Strike — How Do We Get There from Here?

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Striking is a drastic, last-ditch effort to get to an agreement on a contract when other methods have failed.

What does the law say about strikes? What is the process to go on strike? Here are ten steps unions need to go through in order to strike:

  1. Bargaining: back-and-forth, face-to-face negotiations.
  2. Mediation: assistance from a third party (the Oregon Employment Relations Board in our case) to help the parties resolve outstanding issues. Mediators have no authority to force an agreement or make awards to one side or the other — they are facilitators only.
  3. Impasse: if no settlement is reached within 15 days of the first mediation session either party may declare impasse
  4. Final offer: within seven days of the declaration of impasse both parties must submit their final offers and the cost estimates of these final offers to the ERB.
  5. Publication: the ERB publishes the final offers and costs.
  6. Voluntary fact-finding: prior to the start of the “cooling-off” period, both parties can agree to petition the ERB to engage in a fact-finding process (this almost never happens)
  7. Cooling-off period: following publication, there is a 30-day cooling-off period.
  8. Strike vote: this vote would happen before strike notice is given (no strike could occur without union members voting to strike).
  9. Strike notice: after the cooling-off period, the union may give the employer a ten-day strike notice.
  10. Employer implementation of its final offer: at any time following the cooling-off period, the employer may give the union five days’ notice of its intent to implement all or part of its final offer, without agreement from the union.

Depending on how things play out (when impasse is declared, when a strike vote happens, how soon after the cooling-off period the union gives notice), a strike could happen as early as the end of August or as late as September or early October. We are going to dedicate a future article on strike preparedness and what members need to know in order to strike effectively.


 

Below are excerpts of the strike provisions of Oregon’s collective-bargaining law for public employees. You may read the full document here.

OVERVIEW OF OREGON’S PUBLIC EMPLOYEE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ACT (PECBA)                                    

 The Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act (PECBA), ORS 243.650 – 243.782, establishes a collective bargaining process for Oregon’s public employers and unions representing public employees. The PECBA is administered by the Employment Relations Board (ERB), a state agency. The three members of the Board are appointed by the Governor.

Direct Bargaining

The PECBA contains a number of steps designed to help the parties reach agreement. The public employer and the union representing the public employees are initially required to meet and bargain directly with each other (ORS 243.712(1)). The PECBA requires that the parties participate in good faith negotiations for at least 150 calendar days before either party may unilaterally request the assignment of a mediator.

During this period of direct bargaining, the bargaining teams generally meet in face-to-face negotiation sessions. In the traditional “position/proposal-based” process, the parties usually identify the issues for bargaining and then exchange and discuss proposals in an attempt to reach agreement on those issues. Some parties use a variety of other collaborative processes. 

Mediation

If the parties do not reach agreement in direct bargaining, they move to mediation (ORS 243.712(2)). The State Conciliation Service, a division of ERB, is responsible for providing the mediation services.

Once the request for mediation is made, a mediator is appointed. The parties are notified of the appointment and a mediation session is scheduled as soon as a mediator and the members of both bargaining teams are available. If the first session is unsuccessful, additional mediation sessions may be scheduled. The PECBA mandates that parties remain in mediation for a minimum of 15 calendar days. Typically, one or two sessions will occur during this time. After the 15 days, the parties may continue in mediation or either party can initiate the next step in the process by declaring an impasse in the negotiations.

Local government employers and unions are each charged a fee for collective bargaining mediation services (ORS 240.610). The local public employer and the exclusive representative shall each pay one-half of the amount of the fee to the board.

When a settlement occurs during the mediation process, the terms of the settlement, along with any agreed-upon contract language, are set out in a tentative agreement that is signed by the parties. This tentative agreement is usually subject to ratification by the bargaining unit members, as determined by the union’s bylaws, and the public employer’s council, commission, or board.

Declaration of Impasse, Final Offer, and Cooling Off Period

If no settlement is reached within 15 days of the first mediation session, the parties may either continue in mediation or either party may declare an impasse (ORS 243.712(2)).  A party declares an impasse by filing a written notice of declaration of impasse with ERB and submitting a copy of the notice to the other party on the same day the notice is filed with ERB.

Within seven days of the date the declaration of impasse is filed with ERB, both parties are required to submit their final offers and cost summaries of their offer to the mediator. The final offer should address all issues and include all disputed contract proposals. Any proposed contract language must be labeled “Final Offer.”

