5/14 Bargaining Session — Agreements on Disciplinary Records and Filling of Vacancies

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The bargaining teams reached two agreements today. The agreements produced gains for employees by offering new protections for members trying to promote or transfer, as well as gains for employees who are doing extra work because of unfilled vacancies taking too long to fill, without sacrificing the priority given to internal candidates.

Disciplinary Records

This tentative agreement provides some important protection for members and a change that was important to the management team.

  • The personnel file will be split into two portions: (1) the active file and (2) the archive file.
  • NEW! Only Human Resources staff will have access to the archive file; supervisors and other OHSU personnel will NOT have access except in the case of an employee being considered for discharge for cause.
  • Upon request by the employee, any written discipline will be removed from the active file after two years and placed in the archive file, except for written reprimands or higher for theft, willful misrepresentation, conduct threatening or endangering the safety of others, discrimination or assault/violence. (These exceptions are the same as in the current contract.)
  • Even if the employee does not request removal of it, disciplinary information older than two years may not be used in progressive discipline except for discharge.
  • NEW! Disciplinary records moved to the archive file are not available to supervisors or managers for discipline, promotion, lateral transfer or voluntary demotion.

This maintains protection for employees who have been disciplined in the past and have improved their performance.

Filling of Vacancies

This tentative agreement includes changes that will speed up the process of hiring regular employees and filling training positions, but retains current contract protections giving internal candidates priority. The agreement includes:

  • The job-bid trial-service period has been eliminated.
  • Internal job openings will be either posted in the work unit OR emailed to all eligible bargaining-unit employees in a work unit.
  • It will be made clear that the training-position qualifications in the contract are minimum qualifications and that managers may set additional qualifications.
  • Internal applicants will be considered first for training positions.
  • OHSU will be allowed to simultaneously post a vacancy and recruit and interview both internal and external applicants, BUT the contract language will continue to state that external candidates may be hired only if there are no well-qualified internal candidates.

The effect of this agreement will be to allow vacancies to be filled more quickly (hopefully relieving some of our members’ concerns re: workload due to positions being unfilled for extended periods) while maintaining the preference and priority for internal candidates.

19 thoughts on “5/14 Bargaining Session — Agreements on Disciplinary Records and Filling of Vacancies”

  1. Maybe we should take into account that sometimes, not all the time, but some times there are some horrible managers that are overzealous and plainly unfair. This “archive” file will still hold potential bogus discipline if issued. Why not have a process where we can COMPLETELY eliminate any record if we can show it was issued in retaliation or in an attempt at pressing you to resign. I think that managements concern are legitimate but let’s not forget that this is a two way street and the union should seek stronger protections for us.

    1. That’s a legitimate concern, but that is what the grievance procedure is for. If discipline isn’t warranted (for just cause) it should be grieved and removed completely. When disciplinary action is valid, we still don’t want it to follow an employee when they’ve improved their performance.

    2. I totally agree with you. I started at OHSU with possibly the worst manager I’d ever worked for……and she was definitely retaliatory, but she had the title of “manager” so……..she was always in the right and the employee was wrong.

      I too do not have a problem with managements’ concern, disruptive or unproductive employees creates a negative atmosphere for everyone – but, as M said, this is a 2 way street.

  2. I am not seeing any comments on the previous pages so I will re-post here in attempt to get the conversation going… there have been some comments about dues and where they go and how much do we the OHSU employees contribute in total. I would love to hear the answers but regardless my ideas:

    What about pooling our dues to buy parking spots and raffling those spots off? Or could we park somewhere and have an AFSCME van shuttle us? Is there parking we can use around the AFSCME building then use a van to pool up to Hill, downtown or CHH? forget OHSU let’s solve this ourselves. Rise up and look to ourselves not ONA or someone else to solve our problems. What about a union pension? Can AFSCME invest our dues for us and provide us with pension? Come people stop relying on the man – we can do this just us.

    1. Solving the parking issue outside of OHSU sounds terrific. Even if dues couldn’t cover it – perhaps members could pay a parking fee to AFSCME instead of OHSU. That would perhaps fund the van. However, if shuttle transportation were initiated it would be awesome to have hours outside the 9-5 for folks who work outside of prime time hours.

  3. This is not good for us and it’s disappointing that the union is not fighting for us. THIS HAPPENED TO ME AND THIS IS NOT HELPFUL. I was accused (falsely) of a horrendous crime and ohsu was so so eager to get rid of me.. I stuck it out and fought and was cleared of all wrong doing. However, during this time I was being accused, my manager issued BOGUS discipline. This means that this bogus discipline will stay forever on my “archive” file and you think that because hr are the only ones who can see it you’re ok but you’re WRONG. If I resign and try to come back, HR is not going to re hire me because through no fault of my own, I am a huge legal liability for ohsu for being wrongly accused so this sounds like insult on top of injury. I feel like the union has a cozy relationship with ohsu and as long as the union keeps collecting dues from us, they will give in to managements demands.

