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 1,500 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.

“Make Them Change or Make Them Leave”

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—guest post by Local 328 unit steward Jackie Lombard—

Thank you to our union staff and to the union attorney! Thank you to our union leadership at all levels.

To my fellow employees: You may have a “Forbes” or a “Frengle” for a manager or director. You may have a bully for a boss. We all know someone at OHSU who works under a corrupt, negative and abusive individual.

We all know.

Here’s what you can do to help yourself or a coworker:

  • Take notes about your boss’s behavior and conversations. Take the notes right in front of them.
  • Read the Local 328 contract and the OHSU Code of Conduct.
  • Send an email to your boss after every conversation to document the encounter and the information that was discussed.
  • Contact our union to help you, and take your notes with you. Our union can help you file a grievance for contract violations, file unfair labor practice complaints with the state and STAND with you, literally, when you talk to HR or you boss or your boss’s boss.
  • Organize in your work area and collectively KEEP TALKING, KEEP QUESTIONING, KEEP GOING UP THE CHAIN until your boss stops or is removed.

It’s hard. It’s scary. It will take persistence and time. Believe me, I know. But it is the only way to change this organization. It will work. Just ask anyone from Rehabilitation Services.

We cannot rely on Dr. Jacobs, the OHSU board, anyone in the executive leadership or many directors or managers to do the right thing and abide by the OHSU’s Code of Conduct. They have at worst created and at best known but done nothing about a workplace culture that promotes and supports “Aanus” and “Pumpkin Eater” and “Vragina” behavior. This can be seen in the results of past and current employee engagement surveys, in OHSU’s bargaining strategies, in the current censorship on OHSU Now, in the continued employment of managers and directors known to their peers and to HR to be “problematic” and in the utterly inadequate apology from Dr. Jacobs for the behavior of Dan Forbes and Patrick Frengle.

WE have to make them change or make them leave.

Finally, we are not just stronger together — we are unstoppable. Stand up for your coworkers and reject OHSU ‘s lies by voting to strike if OHSU doesn’t show up on August 13 and give us what we ALL need and deserve: RESPECT, by means of not just a fair but a great contract.

Unfair Labor Practice Complaint Filed Against OHSU

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A copy of the unfair labor practice complaint against OHSU that we filed with the Oregon Employment Relations Board yesterday can be found HERE. This ULP is in relation to the social-media trolling activities of Patrick Frengle and Dan Forbes. We are requesting multiple, significant remedies. Please read the information in the ULP (the remedies can be found at the end of the PDF) and let us know if you have any questions.

As you can imagine, the last five days (has it only been five days?) have been hectic for our bargaining team and staff. We know our members are anxious for information about how recent developments will affect the actual negotiations process, so we wanted to publish this information for you as soon as possible. Stay tuned for additional communications about our awesome informational picket, links to press we’ve gotten this week,  member actions we have planned for next week (wear green on Monday!) and more. Solidarity!

What Exactly Happened & What OHSU Can Do Next

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This has been a whirlwind of a week!

On Tuesday, August 6, employees were notified on OHSU Now that a member of OHSU’s bargaining team, Patrick Frengle, had behaved inappropriately, noting that this “…team member had been posting on AFSCME’s social media channels using several aliases — often referred to as ‘trolling.’” Mr. Frengle was removed from management’s bargaining team. The following evening, OHSU president Danny Jacobs issued a statement on OHSU Now regarding the resignation of OHSU’s vice president of Human Resources [Dan Forbes] related to “his role in this activity.” 

So what exactly happened here?

Mr. Frengle had created at least two fake Twitter account to troll our union with. (See our previous post for details.) One of his troll posts included a spreadsheet he had made, using false numbers, to artificially inflate the cost of Local 328 dues, and he appeared to be attempting to influence employees to drop their union membership. He also misrepresented, in multiple posts, our union’s positions re: wages and tiered contract language. During the course of monitoring Mr. Frengle’s troll accounts and documenting the connections to him, our team noticed that another suspicious Twitter account (“PeterPumpkinEater,” who was posing as a West Campus employee) had been interacting with his posts.

Our bargaining team believed that this other account was also linked to management’s bargaining team, so we began documenting social-media connections to the person we suspected was interacting with Mr. Frengle. “Peter” had liked many of Mr. Frengle’s anti-union troll posts and engaged in what appeared to be a coordinated back-and-forth discussion claiming that our union’s dues are regressive and harmful to lower-wage workers. On Monday, August 5, Local 328 staff called Dan Forbes to let him know of our concerns that a member of OHSU’s bargaining team had been trolling our union on Twitter. Mr. Forbes did not ask who we suspected of this behavior. During this phone call with Dan Forbes, the suspicious “Peter” account was deleted from Twitter. The following day, after Mr. Frengle had admitted responsibility for the trolling, we shared information about the “Peter” account with a member of OHSU’s administration. Dan Forbes’s resignation was announced the day after that.