A party’s cost summary must separately list the economic impact for each item in their final offer for each year proposed. It must also include the total of the costs for all disputed proposals in their final offer and an explanation of how the costs were calculated. A copy of the final offer and costing must also be sent to the other party.

After the mediator receives the final offers, cost summaries and proposed contract language, the mediator makes them public. A copy of these documents may be obtained once they are made public by making a written request to the State Conciliation Service.

A thirty-day “cooling off” period follows the publication of the final offer. The purpose of this time is to allow for further attempts to resolve the dispute prior to the parties exercising their self-help measures.

Voluntary Fact Finding

[T]he PECBA still provides for a voluntary fact finding process (ORS 243.722). Parties may access the voluntary fact finding process by jointly petitioning the ERB to initiate fact finding during the 30-day “cooling off period.” The petition to initiate fact finding must be written and may be made in letter or other format. A 30-day cooling off period begins when the fact finder issues a report. The mutual acceptance by the parties of the fact finder’s report results in a contract. If either party rejects the report, the bargaining process continues.

Strike-Permitted Employees: Strike and Final Offer Implementation

The final step in the collective bargaining process for unions and employees of a strike-permitted unit is the right to strike. The final step for an employer of a strike-permitted employee bargaining unit is the right to implement its final offer. A strike-permitted employee union and employer may also jointly agree to resolve their labor dispute through binding interest arbitration (ORS 243.712(2)(e)).

The employees in a strike-permitted bargaining unit may go on strike after completing the prior steps of the PECBA bargaining process in good faith and giving 10 days notice of their intent to strike (ORS 243.726). The notice must specify the first day of the strike and the reasons for the strike, including the list of unresolved issues. The notice may be sent during the 30-day cooling off period, although a strike cannot occur until after the 30-day period.


The employer of a strike-permitted bargaining unit may implement its final offer after completing the prior steps of the PECBA bargaining process. Under current ERB case law, the employer is required to provide the union reasonable notice of its intent to implement. In that case, the Board said five days was reasonable. An employer may implement all or a portion of its final offer. 

42 thoughts on “Strike — How Do We Get There from Here?”

  1. I don’t want to strike. I want both sides to come to a fair contract.

    That said, this is the first time I’m ticked off enough to say “I’m outta here!” if we go on strike. I’ve always felt the patients didn’t deserve to be the victims of organizational strife. I do my work not for Dr. Robertson, or AFSCME, or my managers, but because I know that my work ultimately impacts the customer — the patient.

    But OHSU’s unrealistic and insulting position has driven that out of me. And that’s very, very sad. But I’m tired of being treated like I don’t matter.

    1. Thanks for this info Matt. Casually, in our department, we’ve just been discussing the “What ifs” I’m glad I have this now to share. I’m here for our customers… patients and more. The work that OHSU does, especially in the research and academic field is very special to me, and I love being a part of enhancing it in the fashion that I am able to… but … with the way things are looking… I am feeling under-appreciated by the way these preliminary negotiations are going.

      The worst part is that if the environment gets too bad, those with the highest skill set (capable of providing value where their value is valued most) will jump ship, and move… leaving OHSU in a position where the cream of the crop has left, and they’ll not just be shooting for average… they’ll be left with the dregs.

      1. I’m pretty convinced this is what they want — get rid of the senior people to reduce costs.

        What a horrible idea. Loss of all of that institutional knowledge . . . I’m not sure they understand that those of us with years of experience know institution-specific ways to make sure things run smoothly.

        Yeah. Not really looking forward to the next couple of months.

      2. exactly! They are letting go of older workers as we speak and their goal is get the cream of the crop off their books so they save money.

        If they want average workers…let’em have them! Its their reputation on the line.

  2. For me it started with Admin. Coordinator and other support positions having their pay cut this past year without being grandfathered in, then our retirement agreements being cut without being grandfathered in, and now to what appears to be callous disregard for the people who make up OHSU and take pride in the work they do.
    OHSU top management starts wagging the dog with a 10% cutback and layoffs in certain departments (oh, how can you demand more money when your friend has been laid off! How selfish of you!) This was designed to make the employees think that OHSU is in financial dire straights.
    Top Management at OHSU: We are not stupid. We will not be complacent and roll over so that the top nine people can continue to milk our fair share with ballooned, inflated bonuses.
    How do we spell relief? S.T.R.I.K.E.

  3. Best of luck and all my support to the bargaining team today!! Sad we weren’t allowed to stand united with you at the table. While I think we all know striking is not the best for the patients, OHSU should know that they are just as responsible for pushing us to that point! Members- stand strong and don’t give up, especially those facing harassment from the dept of pharmacy management!!

