Many of you may be wondering the status of the pay-equity package OHSU proposed on April 23. OHSU presented the package as its solution to legal requirements of Oregon’s Pay Equity Law that went into effect on January 1. A copy of OHSU’s full proposal will be attached to today’s bargaining-update email. Components of this package include:
- Suspending annual reviews done by the Market-Based Wage Committee for the duration of the new contract.
- Changing the pay rate associated with voluntary and involuntary demotions, with promotions and lateral transfers and with upward, downward and lateral reclassifications.
- Eliminating progression increases in some cases.
- Holding back from any across-the-board increases, for the duration of the contract, the equivalent of 0.5% of the bargaining unit’s base wages “in order to address pay equity.”
If you review the information at the link above, you will note that the law is intended to protect employees who are members of a protected class. OHSU has not been using the term “protected class” in its rationale at the bargaining table or in its communications about this proposal, which Local 328 finds troubling. Our union is working with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and with Oregon AFSCME’s legal staff to ensure that OHSU’s compliance with this law does not unnecessarily burden our members and that this proposal is not used as a means for OHSU to cut its payroll expenses. If OHSU has employees who have been underpaid due to their status as a member of a protected class, we strongly support the employer’s efforts to remedy this. We are opposed to the idea that OHSU should use our members’ pay to help it resolve possible discriminatory compensation practices.
We have not yet responded to OHSU’s proposal. We will share more information as soon as it becomes available. Please share your questions and concerns here in the meantime.