Why is this so serious? 

As stated by Oregon AFSCME’s executive director Stacy Chamberlain, “…these actions, at best, demonstrate an utter lack of respect for the workers at OHSU and their union. At worst, it is an attempt to illegally interfere in the bargaining process. We are continuing our investigation into this matter and the scope of the trolling by the management bargaining team members. We will take ALL appropriate legal action to protect our members rights to bargain a fair contract!” Oregon AFSCME’s attorney has sent OHSU a litigation hold/preservation notice/stop destruction request, calling for an investigation and a cessation of the use of public resources in unfair labor practices.” 

Throughout AFSCME Local 328’s negotiations with OHSU, our members have expressed frustration about not being listened to by management and feeling disrespected by OHSU. The last few days have confirmed our bargaining team’s worst suspicions. We are deeply disappointed in OHSU, and have serious concerns about how trust can be restored moving forward. We are concerned about the integrity of the bargaining process thus far given the actions of these two men, especially considering Dan Forbes’s leadership position at OHSU and his significant role in our negotiations. Mr. Forbes is the person who sat across from our bargaining team explaining OHSU’s pay-equity proposals that would have punished our members for management’s mistakes. He is the person who stood in front of our members at OHSU’s bargaining forums trying to persuade us of the merits of OHSU’s PTO proposal. Dan Forbes is the person who would have had been the tie-breaker for benefits decisions that couldn’t be agreed upon by the Employee Benefits Council. He began attending our bargaining sessions back in April. Given his apparent animosity toward our union and his disrespect toward the bargaining process, how can our members have any confidence in OHSU’s integrity at the bargaining table since then (or even from the beginning)?

Dr. Jacobs’s message states that “OHSU remains committed to bargaining in good faith with integrity and transparency in the bargaining process.” Has OHSU even been bargaining in good faith? He also said that OHSU recognizes “we have work to do to regain your trust and are committed to moving forward with integrity” and that our employees are “our best asset.” OHSU’s actions over the coming days will let us know how sincere this sentiment is.

What steps can OHSU take to help regain the trust of our ~7,000 members?

  • Conduct a through investigation into this matter and prove to our members that the bargaining process has been fair. Are the figures that have been shared with our union and our members accurate? Have other members of management’s bargaining team engaged in similar behaviors? Were other members of OHSU’s team aware of the actions of Mr. Forbes and Mr. Frengle? Was anyone in management, on or off OHSU’s bargaining team, responsible for the blog comment discussed here? What is happening within upper management such that this sort of behavior is encouraged and participated in? 
  • Stop disabling comments on bargaining-related posts on OHSU Now. OHSU claims that “Labor laws and collective bargaining agreements place restrictions on how OHSU and the union communicate about contract negotiations, which are not conducive to an open forum like comments.” There is nothing in our collective-bargaining agreement that limits OHSU’s ability to host comments on the OHSU Now website, and members of our bargaining team have made repeated comments on OHSU Now letting OHSU know that our union has no concerns regarding such comments.
  • Restore the OHSU Now commenting rights of all employees who had these rights revoked as a result of having had their bargaining-related comments deleted. 
  • Rescind any formal coaching or discipline that may have been imposed on any member whose manager was contacted as a result of the member’s OHSU Now comments.
  • Make it clear to management at all levels that unfair labor practices — such as publicly disparaging our union’s dues structures in an attempt to reduce our members — will not be tolerated. 
  • Share credit with Local 328 on joint ventures. If OHSU truly values its relationship with AFSCME, it will begin formally recognizing our role in the Career & Workplace Enhancement Center, grant opportunities, etc. Our union’s final offer includes co-branding language that we hope OHSU will recognize the value of and agree to. 
  • Seek the input of employees at all levels of the organization and recognize that we can work together to improve OHSU and our community. Our union’s final offer includes language to form a community advisory board that would work toward those ends.
  • Listen to employees who’ve raised concerns about staffing levels at OHSU and work with us to ensure safe staffing. Our union’s final offer includes language to form a collaborative staffing task force.
  • Stop pushing union-busting contract proposals that would split our bargaining unit and weaken our union: no mandatory PTO for future hires, equal across-the-board wage increases for all members of our bargaining unit, etc. 