  4. Great comments. I don’t think anyone wants to strike. Hopefully OHSU will do right by the employees and it will never come to that.

    With that said, the power of Union lies with the members and a strike would shut down OHSU.

    1. Yes…and we should STRIKE to show them we anit playin with they silly azzes. This strike might prevent them from attempting to pull this same BS the next time contract comes around.

  5. I agree with the commenters here, I like to think that we are working toward a greater cause, but when my skills are less than appreciated it makes for an uncomfortable work place. There’s no reason to work hard if I’m just going to be punished in the long run. So, mediocre salary, mediocre work (not really, but it is difficult to keep up the standards when no one really seems to care!). I’d strike (cautiously) but I would.

  6. I am willing to strike, if it comes to that.

    I want everyone, AFSCME, ONA and Management alike, to understand that we are not asking for the moon, we are not asking for gift because we feel it is owed to us. We are asking for for fair compensation for our skill, our talent, our dedication, our commitment, our excellence, and everything we have done to make OHSU the great place it is. That is ALL we are asking for.

    We are told we should sacrifice for the common good… and I have sacrificed. I have given my heart and my soul to my job and I have watched OHSU take away our tuition benefits, our PERS contributions, our raises. I’ve watched them make us beg for same Trimet/C-Tran discount the rest of the university was getting without sacrifice. We don’t even get a thank you. We don’t get ROSE awards for it – it’s our JOB. I have seen our work loads double and triple because we can’t hire non-revenue generating employees, because we have non-represented employees have to work at the top of their license so we do the scut work, because we can’t have overtime so the same amount of work needs to be accomplished in fewer hours.

    We deserve better.

    I want every AFSCME represented employee to know that together we have the strength to fight for a fair contract. We don’t have to settle for second-best.

    If it takes a strike to let OHSU know we are serious, then let’s strike. Of course I don’t want it to come to that. I want OHSU to put a reasonable offer on the table and to quit playing games. We all know OHSU can’t run without our represented employees.

    The AFSCME Bargaining Team has my full support. Make us proud, fight hard, and get us the contract we work every day to earn.

    1. The bargaining team can only do so much. If we don’t feel the contract is fair, we need the courage to say “no” if it’s not acceptable and follow it through.

      That said, no one’s going to agree 100%. And if we keep throwing the contract back for every little disagreement, negotiation will be as productive as Congress. ’nuff said.

      So whenever a contract comes up, a poll comes out, some request for input, everyone needs to follow through and provide it.

      My thanks to the bargaining team for all the time they put in, but it doesn’t end with them. It ends with us.

      1. And if we keep throwing the contract back for every little disagreement, negotiation will be as productive as Congress.

        But didn’t OHSU do that, in effect, rejecting all of the union’s economic proposal? Are they playing by a different set of rules?

  7. Hopefully the cooler heads on both OHSU Management and AFSCME’s sides will prevail and there will be no strike.

    I’m very flabbergasted at finger-pointing and blaming the other parties for the state of woe at OHSU, real or imagined. I’m very disgusted with AFSCME’s incendiary fearmongering presumption of an inevitable strike. Has it occurred to any of you that maybe the OHSU management may have been asked to take similar reduction in benefit increases over the next few years? Why not first research their compensation packages through using Freedom of Information Act, instead of assuming that management is getting rich off the backs of union labor?

    I know that I’m not alone in saying this, but OHSU’s biggest issues are wasteful non-performing employees, may they be unclassified or union. Just like exemplary employees, incompetent staff exist in both management and union ranks. And, no, this isn’t a management problem–it’s everyone’s problem. The union needs to be collaborating with OHSU management to promote and demonstrate a high-performing culture (and reward those individuals) and coach, remediate, or eliminate those people who are simply not adding value to the organization.

    Right now I’m working in a group that is high performing and whose members take pride in their contribution to OHSU’s mission. There are both AFSCME and management people in our group. We focus on commonalities and areas of shared interest instead of fixating on our differences. I expect my union leadership to demonstrate similar commitment to making OHSU a better place for everyone, instead of wasting energy on fear-mongering.

