Bargaining-Session Update: April 30

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Our union spent the day working on counterproposals to unresolved contract language still on the table. Since we had notified OHSU that our team would be in caucus all day, the OHSU team did not join us at the Oregon AFSCME office today. Our bargaining team had a very productive caucus day and developed dozens of counterproposals to OHSU’s proposals, including language on hours of work, the preferential hire list, steward/officer hours, discipline, grievances, and drug/alcohol testing. (Some of our counters to other OHSU proposals may simply be to keep current contract language.)

We expect that both teams will have a full slate of counterproposals to share when we meet again on May 7. Details about our union’s counterproposals will be included in next week’s bargaining update, after our proposed language been presented to OHSU. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts in the comments below and take a very important bargaining survey (see additional information at the bottom of this post).

We also reviewed dozens of letters of agreement to determine whether we want these to roll over to the next contract. Going forward, our union intends to include these LOAs in the printed contract (and PDF) so that all contractual language can be found in one place. 


A number of our proposals are awaiting a response from OHSU, including:

    • Across-the-Board Wage Increases — offering a 5.0% increase the first year of the contract and a 4.0% raise the second
    • Lump Sum Payment — offering a $100 or 1% (whichever is greater) payment in November
    • Longevity Rate — restoring longevity status to some employees who lost it with the 2015 contract
    • Differentials — offering a number of new differentials: weekend, float, advanced certification and preceptor 
    • Free Bus Passes — offering free transit passes to AFSCME-represented employees upon request (for TriMet, C-TRAN and other transit systems)
    • Community Advisory Board — establishing a task force uniting faculty, students, nurses, all four unions and others to look at issues such as health-care costs, housing and transportation issues, clinic access and employment opportunities
    • Peer-to-Peer Group Counseling/Support — establishing a task force on implementing critical-incident debriefing training and group counseling in the wake of difficult/tragic events affecting a work unit
    • Staffing Task Force — establishing a task force to discuss concerns re: significant staffing issues
    • 403(b) Contribution Match — requiring OHSU to partially match voluntary contributions to a 403(b) retirement plan (similar to ONA’s contact)
    • Reimbursement of Certification Expenses — reimbursing employees for certification fees that meet eligibility requirements
    • PERS Pension Rates — requiring OHSU to contribute 2% of PERS participants’ earnings to a 403(b) retirement account if the legislature passes a requirement for participants to contribute to PERS
    • Tuition Discounts — allowing our union to negotiate parity with ONA’s tuition-discount language
    • Time Off Between Regularly Scheduled Shifts — compensating employees at time and a half for shifts worked after a shortened rest period
    • Posting & Awarding of Position — expanding job-bid language
    • Preferential Hire List Task Force — establishing a task force to ensure that the PHL placement process is easily understood by employees and managers
    • Co-Branding — requiring that initiatives/projects developed jointly between Local 328 and OHSU are co-branded

Upcoming Events & Activities

    • May 1 – mid-June — Bargaining Survey: Take this very important bargaining survey to give our union direction re: settling vs. striking. Since we start mediation on May 21, the sooner you take the survey the better. Details will be shared in a President’s Message email being sent later this week. 
    • May 8 — OHSU Employee Career Fair: Explore career paths and workplace opportunities at this event being held Wednesday, May 8, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the BICC Gallery. Learn more here. 
    • May 22 — Bargaining Town Hall: Attend our next town hall on Wednesday, May 22, from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. in UHS 8B60. Hollie Hemenway, director of HR and Employee/Labor Relations and a member of OHSU’s bargaining team, will be in attendance.
    • June TBD (if needed) — Strike-Related Membership Meeting: If our survey indicates member support for a formal work stoppage, we will hold a special membership meeting in June, with a formal vote whether to authorize the bargaining team to call a strike.
    • OHSU is conducting a employee engagement survey through Tuesday, May 20. Share your experience on work environment, OHSU leadership, compensation and more here. 

27 thoughts on “Bargaining-Session Update: April 30”

  1. Such great proposals. So glad you all had a productive day. Thank you so much for all the hard work you are all doing.

  2. The town halls have been extremely valuable to me, and I bring all of the information I learn back to my team so they can feel empowered with the very latest. We are paying close attention to bargaining! Our unit – like all units – works very hard and our team deserves the best! Thank you for pushing for just that – the best!

