Category Archives: Bargaining 2019

Top Ten Contract Articles – Article 8

This is the second in our series of top-ten contract articles. Article 8 deals with what is, for many people, the most important reason to come to work: their pay and their raises. Our contract has extensive language protecting your rights to wages and raises.

There is much in this article that we won’t be able to cover in a one-page tip sheet, but here are the most important highlights (along with the number of the section of our contract where the language appears):

  • Across-the-board raises — This section of our contract deals with our across-the-board raises of 3.0%, 2.25%, 2.25% and 2.5% during the term of the contract. [8.1]
  • Progression increases (formerly known as step increases — How much they are each year? How do they change over the course of your employment? Employees get larger increases early in their tenure and then they decrease over time — it takes about 13 years to reach the top of the pay range. [8.2]
  • Merit increases — Merit increases are PERMITTED by the union contract, no matter what your supervisor says. [8.3]
  • Market-based adjustments — How do they work? Are you under- or overpaid according to the labor market based on surveys? OHSU’s Market-Based Wage Committee, which includes representatives from our union, meets once a year and reviews all AFSCME-represented classifications. [8.4 – 8.4.4]
  • Pay changes upon status changes — How do your wages change when you demote, transfer, promote, get reclassified (upward or downward) and return from layoff? It’s complicated. You will need to read the article to see how your individual circumstances should be handled. Please contact our steward program through the eZone (unionlabor.org/logIn/logIn.cfm) if you need help applying the contract language to your situation. [8.5 – 8.5.4]
  • Travel expenses. [8.6]
  • Your final paycheck when you end your employment at OHSU. [8.7]
  • Under-/overpayments — What happens when you are overpaid or underpaid? You may be required to repay money if you are overpaid; our contract explains the process for that. [8.8]

This tip sheet doesn’t cover everything in Article 8 — to fully understand your rights, please read the contract language (available in the Your Union Contract tab at www.local328.org) or contact one of our stewards for assistance.

What Are The “Top Ten” Contract Articles?

As we prepare for contract bargaining, let’s start taking a deeper look at our contract.

The contract between AFSCME Local 328 and OHSU is a document of about 150 pages, including appendices, letters of agreement and memoranda of understanding. It’s a lot of reading. The core of the contract has 28 articles.

Below is a list of the ten most important contract articles. While there are other extremely important articles not on this list, such as Article 15 – Insurance Benefits, some articles have a more immediate impact on your work life than others. Our union is highlighting these 10 articles because they most affect your day-to-day working conditions. We recommend you read them.

Listed in order of their appearance in the contract, the top ten articles of our contract are:

  • Article 7 – Hours Of Work: Types of work schedules, schedule changes, reporting pay, rest and meal periods, on-call, shift trades, cleanup time, inclement weather.
  • Article 8 – Compensation: Pay schedule, pay increases, merit pay, bonuses, travel pay and expenses, pay upon upward or downward reclassification.
  • Article 9 – Overtime and Premium Pay: Overtime, calculation of overtime, call-back pay, changes in reporting time, pay for holiday work.
  • Article 11 – Holidays: List of holidays, holiday pay, holiday work schedules
  • Article 12 – Vacations: Vacation accrual rates, vacation bid/scheduling process, voluntary cash-out of vacation time.
  • Article 13 – Sick Leave: Sick-leave accrual rates, use of sick leave, doctor’s notes, reasonable grounds, restoration of sick leave, effect on retirement.
  • Article 18 – Filling of Vacancies: Job bids, job postings, internal preference, training positions, OHSU’s right to assign work and change duties.
  • Article 19 – Layoff: Order of layoffs, placement and recall rights, geographical limitations.
  • Article 23 – Discipline and Discharge: Progressive discipline, right to notice of investigative meeting, right to representation, right to just cause for discipline.
  • Article 24 – Grievances and Arbitration: Grievance process, timelines, selection of arbitrators.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be posting a more detailed look at each of these articles. Use the comment section to leave feedback and suggestions about the articles.

Bargaining Timeline

It may seem early to be talking about bargaining, but to bargain effectively requires a lot of planning and preparation. Here’s a look at a general timeline for our upcoming contract.

When we bargain a contract there are timelines that must be met due to contractual or legal requirements and timelines that we set for ourselves to insure an orderly and strategic progression through the bargaining process.

Our contract expires on June 30, 2019. Settlement could happen on or before that date but our experience tells us that we usually settle in July or August.  Bullets  highlight critical events.

Spring 2017 – Mid-term membership survey by polling firm.

Summer/Fall 2017 – Establish member action team.

Fall 2017 – Begin member education program about bargaining which will continue through bargaining.

Summer 2018 – Nominate bargaining team.

Summer 2018 – Bargaining team candidate panels/campaign.

  • Summer/Fall 2018 – Elect bargaining team.

Summer/Fall 2018 – Train bargaining team.

Fall 2018 – Member forums, informal and formal surveys, unit steward hosted lunch and learns.

Fall/Winter 2018/19 – Work with polling company to develop comprehensive bargaining survey based on member, bargaining team, leadership and staff input.

Winter 2019 – Deploy professional survey.

February 2019 – Pre bargaining discussions with OHSU.

  • March 2019 – Bargaining begins.

March – July 2019 – Weekly, all day, bargaining sessions.

March 2019 – State mediation pre-requested to meet statutory 150 day notice requirement.

  • June 30 2019 – Contract expires.

June – July 2019 – Contract placed in final form and proofread, if settlement has been reached

June – July 2019 – Member ratification vote, if settlement has been reached

  • If Settlement has not been reached then:

July – August 2019 – Mediation, if required.

July – August 2019 – Notice of declaration of impasse, if required

August – September 2019 – Notice of declaration of 30 day cooling off period, if required.

Summer/Fall 2019 – Job actions and picketing, if required

  • August – October 2019 – 10 day strike notice, if required
  • Summer/Fall 2019 – Strike, if required.