    I’m interested in making OHSU a better place, by collaborating with other like-minded workers and managers who share the same level of passion and commitment to excellence. Having worked here for nearly 20 years, I’ve witnessed our union stand by feebly without a fight while my entire department was “restructured” with three other groups six years ago (result: my high-performing team of 14 was dissolved, and 60 employees were forced to reapply and compete for 18 positions), had a colleague lose his job after an unqualified worker from another unit bumped into his position, and had to personally put up with years of hostile work environment (caused by coworkers and former management) with no recourse (our union steward at the time was/is good buddies with those aggressors). It wasn’t until I start advocating for my own career growth took ateps (with assistance from the joint AFSCME-management CWE resources) that I found an ideal job fit at OHSU, where I am empowered to do great work.

    I refuse to buy into the “OHSU management is evil” rhetoric.
    Couple of my so-called union brothers were promoted into management over the past year, and they completely improved the workplace morale of their groups by preaching and practicing collaboration. I’m not going to turn my back on these peers and other individuals who want to do great things for OHSU. If AFSCME leadership continue to spread fear and strike happens, I will have no qualms about crossing the so-called picket line.

    1. I’m “flabbergasted” that anyone would describe the union’s communications as “incendiary fearmongering.”

      Anonymouse, you’ve claimed that the union has characterized a strike as “inevitable,” even though we opened the very article you’re commenting on by saying that a strike is a “drastic, last-ditch” step. In this same article, we’ve outlined the many steps that we still need to go through just to get to the point where a strike vote happens. Nothing we’ve communicated in our bargaining updates has come close to saying that a strike is inevitable.

      That being said, a strike is something that could happen, so it would be irresponsible of the union not to talk about it and get folks thinking about what, if anything, they’d be willing to strike over, how to prepare financially, etc. That’s not “fearmongering” no matter how many times you say it is. If it comes to a strike, we want our members (those who won’t proudly cross a picket line) to be prepared.

      It’s also disingenuous to claim that the union thinks “management is evil.” Does the union have a low opinion of bad managers who repeatedly violate the contract? Of course. But it would be impossible for the union to function if its leadership had a blanket “management is evil” philosophy. The union has a long history of collaborating with management, whether in individual departments, in campus-wide services like the CWE Center, or at the bargaining table.

      Do you really think that AFSCME leadership/the bargaining team is itching to go out on strike? We don’t want a strike–we want a good contract. There’s a difference, even if you personally don’t see it. If a strike happens, it’ll be because a huge number of your coworkers vote for one to happen. You’re really selling your coworkers short by assuming they would vote to strike because they were tricked by union “fearmongering” and not because they analyzed the issues on their own. Many of our members who are talking about a willingness to strike have calculated the effect on their paychecks that OHSU’s proposals will have. You’re lucky if you only need to consider your career path and non-performing employees–others need to consider the economics involved.

      Your type of rhetoric is no more helpful than the so-called rhetoric you believe the union is engaging in.

  8. “First they came for my neighbor, and I said nothing. Then they came for me and there was no one left to stand with me.”

    Please forgive if this seems a bit dramatic. The point I am trying to make is stay present and vocal. Everyone will be affected if the no-less- than- insulting OHSU proposal prevails – even those non-AFSCME members. Think about this – once the cuts are made to the retirement fund, it will be only a matter of time when benefits will be cut for the unclassified employee population also. Thus, the message I convey to my non-union compatriots: If we fail, you fail. My motto: enlist the support of anyone who will listen and make the case that his or her livelihood is at stake as well – because it is. We need to prevail to continue the life force of every union in the country that in turn will keep us strong. So my dear AFSCME comrades, stay tuned in, tapped in and turned on.

    1. I would note that in the last contract, they raped over all the PERS members, and the rest of the union stood by and did nothing.

      Now they come for the UPP members.

      The last 3 contracts have all had massive take backs in them, and the membership just stood by and let it happen.

      The “they came for my neighbor…” is spot on, if not a little bit late.

  9. Just got an e-mail from Employee Communications that Doernbecher made the US News best hospital list.

    We may not be the physicians, but we DID make contributions that allowed Doernbecher to achieve it.

  10. @anony mouse,

    I don’t think that every manager is a wealthy monster. I want a better contract!
    I am very upset that the very top of upper management are giving themselves outrageous bonuses and think so little of 5600 afscme members , actions speaking louder than words.

    If it helps, think Occupy Wall Street.

  11. No one wants a strike. We want a fair settlement. We want the kind of compensation, benefits, and support that reflects the excellent work that we do every day. OHSU is a first class institution and it is in large part because of the expertise and devotion that we bring to our jobs. OHSU expects us to commit to their missions and to deliver high quality work. They expect us to step up daily to meet the never ending challenges of being a world class institution. We have done that year after year and OHSU has grown in stature and in worth.

