About OHSU’s May 10 Bargaining Update…

Share if you care

A number of our members have raised an eyebrow at some of OHSU’s communications, and management has taken exception to some of Local 328’s communications. This is to be expected during contract negotiations — both sides will, of course, present their proposals in a way that aims to persuade readers of the proposals’ merits. That being said, OHSU made a few points in its last bargaining update that we’d like to address:

  • OHSU stated that “AFSCME largely rejected OHSU’s PTO and related benefits proposals…” Of course we did! Our members have resoundingly said “No PTO” since 2017, so that will be our bargaining team’s position at the table. The “related benefits proposals” are take-backs (in a time of record prosperity for OHSU) that will hurt our members financially, so our union is going to fight them.
  • OHSU stated that it was “disappointed that AFSCME did not meaningfully engage with us to help create a more competitive and market-appropriate benefits system.” Our union, of course, wants OHSU to be and remain financially successful. That being said, we are bargaining for a fair contract for our members — that’s our priority. We are disappointed that OHSU has proposed so many unnecessary take-backs, and we don’t agree that it is Local 328’s responsibility to ensure that OHSU is “more competitive.” (In addition, it seems that OHSU focuses on making itself competitive for faculty recruitment, rather than in ways that would help our members.)
  • OHSU stated that AFSCME “rejected a pilot program to test out” a new system to increase paid and release hours for union executives. We believe this statement goes a bit beyond spin. OHSU had proposed a memorandum of understanding that outlined a concept in which OHSU would grant 40 hours of paid release time per week to be used by Local 328’s president, vice president and chief steward, in percentages determined by our union. We countered with a slightly tweaked version of the MOU, which included formatting changes as well as non-substantive changes such as referring to time spent “on matters undertaken at the behest of the Employer (e.g., appointment to and work done for Employer committees)” instead of “on matters directed by the committees of the Employer, or otherwise at the behest of the Employer.” We also proposed eliminating the language stating that MOU would expire two years after the effective date of the new contract. Local 328 did not “reject” OHSU’s proposal.
  • OHSU stated that our counterproposal “maintained the inequitable system of some stewards receiving overtime for union work, and others not.” This references OHSU’s proposal that the time spent by our stewards — time spent on work that benefits OHSU as well as our union — would no longer count toward overtime. None of our stewards have complained about the current system or stated that they’re concerned that the way they receive overtime is “inequitable,” so why has OHSU really proposed this? Our union has a number of concerns about this proposal — it would create financial hardship for many of our current stewards, would potentially dampen our union’s ability to recruit new stewards and could chill union activity. We remain strongly opposed to this proposal. (Note: Stewards are never paid overtime for their steward work; this proposal would affect their ability to earn overtime for OHSU work.)

16 thoughts on “About OHSU’s May 10 Bargaining Update…”

  1. I really don’t understand what they are thinking. It seems to me with every communication they make they are shooting themselves in the foot yet again. Showing us just how uninterested they are in being fair and communicating in an unbiased fashion.

    This is my first time through a union contract negotiation, and it seems horrible. And to see that the proposal is for only a 2 year contract. I don’t want to have to go through this again in 2 years… Yuck.

    1. Hi Mike. I think that OHSU doesn’t care how upset they make our members or how unfair they’re being. They think that our members will just accept what OHSU has proposed and not be willing to fight. I don’t believe that–I think we just need to make sure as many of our coworkers as possible are paying attention to bargaining.

      Local 328 proposed a two-year contract, but OHSU’s economic counterproposals yesterday were for a three-year contract. The duration of the contract will probably be one of the last things we finalize.

      We hope you’ll be able to join us at the town hall and picket!

  2. While I’m not surprised, I am disappointed that OHSU is taking a stance so similar to any large corporation: pay the guys at the top the big bucks while the rest of us struggle to make ends meet. Thinking about how much the executives earn in bonuses while we are having to pay more and more for insurance premiums AND out of pocket costs/deductibles just pisses me off!

    1. Hi Liz. Would it be possible to attend during your lunch break? If you can’t attend in person, the event will be live-streamed. If neither of these options work for you, the video will be available for later viewing. You can also send us questions in advance (to bargaining@ohsu.edu) if there’s anything you’d like us to answer for you. We do hope you’re able to join us at the town hall, and the informational picket and BBQ on June 13!

  3. I’m so sick of this ‘competitive and market-appropriate’ nonsense. Being in line with the current market is not a virtue, especially since that market currently sees so many working families living paycheck to paycheck, unable to afford healthcare or save for retirement, etc etc. Whenever I hear this line, I hear ‘we want you to be unable to afford to rent even a one-bedroom apartment in Portland, just like everyone else your age.’ Like, get off it, OHSU.

    The little note HR sent out yesterday about why OHSU’s reps are no longer going to participate in the upcoming town hall is pretty contemptible too. It just smells of being too cowardly to face our membership and defend their indefensible proposals.

    1. I agree. Especially when OHSU’s Compensation FAQ doesn’t give any details regarding what market survey services/sources they use, or which local organizations or positions in the community they are comparing against. I say – prove it OHSU. Show us the actual market data you are using to determine wages.

      And I’d also like to know who is being counted in that pool of “employees who have worked at OHSU since 2013 [that] have received 39% wage increases on average.” I didn’t get anywhere near that much, did any of you?

    2. Wondering if that was a typo in OHSU’s bargaining update today, and they meant 3.9% per year increase – not 39% total over the 5 year period?

        1. Now that I go back and read the email again I notice they don’t specify that it’s AFSCME employees only that have seen a 39% wage increase. Which means if they’re taking an average from all employees, they’re including the people at the top who get gigantic bonuses, which will skew the average higher in such a way that it’s not representative of reality for most people. Curious what the median increase has been instead, for AFSCME employees.

  4. So cannot believe that OHSU has pushed back on all of our requests however it does show how much they appreciate the hard work and dedication that we have for our jobs. I have been with them 20 years and it is NOT about the Mission. It is about a decent income and about the people in our community we care for. I have scene OHSU more concerned about their bottom line then about keeping excellent employees who are willing to go above and beyond when they know that their employer cares about them as much as they care about their pocket book! People are not numbers or statistics, People who care about their job do a better job, people who feel appreciated show gratitude for that appreciation. WHY stay if they do not appreciate us? Other local hospitals not only give you medical coverage they also discount your care when you use their facilities. While OHSU does not.. We pay for coverage.. We pay for our care.. and they gain! Bottom line it is time to STAND UP and PUSH BACK.. It is time to say enough is enough.

  5. Everyone needs to wear green on Friday with all their union swag when they get their appreciation breakfast from Senior Leadership for hospital appreciation week. It’s the only appreciation we get from OHSU.

      1. Celebrating National Hospital Week
        Friday May 17th 7-10am. Breakfast for employees. Free breakfast at:
        Hatfield Plaza Cafe
        Doernbecher Childrens Hospital Vey Atrium
        Center for Health and Healing Building 2 Vestas Table
        Saturday May 18
        Free Meal at Cafe on 3rd, all day, OHSU Hospital.

  6. I’ve worked at OHSU for 15 years, and used to be so proud to work here! But, through every contract negotiation period, I become less and less proud! All they do is take, take, take and never want to reward their employees for the jobs we do everyday to make them successful! They would be nowhere without the AFSCME staff!!! If it wasn’t for the caring and compassionate people I work with, I’d have been gone long ago! OHSU doesn’t care about us, they only care about keeping their pockets full at the disservice to us and the families we support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>