  4. I’m concerned about OHSU being able to interview outside people before or at the same time as internal hires. Given that AMSCME membership has no way to see what management is doing when it comes to interviews and hiring. What oversight can we have over this process? My experience has been that managers will pretty much ignore the contract until they are forced to follow it. It just seems like this is a way to make it less likely that an internal candidate gets hired by shortening the window that they’ll have to apply. What did we get for giving this up?

    1. We didn’t give up any time on the window an internal candidate has to apply, and the internal candidate preference language is exactly the same as it always was. If members feel the proper preference wasn’t granted they can grieve using the exact same contract language they have always had.

      What this accomplished was to shorten the total length of time it takes to fill vacancies. Our members have frequently cited positions left unfilled for long periods of time as a cause for workload problems and schedule changes. This language does not in any way decrease members’ rights, but does offer some hope that vacant positions will get filled faster.

      1. Frank, what is status of hearing about dues and totals? Comments on the other ideas? I want to be creative and self reliant. If we want to grow membership, show we retain value and work creatively with our members money is great way.

      2. Hey Frank, thanks for the response.

        My concern is that the is no oversight w/r/t internal v external hires. Imagine it from an employee’s point of view:

        They see a job on the web.
        They apply.
        They interview.
        They get told no.

        What do they do then? The way things are now they could at least check and see if the job was still posted after they were denied. If it was still posted they *might* think to file a grievance because at that point management denied an internal for a potential external. With the new contract how would they even know if management went to an external hire? Is there any disclosure rules or oversight? It seems like the only means membership would have to ensure that management didn’t go external would be to file a grievance every time they were passed over for a job.

        I wasn’t born this cynical and suspicious of OHSU management, experience made me into this : )

        1. If they felt they were qualified and didn’t get the job they have the right to a written explanation and they can file a grievance. Once a grievance is filed the union can demand full disclosure of all documents and decisions made about the position and how it was filled.

          1. That is good to know. I didn’t know that management was required to produce a written explanation when requested by an employee who is passed over for a job they felt they wear qualified for. Could you direct me to the policy or place in the contract that outlines this?

            Again Frank, thank you very much for this feedback.

  5. My comment is short and I will address to all Proposals. We are with OHSU during dificult time :ONA strike , during recession time whereour family memebers or friend did lost job, we did support OHSU during good and difficult time, we care for our patient,clean for them, feed them, advise them, give them treatman every day and we are proud on our hard work.Now is time for OHSU to share good time with us, share your profit with us don’t cut on our benefits becouse OHSU is big name, and show us WE are really #1 hospital. OHSU works becouse we do!

  6. Last year I paid more than $830 in dues – $35 a check – I think we can do a lot for our members with that. I would much rather ride a AFSCME shuttle from the transit center than have ride the bus. I agree it irks me to see the AFSCME building as roll downtown. What can we do?

    1. I think we should get through contract negotiations before critically looking at the AFSCME budget. Our union leadership has enough on their plate with the contract–we want to support them in that effort.

      1. Tim I disagree – I want my cake and I should get to eat it too, afterall I am paying for the cake. If nothing else I want transparency – but ideally I want solutions. I don’t care if OHSU, AFSCME, the city, or anyone else brings them. I pay $830 for something – I would like to know where it goes and I would like us to a bigger voice in deciding if it is best serving us who pay dues at OHSU. I have no idea today.

        1. We posted some information about dues and where they go and what you get for them on our blog today. It’s not a comprehensive answer. The use of dues, we agree, is absolutely an issue members should care about and get involved in. The more member involvement the better our Union will be. You are always free to contact local president Matt Hilton and ask to look at our financial reports and audits. These are absolutely available to members who want to examine them.

          So please, step up and get involved in deciding how we spend our dues money. We welcome the help. Bring friends.

  7. Just a few comments.
    The parking, its not going to happen and we should focus our efforts on changes that can really be done. The city of Portland sets the amount of parking we are allowed to have, is what I been told, after all we are on a hill. I been here along time and its the same thing parking … parking … parking. Folks that horse is long dead lets move it along to the rendering plant.
    “My spider sense are tingling.”
    Scott take Frank up on his offer go down to the local and ask to see the books, talk to the local president, get involved in the union, help the union to help you / us. If your not happy with the contract vote to strike. We should never vote yes to the first contract anyways.
    Do not play into the hands of the OHSU leadership and spread discontent they all ready trying to start a civil war between the new people and the old.
    They have zero respect for us ! We are just cattle to them and our only protection is to stay together and the union is the cattle dog, no they not perfect but they try.
    Look at all the take backs that OHSU wants and in a record profit year. Ask to look at their books, ask to talk to Joe. Read their report how they 90 million plus profit, 200 days operation cash on hand, 1.5 billion in assets. Read that joke of a proposal about the 17 year step increase, how they want to be a leader but they want to pay low wages to us and a bonus to the leadership. That bonus comes off the backs of the over worked / stressed workers.
    That’s the stuff we really should be thinking about now, we can think about union dues later when the fight is over.

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