    Most of us work “behind the scenes”. We aren’t the world renowned surgeon or headline making researcher or prize winning educator. We merely create the infrastructure for these experts to do their work. We simply provide the foundation and the ongoing support for them to accomplish the healing, teaching, and discovery that OHSU strives for. We may not be the face of OHSU but we certainly are the muscle and backbone. OHSU is as great as it is because of the work we do.

    The contract take backs and meager financial offers that OHSU has proposed in these negotiations make me question my value to OHSU. They have already eliminated the contribution to PERS and shifted that expense to employees. They propose to do the same to UPP. They want to manage job performance by threatening seniority privileges. For those who work swing shift and grave yard shift they want to reduce the differential. They want employees to work longer to get to the top pay scale. And they want us to accept negligible pay increases for the next four years. These proposals do not make me feel valued. OHSU’s commitment to its employees does not match the commitment they expect from us.

    No one wants a strike. We want a contract that reflects mutual respect and responsibility between OHSU and its AFSCME employees. If OHSU will not improve its proposals then we all need to make a decision. We can complain that OHSU is unfair, take their offer, get on with our jobs, and watch as OHSU continues to grow and thrive because of our good work. Or we can take our only remaining legal option and vote to strike. I will support the AFSCME bargaining team to continue to get the best agreement that they can in these final days of mediation. I hope that OHSU recognizes that their proposals are insulting and cheap. I hope that OHSU decides to step up and show real appreciation and support for its employees. If they do not, then I am prepared to vote for and support a strike.

    1. All it takes is enough people saying “Yes” at the right time.

      And it sounds to me like there may be enough people saying Yes.

      1. Not sure what area you’re in but the department Im in of +750 (yes we’ve polled quietly) 65% are no strike.

        1. If and when (but hopefully not) we go on strike make sure we see all your faces cross the picket line. I want to know who I am standing up for because they couldn’t stand up for themselves.

          Think about the bigger picture instead of yourself.

    2. Mike,
      We get the deals that we are willing to settle for. The union doesn’t authorize a strike unless the members commit to supporting it by not showing up to work; by not crossing picket lines. Are you willing to do that? If not then don’t look around to find someone else to blame.

  12. @anonymous; I would question the words fear mongering. Nothing in the posts or explanations I have read would lead me to the opinion the union was fear mongering. It has been made clear from the very beginning that a strike is a last-ditch attempt to seek a fair contract. Additionally, it would be irresponsible for the union to not start preparing members for a potential event that could have severe impact on their job and families.

    Let me pose this question: when Oregon coastal towns started to prepare and sometimes even hold drills to be ready for a tsunami, did you call that “fear mongering”? Nobody wanted a tsunami to happen, but it was/is a possibility, so people started to prepare. Not exactly what I would call fear mongering – instead I would call it common sense.

    That being said, I would echo the words of others here who have said that they do not feel valued in their work or themselves and the contract proposals just serve to reinforce that feeling.

    Would I strike if it came to it? YES!

    1. If you feel under valued there are other opportunities in the Portland metro area to help you feel valued. I feel very valued, respected and committed to my professional growth here. More so than I ever did in positions with the government or utility industries.

  13. Stand tall everyone ! Let us remember that a life on ones knees isn’t a life, that we are strong in numbers and if we lock our shields together and advance we will send a strong message.
    If we do not we will have more ” Crappy Deals “. It is because we took those “Crappy Deals” in the past is why OHSU leadership has nerve to make these “Offers”. They fully except us to take them. Let us not beat around the bush, OHSU has no respect for us, because we have rolled over in the past.
    Where do you stand? Do you stand with Mike and take another “Crappy Deal”? Do you stand with Anonymous a person that will not sign their name to what they write.
    Where do you stand?

  14. As Phillip stated earlier, no one wants a strike. Everyone looses something if there is a strike. However, just like a branch can only bend so much before it breaks, so it is with us. OHSU seems to be very happy with the quality institution that we have made it, but they also seem willing to overlook fairness and respect. I don’t feel the union and the workers are asking for too much, and I am willing to put words into actions and strike if need be. Hopefully it won’t come to that, but even if the OHSU leadership team gives in at the last minute, the message has already been sent that they do not value their workforce. A huge thank you to the AFSCME team for sticking up for us; we appreciate it.

  15. The only way a union can have any bargaining strength is if its members will back it up. Without the threat of strike we have no teeth. I filled out the survey over what I am personally willing to strike over. Each member should do the same.