  3. Thank you for going to the table for us. I am tired of seeing more and more money out of my check for benefits for my family. the surcharge discussion and any increase in benefits cost should be a hard NO and left that as ironclad strike if that is anywhere near these negotiations. it shouldn’t be negotiable at all because the cost out of pocket is already ridiculous. In addition to this, the cost of housing has gone up much more than 5% and doesn’t really keep us flat with “cost of living”, so if anything, I’m hoping the union does not budge on that number at all. I have spoken with a number of people and seems that If OHSU agrees to 5% increase and 4% increase next year, leave the benefits alone or make them better for once, from the compensation section of this contract proposal this may avoid a strike. Honestly, we would really like to see some sort of headway in regard to getting back some of what we have lost in the last 4 contracts. Otherwise I believe AFSCME should start preparing for the strike. Thank you for your help.

      1. We, too, have discussed striking in our unit. OHSU’s proposals have people very upset! The distribution of wealth is very uneven!

    1. Thanks Jeff – please pass on to those folks about the bargaining survey. It is the way for the team to gauge how the membership is feeling.

  4. Thank you sooo much to the AFSCME bargaining team!! You guys really put up some great proposals for all of us. Without AFSCME, we all know OHSU’s corporate greed would be through the roof (more than it already is!) I really appreciate all the passion, hard work, and solidarity.

    We are watching you, OHSU!!!!

    1. Hi Krysta. The link will be emailed out in a President’s Message email early tomorrow. We’ll also be posting the link in various places after that–on the blog, website, and Facebook page.

  5. I am not sure what a strike entails all of the ins and outs. Could someone send out a email regarding it please. If we are going to make a decision on whether or not we would be willing to strike it would be nice to know what that completely means.

    Thank You

    1. Hi KD. We’ll be sharing info about this throughout May, including at the 5/22 town hall. We’ll be sure to get some kind of strike FAQ posted on the blog and/or emailed out soon so that folks have the info while the survey is ongoing. Thanks for the suggestion!

  6. Thank you Local 328 stewards for all that you do. I hope OHSU is preparing for this strike. We, the people, the people that run this company and earn their bonuses are ready to fight. We are no longer going to line their pockets and allow them to take from us. There is no shame in being the best hospital in Oregon, and treating your employees the best in Oregon. Strive for that OHSU executives, put that on your GROW goal for 2019. Treat your employees like the angels that we are. We love our work, we love our patients, we love our coworkers, and that is the ONLY reason we are all still here. Every year they take away, and this year we are no backing down. Thanks again to all the union stewards, we are here and we do support you!

    1. The only effective answer to organized greed is organized labor ~ Thomas Donahue (and the members of Local 328)

  7. Thank you for your hard work! Please hold firm! We all deserve better than what OHSU is offering! The more I read about the proposed changes to healthcare benefits and the punitively arranged PTO proposal and the plan to limit the voice and power of the Employee Benefits Council I’m aghast- its just take, take, take. I realize this year, this contract is HUGE! Go Bargaining Team! I’ll support you however you need me to!

  8. My unit is ready to strike if the insurance hikes, surcharges and PTO aren’t taken off the table. Thanks for all your hard work!

  9. What is the big problem with the surcharges? Many in my work unit were discussing this and actually in favor of OHSU implementing this in lieu of other cost increases.
    If a spouse has insurance through another employer, then doesn’t it make sense they should pay a little more to have 2 insurances?

    1. First, the spousal surcharge wouldn’t be imposed when a spouse has dual coverage—it would apply when the spouse uses OHSU coverage instead of their own employer’s coverage.

      Second, I would ask you and your coworkers why you feel OHSU needs to impose ANY cost increases on its employees. As we noted in our April 9 bargaining update, OHSU reports operating income through February of $116 million, earnings that are $62 million above budget, revenues that are up $83 million compared to budget, and cash on hand of $1.5 billion. With discretionary funds of $11.8 billion, why does OHSU need to nickel and dime its employees?

  10. OHSU can afford all the things it wants to do to recruit employees, build programs and comply with the law WITHOUT making its employees pay for it! We’ve already paid for it through chronic understaffing, insufficient equipment and perpetual cost containment. Stand together! Fight! Prepare for strike!

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