Local 328 hasn’t silenced people. Members of our bargaining team haven’t hidden behind fake names to troll OHSU on social media or share misinformation about OHSU’s bargaining positions. We haven’t played games — like floating outlandish proposals just to say later that we’ve made movement, or backtracking from our previous positions. Our message hasn’t changed since February: we’re here trying to negotiate a fair contract with OHSU for our bargaining unit. We want to work with management to help make OHSU the best place it can be, for employees and patients alike. 

OHSU: On Tuesday, August 13, let’s negotiate a fair contract that respects and rewards the sacrifices and hard work that Local 328 members provide OHSU every day. Enough is enough.

OHSU’s VP of Human Resources Has Resigned

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Update: We’ve posted our response to this matter here.

The below statement was released on OHSU Now late Wednesday night. Local 328 will be sharing our own statement about this matter as soon as possible today.


Statement from President Jacobs

As follow up to yesterday’s post regarding the concerns raised about social media activity within the OHSU bargaining team, the vice president of Human Resource has resigned his position effective immediately. He will remain employed at OHSU until Nov. 1, 2019 to help facilitate a smooth transition of his responsibilities. He will not participate in any work related to labor contract negotiations. He has expressed his remorse for his role in this activity. 

I am very sorry. Our employees are truly our best asset. OHSU remains committed to bargaining in good faith with integrity and transparency in the bargaining process. We look forward to working collaboratively with the AFSCME bargaining team to finalize a contract that reflects our values and our mutual respect for our members.

Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS
President

Respect for All?

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We’d like to thank our members and other supporters for sharing and responding to our article about our management troll. As OHSU’s Twitter reply to us indicated, the person in question has been removed from OHSU’s bargaining team, and we’ve received confirmation that he has admitted responsibility. 

Our bargaining team is grateful for this, but we are concerned about how this person’s attitude toward our union and our bargaining positions may have influenced management’s discussions and decisions about negotiations. We also suspect that one other member of management’s bargaining team may have participated in the trolling to some degree. As such, our trust in OHSU’s ability to negotiate a fair contract with us has been severely tested. We are weighing our best course of action and expect to have more to share about this situation over the next couple of days. We’ll update our members with additional information as we can.

Our ~7,000 represented employees have been integral to OHSU’s success. We deserve a fair contract and we deserve respect. Looking outside our own bargaining unit, we believe that everyone who works at OHSU deserves respect. We believe that this incident reflects a systemic problem at OHSU. We urge OHSU’s executives to take this opportunity to reflect on what type of organization they want OHSU to be going forward. It’s time to right the ship, and OHSU can take the first step by negotiating a fair contract with AFSCME Local 328.

Management-Linked Trolls Target Union on Social Media

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Update: Late Monday night (August 5), OHSU made the following reply to our tweet about this matter: ‘We’re deeply disappointed to learn about this inappropriate conduct on social media. We are sorry. We can confirm that this individual has been removed from our bargaining team, effective immediately, and is prohibited from participating in any future negotiations.“ We will share updates as they become available.


In late July, shortly after we declared impasse, a pair of trolls targeted AFSCME Local 328. At that time, we more or less ignored the tweets. Despite our suspicion about who appeared to be linked to the troll accounts, we chose not to discuss the matter publicly, so as not to detract from discussions about bargaining. However, the trolling has resumed late this week, on both our Facebook and Twitter pages. It now seems even clearer that our initial suspicions were right, and we feel we now have no choice but to let our members know. The troll accounts that are targeting our social-media pages are linked to a member of OHSU’s bargaining team.


On Monday, July 22, a Twitter account using the name “Aanus McFadden” started interacting with our account by asking a few questions. After some back and forth, Jesse Miller, who manages our Twitter page, recognized that “McFadden” was exhibiting some classic troll behavior. Jesse muted the account after directing them to better resources and thought that would be the end of it. As he usually does when he suspects a troll, Jesse glanced at their profile. The account’s activity on Twitter was also suspiciously troll-like. Jesse joked about “McFadden” with friends and coworkers, which prompted one of them to ask him to look a little more closely at the account. “McFadden” had only one follower — an account with the even more childish name of “Roy Vragina.” The “Roy” account also appeared suspicious and it also had only one follower: an account called “Frengle,” which used a profile photo of Patrick Frengle, who is a member of OHSU’s bargaining team.

The two accounts that are linked to Mr. Frengle were both created in October 2012 and interacted with each other in 2012. All three accounts — Frengle and the two trolls — follow journalist Nate Silver, house editor for The Cook Political Report Dave Wasserman, and comedian Sarah Silverman. All three have interacted with our union. The accounts’ low post counts, the fact that two of the three were created at the same time, the fact that they talked about the same topics at the same time (but have said little to nothing since) and the fact that that they followed the same three seemingly random people all point to the accounts being connected to the same person: Mr. Frengle.