  16. Did you know that OHSU has spent a pretty big chunk of money on special TVs for each hospital room? Do you know that many of our patients are not even capable of using these TVs? We were told that we need to have a 10% budget reduction. Why are we spending money on frivolous items rather than supporting our employees so that we can provide the best (as OHSU says) care in the area? OHSU’s lack of support and poor spending is decreasing my wanting to be here.

    1. I’ve been a patient at OHSU and the old TVs made the hospital room feel like a cheap motel. The new TVs are a necessity to improve the patient experience IMO…

  17. @ Blank, Its all about “Keeping up with the Joneses” if other hospitals have them, then we need them for that perfect 100% satisfied patient which equals great government reimbursement.

  18. The ten year pay scale is sustainable. We’re on that program now, and the hospital has seen huge budget surpluses, and yet they want to take a sustainable program and cut it back. To do what? To shift even more of the wealth from the working class of the OHSU socio-economic microcosm towards those who already have enough! This isn’t just about standing up to the OHSU management; it’s about saying NO to the dehumanizing way of big business in the world today! Taking wealth from those who have little and giving it to those who have much — that is something that we need to find an alternative to!

    Management, if you’re reading this, shame on you! How do you sleep at night, knowing and seeing how you’re treating your brothers and sisters? Were I in your shoes, I’d be eaten up with anxiety and guilt about how I was treating fellow women and men. Look in the mirror. That is the modern face of The Sheriff of Nottingham staring at you.

    STRIKE!

  19. It disgusts me what OHSU is doing. Nothing that hasn’t already been said: OHSU is making it abundantly clear that they think we are a dime a dozen, and have no value or respect for us as workers. I don’t want to strike either – I got bills to pay and mouths to feed – but I absolutely will strike if that is what it comes to. I truly and honestly hope that OHSU and the union can come to an agreement that is fair and gives us what we deserve. We are not asking for too much – why does OHSU want to give us so little??? They can afford millions of dollars on COSMETIC remodels (the emergency dept, the 9th floor, multiple units throughout the south hospital) – all of those units were functioning JUST FINE prior to the money spent to remodel. OHSU wants to look pretty, but it does not want to have top dollar employees who make this place run like a well oiled machine??? Makes no sense to me. Take a look at what you are spending your money on OHSU. If you can afford millions for cosmetic remodels, you can afford to continue to take GOOD care of the people who keep this organization running, and running well. Don’t want to strike. Absolutely will if that is what it takes.

  20. @Tim – you really prefer a nice, new TV to having competent staff that keep your room clean and sanitary, provide you with decent, healthy and appropriate meals, make sure your records are accurate, bill your insurance properly, and even make sure you are in the room you are supposed to be in and seen by the right doctor – or even make sure your TV is connected and setup so that you can actually watch it?

    1. I know you replied to Tim, but I had to comment on this . . .

      I’d respectfully submit that most of us as employees are probably not routine customers, that most of our customers are the general public. If you went to (insert other hospital here) and they had televisions that were CRT-based, perhaps fuzzy, faded, shrunken picture . . . how would that make you feel about how they maintain their real patient care equipment? Would you feel like they cared about how well their gear works? As someone who works at a hospital you may understand and be able to make the distinction. I’m guessing most of the public wouldn’t.

      Logically, televisions ought to be low on the priority list because they’re not directly related to diagnosing or treating a patient. Realistically, the state of the televisions says a lot to a patient about how the rest of the stay is going to go. I understand your angle, but on this topic I don’t agree.

  21. AFSCME members please know that our union is only as strong as its members. We can not complain that our union is weak because we are the union. I have ran into countless people who ask where do our union dues go? Well, they go to pay for our leaders, possibly an attorney, legal fees etc. Until you experience unfair treatment by your department and need union support you won’t know what they do behind the scenes! Please support our stewards and leaders. Do NOT say our union is weak! WE are the union, so step up and rally your department to stand strong and SHOW your support. Wear your buttons, post on the blogs and post your picture on the union’s Facebook page!

  22. This is what Kaiser (local) SEIU local 49 just got.
    HERE’S JUST SOME OF WHAT WE WON:
    ◾Raises for Everyone
    ◾Maintained fully paid family healthcare benefits with minimal changes and expanded dental coverage for us and our kids.
    ◾Protected retiree medical benefits and pension
    ◾Education reimbursement increases
    ◾Protected our local contract that includes no cuts to overtime pay, seniority and job bidding rights
    ◾And much, much more!

    We should at least be able to do the same.

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