Mediation Update: June 18

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Today was our second time meeting with the state mediator. Over the course of the day, bargaining-team leaders from Local 328 and OHSU met in a series of sidebars and the teams exchanged communications through the mediator. While our team waited for a counterproposal from OHSU, we discussed strategies and communications for the coming weeks. At 6:10 p.m., we received a confidential mediation proposal from OHSU that discussed wages, PTO and benefits. Our team reviewed the proposal in good faith and will respond to OHSU during our next mediation session.

Although no movement was made today, we look forward to making progress in future mediation sessions. Due to a scheduling conflict, the state mediator is not available next week; as such, we will not be meeting with OHSU. Our union’s bargaining team will instead use the day to analyze the final bargaining-survey data, consider a variety of contract options and proposals, work on communications and conduct member outreach. The teams will spend three consecutive business days in mediation starting on Friday, June 28.

Upcoming Events

Our members deserve a fair contract with no take-backs, and we have the power to get it. OHSU proposes financial take-backs every contract because it thinks our members will just accept them, but you have the power to say “enough is enough” and prove OHSU wrong. Please take note of the following important dates and participate to help us win a fair contract:

      • OHSU’s second bargaining forum with HR director Hollie Hemenway will be held on Wednesday, June 19, from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the Doernbecher 11th floor Vey Auditorium. 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.
      • Join your coworkers at our union’s next bargaining town hall on Wednesday, June 26, from 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m. in UHS 8B60. This is your opportunity to ask questions about proposals that are still on the table, what’s happening in mediation, and what our union’s — and our members’ — next steps are. The town hall will be live-streamed for members who are unable to attend in person — the link will be shared in our bargaining-update email. Light refreshments will be served.
      • Show the OHSU board of directors at their next meeting that our members are standing strong for a fair contract at our “Green-out the Board” event on Thursday, June 27, at 1:00 p.m. at RLSB rm. 2S030/34 (at the waterfront). Wear green, of course!

39 thoughts on “Mediation Update: June 18”

  1. Enough is enough! Thank you AFSCME for all your hard work today, and everyday! We are standing tall with you!

    I will be at the upcoming events in green! #STRONGERTOGETHER

  2. I was a little disappointed that OHSU was not able to get us a proposal until 18:10. I would have liked to have sent OHSU a counter proposal.

  3. Why was the proposal so late in the day? Thank you to the bargaining team for all of your hard work.

  4. What exactly is a confidential mediation proposal? Why wasn’t it run through the mediator? Just hoping for some clarification.

    Thanks for all you do!

    1. Hi, HA. A confidential mediation proposal is basically a “what-if” proposal–it’s a way for the teams to explore ideas for reaching agreement, but is not binding. The proposal was run through the mediator–at this stage of negotiations, she’s involved in all of our communications with OHSU. Sometimes she’ll shuttle information back and forth between the two teams, and sometimes she’ll sit in on short face-to-face sessions involving the leaders of both teams.

  5. Michelle- It’s hard to say. The mediator told us that OHSU had been working on it most of the day.

    AFSCME is holding another town hall on Wednesday, June 26th from noon-1 in UHS 8b60 and we highly encourage you and your co-workers to attend. We will be discussing our upcoming actions and giving people information about strike authorization.

    To be clear, a strike authorization does not mean we intend to strike. But we want our members to be as informed as possible so they can be prepared for all possible scenarios.

  6. Was anyone else able to find Hollie’s answers from the town hall? If not, here they are. The most interesting to me is #8-

    Are you planning on freezing executive bonuses for the entirety of the time that it takes to figure out pay inequalities?

    No, but all components of pay equity are being reviewed and necessary changes implemented as soon as possible.

    Are you fr********ing kidding me? So they are FREEZING our increases to still collect bonuses. That is real magic. I have literally never been so disgusted with an employer IN MY LIFE. I am already looking for employment elsewhere. This contract negotiation has done nothing but illuminate that a for profit hospital is the WORST idea ever. Why should we work hard to hand the executives bonuses. Why should executives benefit from our sick patients. It is literally the most absurd system I have ever seen. I, along with my entire team are disgusted with YOU OHSU. We are disgusted with the MANAGEMENT on the bargaining committee. I would rather go to a hospital that cares about it’s employees, that cares about it’s patients. I have been looking at other hospital contracts and as the years have passed their benefit package has far surpassed ours. With pay for community service, better benefits, a PTO bank that actually makes sense. Adios OHSU. #STRONGERELSEWHERE

    1. At Today’s Bargaining forum the VP of HR pretty much said the pay inequity is due to our contract…pretty much it’s our own fault for being in a union.

    2. I find it most interesting that they either don’t know the current contract or are lying about it. Multiple times in the Q&A they said that the current step raises: “It does not include step increases, which are separate and range from 2.5% to 4.25%.”

      But the contracted step raises are currently 1.5% to 4.0%.

      And HR/Payroll certainly knows the correct information as my last step raise was 1.5%.

      How can the OHSU bargaining team be so misinformed about what they are negotiating?