It’s possible that this is all random, but how many coincidences does it take to conclude that there’s a pattern? There are more 200 million accounts on Twitter. What are the odds that there would be this many connections by random happenstance? If the accounts aren’t run by the same person, they’re almost certainly run by people who know each other outside of Twitter. If Patrick Frengle isn’t “Aanus McFadden” or “Roy Vragina,” they’re friends or associates of his. As we noted above, when we were first trolled by these accounts, we chose not to follow up on it with OHSU or to go public. Our bargaining team, staff and members like Jesse had enough on our plates, and we hoped the trolls would get bored. And they did, until Thursday, August 1, when we launched our meme contest on the Local Facebook page.

On August 1, these same two trolls shared memes on our Facebook page that misrepresented our union’s position on certain economic issues still on the table. Both of their Facebook profiles have strict privacy settings, but one of the few comments visible on the “McFadden” profile is from a woman whose hyphenated last name begins with Frengle. “McFadden” tweeted about our union frequently over the weekend, continuing to misrepresent Local 328’s bargaining positions. On Friday, August 2, they began following the Twitter accounts of members of our bargaining team and other Local 328 members. Over the course of the weekend, all three accounts have changed their user names and Twitter handles and made changes to their followers. The “McFadden” account has also shared a spreadsheet that misrepresents the costs of our union dues. (Did we mention that Mr. Frengle works in OHSU’s budget & financial planning department? He’s the person who prepared the spreadsheet that OHSU’s bargaining team presented when they rejected all of our economic proposals on May 19.) If we had any doubt in July that these trolls are connected to Mr. Frengle, we have no doubt now.


We know that both parties in these negotiations hope to persuade folks of the “rightness” of our positions and offers, and our communications will reflect that. However, many of our members (and non-AFSCME-represented employees!) have told us that they’ve found much of OHSU’s communications and messaging around bargaining to be manipulative and disrespectful. We’ve tried our best to take the high road about this, only responding to OHSU’s communications on two occasions when we felt that the spin had crossed a line into misinformation. We’ve also made two corrections on our blog, when an error or misunderstanding was pointed out to us by OHSU.

We maintain open commenting on our blog so that our members can share their thoughts about bargaining, even if they don’t agree with a position our union has taken, and we’ve held multiple forums where members can freely ask questions. In contrast, OHSU has taken away our members’ voices during negotiations — deleting critical comments on OHSU Now, banning some members outright and contacting employees’ managers. OHSU has used misplaced concerns about “direct dealing” during negotiations to keep comments closed on its bargaining-related posts. Then, when frustrated members ask questions on other posts, their comments are deleted for being off-topic.

Throughout our union’s negotiations with OHSU, our members have expressed frustration about not being listened to by management and feeling disrespected by OHSU. Our bargaining team has felt the same way. We’ve been bargaining in good faith and have been respectful to OHSU at the table, but we haven’t felt that same respect in return — we’ve faced questions that indicated OHSU’s team literally hadn’t listened to information we presented, unfamiliarity with the contract being negotiated and an employer that didn’t respect the bargaining process enough to have the actual decision-makers at the table (or even available) during late-stage mediation.

Our union isn’t silencing people. Members of our bargaining team aren’t hiding behind fake names to troll OHSU on social media or share misinformation about OHSU’s positions. We haven’t played games, like floating outlandish proposals just to say later that we’ve made movement or backtracking from previous positions. We’re here trying to negotiate a fair contract with OHSU for our bargaining unit. We want to work with management to help make OHSU the best place it can be, for employees and patients alike. We want OHSU to see that our members are assets to the organization.

What have we gotten for our efforts? Trolls linked to OHSU’s bargaining team sharing misinformation on our social-media pages and wasting the time of the member volunteers who have to clean up after them or write articles explaining to our members what’s going on. We have screenshots of the posts, tweets and social-media connections mentioned above, and on Monday, August 5, we reached out to Dan Forbes, OHSU’s vice president of Human Resources to share our concerns about Mr. Frengle. (During this very phone call, the Twitter profile of another questionable user who had been interacting with “McFadden” about our union went dark.)

We questioned whether we should go public about this matter (we don’t want to fan the flames when tensions are already high), but ultimately felt we had no choice. What do you think would happen to an AFSCME-represented employee who was behaving this way toward OHSU? This behavior is unacceptable, especially from those who are perceived as leaders at OHSU, and our members need to know what type of people have been at the table with us.

OHSU’s final-offer post on OHSU Now states that OHSU and AFSCME Local 328 have a long-standing and cooperative relationship. We hope OHSU finally shows that it actually does value this relationship, by investigating this matter and dealing with it appropriately and promptly.

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