There are two phases of strike preparation: the preparation of individual members to go on strike and the preparations the local union must make in order to coordinate and sustain a strike. For the time being, we will present this information in the form of checklists for easy review. As we get closer to a strike vote (if one is necessary), we will present more detailed information. Be sure to read our Strike FAQ article as well.
The main things to take away from this is that you will need to prepare economically to weather a strike as individuals and for your families, and you will need to consider what you can offer in terms of volunteer support to coordinate and maintain a strike and an effective picket presence. There will be lots of opportunities to help, both on the front lines and behind the scenes.
Things members need to do before going on strike — starting now
- Health Care: Get routine medical visits/wellness checks out of the way for you and your family. If you anticipate needing these dental/vision appointments/services, get them taken care of now.
- Mortgage/Rent: Talk to your bank or credit union and negotiate a plan for the possible duration of a strike before your next payment is due. Banks and credit-card companies will work with you if you plan ahead.
- Taxes: If you have property taxes due, ask if an accommodation can be arranged to defer them for a while.
- Utilities: Request to spread out your payments.
- Insurance: Investigate ways to spread out your premiums.
- Child Support: Contact your ex-spouse and try to work something out (but do work something out — don’t just stop paying).
- Only buy necessities — save your money.
- Hold off on purchasing any optional luxury items or taking on any new monthly payments until after the contract is settled.
- Stock up on non-perishable food. If you have a freezer, start filling it.
- Making credit-card purchases while on strike is not recommended; if you must, use a line of credit with lower interest. Make the minimum payment if necessary.
Things the union must do before and during a strike
Green tasks require member volunteers; all others would primarily be the responsibility of paid Local 328 staff, elected Local leaders and supporters from Oregon AFSCME and other unions.
- Find a strike headquarters.
- Organize strike, picketing and finance committees.
- Recruit and train picket captains.
- Hold a pre-strike briefing conference with picket captains, stewards and all committee members.
- Prepare picket signs and slogans.
- Decide where to picket, the hours of picketing and the number of pickets required.
- Develop guidelines for picket-line operations.
- Decide how much of the union’s funds need to be set aside for strike-related expenses.
- Negotiate a strike protocol with OHSU and the police.
- Decide how to respond to members who cross the picket line.
- Arrange with other labor groups to join and support the picket line.
- Arrange accommodations for the physical needs of picketers (portable bathroom facilities, food, water, warmth, lots of coffee).
- Consider alternative picket duties, such as childcare, webmaster, phone coordinator.
- Set up a communications system with picket captains and the members.
- Have union counselors available to assist strikers facing emotional and financial problems.