      1. I’d like to know about this too. It looks like this may have been corrected on the HR town hall Q&A, which is great, but this seems a very important piece to miss when talking about step increases with the OHSU proposed 1% increase

  7. Hello,
    I notice that hospital seems to be hiring a number of student patient transport staff and I cannot help but wonder if this is in anticipation of an AFSCME strike and an attempt
    to preemptively replace us union workers. Can someone look into this?

    1. Hi Frank. It’s really hard to know how management is preparing for the potential of a strike. But we do know that they have a plan in place.

  8. Hi
    I hear all these numbers from OHSU for PTO. Where can I find the counter offer from 328? Also Holly said if we had a better idea to bring it up to our bargaining committee. I thought all the proposals are done and that we cannot change?

    1. Our counterproposal to OHSU’s PTO proposal was to maintain the current VAC/SIK system, in addition to our earlier proposal to increase vacation accruals as follows:

      1st – 5th year: increase from 12 days to 15
      5th – 10th year: increase from 15 days to 17
      10th – 15th year: increase from 18 days to 19
      15th – 20th year: increase from 21 days to 22
      After 20th year: increase from 24 days to 25
      No change for employees hired prior to Sept. 11, 1998.

      Neither team can bring forward new proposals at this time, but tweaks can be made to existing proposals. If any of our members have suggestions or ideas, feel free to add them in the blog comments or email them to

  9. Everyone keep up the pressure! Thank you bargaining team for your researched, honest and thoughtful proposals! I stand with you and am ready to strike to get a fair contract.

  10. I attended the OHSU forum yesterday. What stuck me was that every suggestion from employees to OHSU on how to alter their proposals was met with the response that the employee should tell it to AFSCME bargaining. As if OHSU can’t change their proposals and it falls on AFSCME to be the only one to change? OHSU: Do our voices matter to YOU? I know my voice matters to MY union. We are telling you what you need to do to show respect for the contribution and value of those who do the work.
    Stay Strong AFSCME! OHSU: listen to our feedback and thank us for it by making changes yourself.

  11. I was unable to attend the HR meeting yesterday as it was such an obscure time of day, when most people are still seeing patients… Was it the same tone as the first meeting? Sticky note questions only? I will go and look for the link to view it later just wondering what people thought about it.

    THANK YOU again to our bargaining team for all your hard work.

    1. Hi L. I wasn’t able to attend either, but from what I hear, the tone was the same (if not worse) than the previous meeting. HR did field actual questions this time, rather than go the sticky-note route. Our union is holding another town hall of our own next Wednesday, June 26, from 12:00-1:00 PM in UHS8B60–hope you can join us!

    1. That document contains answers to the unanswered questions from OHSU’s June 5 forum. Since the revision date is 6/20, they must have added something after the 6/19 forum. I’ll compare it to the earlier, unrevised version I have and comment back here if there are any noteworthy edits.

      1. The change I am aware of is that they corrected it to state that the step raises are 1.5%-4%. (Before it said they were 2.5%-4.25%.)

  12. Suggestions if we have to budge:
    PTO: eliminate the ‘donut hole’ and have a full five days moved to PTO bank rather than 4. Increase the accrual cap to 450 hours. Increase parental leave to 6 weeks. Keep cash out at end of employment as is.
    Benefit cost sharing: Just no.
    Spousal surcharge: Just no.

    Also, what are the thoughts on a targeted strike? Or is it an all or nothing strike?

    1. Amen to that Cass,
      OHSU’s has been trying to sell us a “fake” PTO plan since 2017 as none cost savings to OHSU & because they want a more attractive benefits package. Here’s a thought OHSU just invest more in your outdated benefits plan!! Why is it that if “terminated” (or separation other than “layoffs) from OHSU after 3-years PTO will paid out at 50% of 80 hours. The current cash out is 100% of 250 hours (same for the “fake” PTO plan it layoff). They believe we can’t understand the fact that this is a cost savings & they keep saying the small saving that will be seen will be consumed by “administration” fees. True this will be used to fund the more attractive benefits plan, by offering a new prenatal leave program paid for by long term employees earned vacation hours.
      Union Strong!

    2. Cass-We will be discussing various escalation options including a strike authorization at the town hall this Wednesday from noon-1pm in uhs 8b60. It will be live streamed and we will be communicating with members via social media and email as we develop our game plan. Thanks for staying tuned!

  13. I look forward to helping show the board how many of us keep this organization running. Without AFSCME, OHSU is a chair with two legs.

  14. Legacy has their benefits package online. It is far better then OHSU’s, while we have been working hard and trusting that we are still getting comparable benefits OHSU has taken everything away. Of note, they too have a PTO system but THEY START WITH 4 WEEKS. Let that sink in. That’s a difference of 8 days.


  15. Legacy definitely does not have more vacation days than what OHSU is proposing. They start out with 25 PTO days but that bank includes vacation, sick, and holiday. If you took out the 8 holidays that OHSU currently celebrates their PTO bank would actually be at 17 days which is actually 7 days less than what OHSU is currently offering.

    That said, I don’t love the PTO proposal OHSU is making.

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