Bargaining-Session Update: May 28

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Attend our bargaining rally and BBQ! Join your coworkers at this family-friendly rally on Thursday, June 13, starting at 4:00 p.m. on the Mac Hall lawn. Join us for all or part of the gathering. This fun event will be one of the best tools we have, short of a strike, to show OHSU the strength of our opposition to the take-backs it has proposed. Please RSVP here! (A flyer for you to print/share can be found in the blog post before this one.)

OHSU’s bargaining forums with HR director Hollie Hemenway have been announced! The first event will be held on Wednesday, June 5, from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. in Richard Jones Hall rm. 4320, and the second on Wednesday, June 19, from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the Doernbecher 11th floor Vey Auditorium. Both of these venues hold ~150 people — let’s pack the rooms like we did for our May 22 town hall! We encourage our members to attend (wearing green and wearing your AFSCME buttons and stickers, of course) and respectfully engage as OHSU presents information about its proposals.

If you are upset by OHSU’s take-backs and its rejection of our economic proposals, you must act to keep them from becoming reality: take our bargaining survey, show up at the town halls, show up at the rally, wear your union stickers and make sure your coworkers know about the type of contract OHSU is proposing for us.

OHSU proposes financial take-backs every contract because it thinks our members will just accept it, but you have the power to say “enough is enough” and prove OHSU wrong. Our members deserve a fair contract with no take-backs, and we have the power to get it. 


The bargaining teams worked on our own today, without the services of the state mediator, and are pleased to report that we had a productive day, with movement made on both sides. The teams reached tentative agreements on the following sections of the contract:

    • Article 2: The teams reached agreement on a number of changes that will strengthen our steward program: (a) improving release time for officers, (b) increasing the number of steward hours in certain cases and (c) allowing additional stewards in departments to cover swing and graveyard shifts. We clarified with OHSU what the current practice is re: stewards and overtime, and there will be no changes to the current practice.
    • 2.9.1 Union Communications: Local 328 will continue to provide HR with an advance copy of our emails under some circumstances, with no such requirement for communications sent to all dues-paying members during bargaining.
    • Preferential Hire List (sections 5.10/5.20/18.2.4/19.7/20.2.6/20.2.8): We agreed on improved language in a number of sections of the contract related to the preferential hire list, such as improving the amount of time an employee has on the PHL when returning to work after extended medical leave. In addition, timelines in the PHL process will be paused in the event that OHSU is in a hiring freeze.
    • 6.1.3.1 Code of Conduct Complaints: This new language gives employees a mechanism to report to bullying, intimidation and harassment not related to protected classes to the union (or to the Integrity Department or HR). This is companion language to our earlier agreement that will allow employees to report discrimination and harassment to the union (or to the AAEO Department, Integrity Department or HR).
    • 23.3.1 Notice: This section of the contract relates to the amount of notice our union receives when an investigatory interview will be scheduled during off` hours (7:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.). The new language will better enable our union to provide representation to employees who don’t work the day shift. 
    • 24.1.5 Grievance Steps: The teams agreed to language that will allow the union to file a limited request for information within seven days of filing a grievance. This added language will help move the grievance process along in a more timely manner.
    • Preferential Hire List Task Force Memorandum of Understanding: With this MOU, OHSU and Local 328 agree to form a joint task force to ensure that employees and managers understand the requirements, responsibilities and steps necessary to successfully complete the PHL placement process.

Our union also presented OHSU with the following counterproposals:

    • Appendix C — Employee Benefits Council: We continue to reject OHSU’s proposal to remove the decision-making authority of this committee, and re-proposed that the presidential tie-breaker provision be removed from the language. We continue to believe that decisions about benefits-plan design should be made in a collaborative manner, hearing all voices at the table.
    • OHSU/AFSCME Task Force on Workforce Mental Health Support MOU: We proposed some tweaks to OHSU’s counterproposal to our language. This task force would develop a position description for and oversee the hiring of an OHSU-employed internal counselor to support on-site group counseling/support in the wake of tragic/difficult events (death of a coworker, death of a long-time patient, etc.) that affect a work unit, as well as create a training program for interested members to recognize PTSD symptoms and to provide critical-incident group debriefings to employees in affected work units. The teams are close to agreement on this MOU.

