sever the GRU ULP complaint from the Local 328 ULP complaint.

We are two separate bargaining units with different needs, and we don’t want a settlement with Local 328 to have a negative impact on GRU.

Any communication regarding any settlement made on October 1 will occur concurrently; i.e., OHSU will wait to make an announcement until Local 328 is also able to (per the requirement that we give HR a copy of our email communications 48 hours in advance of sending).

GRU Settlement Proposal:

OHSU acknowledges that during bargaining with Graduate Researchers United (GRU), the management bargaining team failed to bargain in good faith as required by law. OHSU apologizes for:

  1. Repeatedly cancelling bargaining;

  2. Adding temporary bargaining members even though this is expressly forbidden by the ground rules agreed to by both parties;

  3. Delaying the bargaining process by refusing to counter GRU proposals in a timely fashion;

  4. Countering GRU proposals with unmodified 328 language;

  5. Backtracking without explanation on mutually-written language during IBB;

  6. Consistently and incorrectly claiming that graduate researchers are not employees;

  7. Repeatedly, flagrantly, and incorrectly claiming that the work graduate employees do for their dissertations does not constitute employment;

  8. Falsely claiming that national law and policy, including that of the NIH and IRS, prohibits recognition of graduate researchers as employees;

  9. Forming a team and allowing a culture to exist in which underhanded tactics thrived, as evidenced by Dan Forbes’s presence on the team;

  10. Forming a team which is incapable of agreeing to articles at the table;

  11. Disseminating false information about the bargaining team to their membership;

  12. Disseminating a misleading FAQ to GRU members about the benefits of union membership and the process of bargaining;

  13. Implying that the bargaining team does not represent their membership;

  14. Promoting a misleading interpretation of the bargaining framework agreement.

In addition, OHSU affirms their commitment to making the following changes to the bargaining process moving forward:

  1. OHSU will counter all outstanding proposals within 3 weeks;

  2. OHSU will respond to new GRU counters within 2 weeks of receiving them;

  3. OHSU will ensure that the bargaining team is capable of deciding on articles at the table;

  4. OHSU recognizes that all research, training and work performed by graduate researchers is compensable work;

  5. OHSU will meet with GRU to bargain every week.

Convention Delegates Celebrate Labor Resurgence

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Starting the evening of Thursday, September 19, more than 350 elected delegates swarmed Seaside for the 56th convention of the Oregon AFL-CIO. In addition to typical convention business — resolutions, speeches and panels — a few significant things stood out:

Delegates saw a passing of the torch after 14 years from from outgoing president Tom Chamberlain and secretary-treasurer Barbara Byrd to new leadership: Graham Trainor (former Oregon AFL-CIO chief of staff), who was elected president, and AFSCME Council 75’s own Christy O’Neill (Local 2619 Southern Oregon Head Start), who was elected as secretary-treasurer. In the time that Tom and Barbara have served the Oregon AFL-CIO, we’ve witnessed the labor movement in Oregon become one of the most effective in the country. Things like Oregon’s paid sick-time law, paid family medical leave, card-check organizing for public workers, defeating a variety of anti-worker ballot measures, fighting for good contracts and rallying affiliates for support are just a part of their legacy. Today more than 15% of Oregon workers are represented by unions; the AFL-CIO specifically covers more than 300,000 Oregon workers. Graham and Christy have some big shoes to fill, but it’s a new day and we are excited to see where the resurgence of worker power takes us.

As you may be aware, UFCW Local 555 recently called for a boycott of Fred Meyer stores until Kroger agreed to a fair contract and a pay scale that pays women fairly. Hundreds of convention delegates demonstrated at an action at the Warrenton Fred Meyer store. As a good contingent of delegates dressed as Rosie the Riveter took part in an action inside the store, remaining delegates held pickets signs and chanted as they marched up and down the sidewalk outside. The store’s response was to promptly call the police, so the Rosies left and joined the picketers outside. After clearly sending a message that sexist pay scales and poverty wages won’t be tolerated, delegates loaded back onto a bus. We’re very happy to report that UFCW reached a tentative agreement on September 28.

The next stop was a rally for ONA nurses at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria. As we unloaded from the bus, we were joined by U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, who had addressed convention delegates earlier. Instead of picketing the hospital, hundreds of convention delegates, ONA members and supporters took to Main Street to march, chant and spread awareness of the unfair contract that was being pushed by the employer. Having recently wrapped up our contract negotiations, Local 328 members can probably relate to horror stories about staffing problems, short scheduling, unfair expectations and pay and hefty bonuses for the heads of the hospital. It was a great moment for the Local 328 delegation to stand with these nurses, and we look forward to supporting ONA at OHSU when they go into bargaining as well. The community in Astoria was incredibly supportive — onlookers cheered, honked, took photos and gave thumbs-up signs as we passed. 

Finally, while the resolutions themselves weren’t the highlight of the convention, we are quite pleased to report that our union’s resolution (see here) thanking the community for their support during bargaining and pledging to continue to fight for our AFSCME family in Graduate Researchers United passed unanimously. President Trainor smiled as he told members of the Local 328 delegation that he looked forward to sending a signed copy of the resolution to OHSU (as mandated in the resolution).

Some of the actions from this convention would be a fine example of how the old days of “going along to get along” are over. On Sunday afternoon, convention delegates headed back home with a lot of pride in the organization we’re part of and a better knowledge of what we can accomplish together in solidarity. Our Oregon union family is stronger together. 

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.

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