AFSCME Local 328 members in patient transportation services were shocked last night when supervisors told them to stop wearing union badge extenders and asked them to turn the badge extenders in to their supervisor.
In an apparent reaction to increased union activity by patient transportation services members, supervisors have engaged in a series of actions which seem designed to intimidate and discourage employees from engaging in protected union activity. Members have been told not to speak with or approach Union staff and stewards while on duty even if the conversation was of the incidental “water cooler” type discussion and not interfering with work.
Union representatives who have gone through proper channels to meet and speak with members on break and lunch times have been denied access to the patient transportation break room and have been relegated to an isolated table away from member traffic areas.
Finally, on Wednesday evening, members were told to remove Union badges and turn them over to management. The OHSU dress code and Oregon labor law protect the right of union members to wear Union buttons and Union insignia.
After consulting with our attorneys on Thursday morning, Union staff members Ross Grami and Kate Baker met with Patient Transportation management. During the meeting management agreed to allow AFSCME members to resume wearing their Union badges.
Management further agreed to issue an apology to the members in Patient Transportation.
Members have the right to wear Union badges throughout OHSU. There are some limitations on badge size. In patient care areas there are some restrictions on the kind of slogans or messages that may appear on a badge or button. However, you are always allowed to proudly identify yourself as a member of our Union.
We want to thank the members in Patient Transportation for standing up for our Union rights.