25 thoughts on “Bargaining-Session Update: May 28”

  1. I plan to be at the first OHSU bargaining town hall Wednesday the 5th. Jennifer do we know of they’re fielding our questions or will they be up there reading from a script attempting to justify their decision to wage class warfare on our members?

    1. Hi Jim. The email from HR just says “Hollie Hemenway, HR director and a member of our bargaining team, will provide information on OHSU’s bargaining proposals.” That doesn’t sound like she’ll actually be fielding questions, but I think we all hope that’s not the case.

  2. Thank you so much for all that you are doing for us!! Where can I purchase one of those awesome green AFSCME t-shirts?

  3. Glad to know there has been a little progress and excited for the rally! I’m trying to make sure I bring it up whenever I talk with other members.

  4. I am appalled at the 2 tier approach to wage increases. And 1.5 % for any earners is insulting. Even 2.5% is below the projected cost of living increase for 2019 and beyond. So once again, we go backwards in pay. We must stand together this time. OHSU has learned from situations like the PERS take-back that if they divide us, we will not stand up to them. We need to dissuade them of that notion. Solidarity.

  5. Per today’s email from Labor Relations:

    “No movement on insurance benefits-
    AFSCME also provided responses to OHSU’s prior proposals around insurance contributions, spousal surcharge, and the Employee Benefits Council, maintaining its position on each of those without any movement. Unfortunately AFSCME appears unwilling to engage in bargaining around these important items, but we will continue to negotiate these issues in future sessions.”

    My take from this is that AFSCME is looking out for me and I appreciate it!

      1. Exactly. I just worry that OHSU is just stalling to run out the clock so they can go with their “last best offer” and try to screw us.

        1. Although our union has disagreed with some of OHSU’s actions and communications during these negotiations, we have no reason to believe that the employer isn’t bargaining in good faith. I don’t believe they’re stalling/trying to run out the clock.

    1. I don’t know whether to be insulted or amused when I see verbiage like this in OHSU’s bargaining emails. On the one hand it’s “How gullible do they think our members are?” and on the other hand it’s “Thanks for confirming to our members that Local 328 is standing firm against OHSU’s insurance take-backs!”

      Of course we aren’t moving regarding insurance—our members don’t want to pay more for their health insurance, and many can’t afford to! I’m at the table to get a fair contract for our members, not to help OHSU cut costs so that executives can keep getting their bonuses.

      And, we could have included something like this in our bargaining email: “No movement on differentials or pay equity: Unfortunately, OHSU appears unwilling to engage in bargaining around these important items, but we will continue to negotiate these issues in future sessions.”

        1. Exactly right, Susan. It’s infuriating and wrong on so many levels. See you at the rally on June 13th from 4-6pm.

    2. Thanks for your support, Kimberly. We are looking out for you and contrary to OHSU’s belief, we very much want to reach an agreement on important issues such as insurance. We just don’t believe that such an agreement should come in the form of cost-shifting to employees. See you at the rally on June 13th!

  6. Thanks bargaining team for you hard work. Sounds like you made some good progress for all of our members. You all are doing a amazing job. I can not express my appreciation enough. Keep it up. :)

  7. Way to go bargaining team and AFSCME! Can’t wait to thank you in person at the rally! Thank you for sticking up for ALL of us, protecting us and our families from OHSU proposals that will hurt us ALL! My kids need affordable and appropriate health insurance-and a mom that is paid fairly and in keeping with cost of living increases! OHSU- my voice matters? I’m “not moving”. I am “engaged”. Are you listening OHSU? Then you move.

  8. Thank you AFSCME and bargaining team!!! I am so proud of the work you all are doing on our behalf.
    Members, let’s show OHSU that we are strong and we will not back down! We deserve R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

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