We have a lot to report tonight!
Mid-Bargaining Town Hall
April 23 is the last day for either of the bargaining teams to present new proposals, so our union will be hosting a second town hall after everything is on the table.
Join us on Wednesday, April 24, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. in UHS 8B60 to learn more about OHSU’s proposals and let us know your thoughts. The town hall will be live-streamed for members who are unable to attend in person. Light refreshments will be served. A link to the live-stream will be emailed prior to the event. You may email questions in advance to email@example.com in advance.
This is your opportunity to give our union direction as we develop our counterproposals over the coming weeks — we hope you join us! A flyer for the event has been emailed to our members — feel free to print and share the flyer.
OHSU’s PTO Proposal
First, we feel it’s important to inform our members that our bargaining team was disappointed that OHSU chose to send their “not your mother’s PTO program” email in the midst of negotiations. During conversations earlier in bargaining, our teams established an understanding that we would give each other advance notice of this type of communication. We feel that OHSU’s email showed a lack of respect toward the bargaining process and our team.
Although OHSU’s communications claim that its PTO proposal package isn’t a take-back, our union disagrees with this characterization. OHSU’s proposal is a warmed-over, slightly tweaked (for the worse) version of its 2017 proposal that our members strongly opposed. Among other things, OHSU’s package proposal:
- Creates new barriers to utilizing accruals for sick leave
- Reduces vacation cash-out upon termination
- Reduces annual vacation cash-out opportunities
- Creates two tiers of benefits (e.g., paid parental leave or no paid leave) depending on an employee’s retirement plan*
Our union will be talking about OHSU’s PTO proposal in much more depth over the coming weeks. In the meantime, we’ve emailed a copy of OHSU’s comparison/summary chart to our members. Please comment here and let us know your thoughts and questions about this proposal. OHSU absolutely reads these comments, so this is your chance to share your feedback with OHSU leadership.
OHSU’s Proposed Insurance Take-backs
Despite OHSU’s unprecedented financial success, today its bargaining team also proposed the health-care insurance take-backs that our union has been expecting. Key changes include:
- Decreasing OHSU’s contribution to employee-only insurance coverage from 100 percent to 95 percent (for full-time employees)
- Decreasing OHSU’s contribution to all other tiers of insurance coverage from 88 percent to 83 percent (for full-time employees)
- Imposing a $100/month spousal surcharge on employees whose spouse is covered by OHSU’s insurance when the spouse could be covered by their employer’s insurance (a flat fee — whether the employee is full time or part time, whether or not the employee earns only $15/hour)
- Overhauling the Employee Benefits Council, turning it from a collaborative body that makes decisions about our benefits to one that merely makes recommendations (final decisions about your benefits would be made by OHSU’s vice president of Human Resources)
OHSU’s earnings are $62 million above budget, yet it wants to nickel-and-dime its employees. OHSU is a health-care institution, yet it has proposed making its health-care insurance more of a financial hardship for its own employees. OHSU’s financial performance improves year after year after year, yet it feels it bears an unsustainable, “disproportionate share” of its employees’ health-care costs.
Community Advisory Board
On a more positive note, today our union presented a proposal that we’re very proud of: a memorandum of understanding to develop a community advisory board. We already know that OHSU has a huge impact on the health care of those in our community and throughout Oregon. Local 328 believes that OHSU has the power to do even more for the common good.
Our proposed advisory board would gather together various constituencies at OHSU: all four labor unions, the Faculty Senate, the PA Board, the Advanced Practice Nurse Council, the OHSU All-Hill Student Council, the OHSU House Officers Associations and OHSU management. These parties would meet to look at issues such as health-care costs, clinic access, housing and transportation issues, educational and employment opportunities, sustainability and government and policy matters. Non-OHSU stakeholders (community groups, representatives from local government, etc.) would be invited in on an ad-hoc basis. The advisory board would periodically submit a report of recommendations to the OHSU president and the leaders of the various participant groups.
Local 328 currently has commitments from a significant majority of the above groups and are in the process of working with the others, and we have buy-in from community groups such as Portland Jobs with Justice. We intend to work together regardless of how the proposal plays out. We hope that OHSU will join us.
Other Notes from Today’s Session
In addition to our community advisory board proposal, this week Local 328 also presented the following proposals:
- 10.9 Transport Work — A $10 increase (from $65 to $75) to the bonus PANDA employees receive for each transport assignment.
- New: Staffing Task Force — A memorandum of understanding to convene a task force to discuss concerns regarding significant staffing issues at OHSU.
- Appendix A: Contract Variations Applicable to Salaried Employees — We proposed a number of changes to this appendix, including:
- Removing a number of the contract exceptions so that salaried employees have more parity with hourly employees
- Increasing vacation time:
- 1st – 5th year: increase from 15 days to 18
- 5th – 10th year: increase from 17 days to 19
- 10th– 15th year: increase from 19 days to 20
- 15th– 20th year: increase from 21 days to 22
- After 20th year: increase from 24 days to 25
- Adding shift differentials that match those of hourly employees
- Adding options to earn overtime
- Adding a process for salaried employees to change to hourly status
Over the past several weeks, a number of proposals have been presented by both teams and are still in play, including:
- Making changes to the steward program
- Limiting unauthorized absences to no-call/no-shows only
- Offering free transit passes
- Introducing not-for-cause drug testing
- Changing the grievance process
After presenting our final new proposals next week, our union’s bargaining team will focus on negotiating the above proposals, the various economic proposals, and more. As we move into the second half of negotiations, now is the time for our members to get active, make your voices heard and think about what the various proposals mean for you. Again, we encourage you to comment here and on our Facebook page, as well as join us at the town hall on Wednesday, April 24.
*Note: OHSU’s proposed language makes changes to the voluntary cash-out for PERS Tier 1 & 2 employees, but not to their cash-out upon termination. (An earlier version of this post was unclear in this regard.)