In a perfect world, OHSU would understand that its proposals are unreasonable, unfair and unnecessary and pull them from the table. In the real world, if our members want our union to settle, it is extremely likely that our next agreement will include PTO, higher health-insurance costs, and other undesirable contract language. If, however, our members let us know they are willing to withhold their labor, our bargaining team’s responses to OHSU at the table will reflect the will — and the power — of our membership.
It has never been more important that we hear from our members. Please take our members-only bargaining survey now and share the link with your AFSCME coworkers. Since we start mediation on May 21, the sooner you take the survey the better.
Our bargaining team has been your voice at the table for months, but we simply cannot fight OHSU’s bad proposals alone. As the end of our current contract nears, we need our members to tell OHSU that enough is enough. In the end, a strong majority of our membership must be willing to take direct action themselves in order to prevent OHSU’s proposals from going into effect.
We don’t have the ability to just say no to OHSU at the bargaining table, unfortunately. Under the PECBA statute, if either team declares impasse and Local 328 is unable to reach an agreement with OHSU after a cooling-off period, OHSU will be able to implement what’s called a last, best and final offer. Unless there is a strike, if this final offer includes PTO and the health-insurance take-backs, then those will go into effect.
While our contract remains in effect until June 30, Local 328 members need to start thinking now about what sort of future they want and what they’re willing to do about it. If the survey responses show that our union has strong member support for a formal work stoppage, that doesn’t mean we will go on strike at this point. A strike is the last option in a long process, and we have a variety of tools we can use before it comes to that.