Category Archives: Bargaining 2019

Where’s the Contract?

 

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.

Election Results!

 

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

 

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.

Contract-Ratification Vote Scheduled

 

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!

 

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!

 

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.

“Make Them Change or Make Them Leave”

 

—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.