Join Us–and a Very Special Guest–on the Picket Line!

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Join us at our informational picket on Marquam Hill on Thursday, August 8, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., as we defend our OHSU, an institution focused on caring for our patients, supporting our research and education missions and bettering our community, not on feathering the nests of wealthy executives. Friends, coworkers, neighbors and family members are welcome! RSVP here.

We’re very excited to announce that Lee Saunders, president of the AFSCME International union, will be coming out from Washington, DC, to join us at the picket!

This event is so important to our campaign for a fair contract — it will be our members’ best opportunity, short of a strike, to show OHSU our strength. OHSU works because we do. Join us!

44 thoughts on “Join Us–and a Very Special Guest–on the Picket Line!”

  1. In case anyone needs extra motivation to come to the picket, here’s this little tidbit from one of our awesome members breaking down the truth behind their PTO proposal:

    “If you were ever wondering why OHSU is pushing its employees to a PTO system…
    The answer is they earned $23 Million by switching to PTO. Check out the attached document taken from the Board of Directors meeting in June (Page 90).
    You could argue that it was an accident. But they budgeted $15 Million for the change because they knew it would bring in earnings.
    In fact, it brought in $8 Million more than they expected.
    Source: Page 90
    https://www.ohsu.edu/sites/default/files/2019-06/COMBINED%20-%20E%20FILE%20OPTIMIZED%20-%20Public%20OHSU%20BOD%20June%2027%2C%202019.pdf

    1. Good info, Kasey!
      For anyone who attended any of OHSU’s forums, you’ll remember OHSU specifically said “we are not doing this to save money, we’re doing it for you guys because the old system is too confusing.”
      And then the very next slide was how they would save money on the PTO system! I was disgusted they would even pretend that it wasn’t about money.
      It’s the same old corporate spiel about “we all win, when the institution makes money” Which is patently untrue when they’re making money off employees’ hard work while offering meager – or even financially negative (check out that awesome financial impact excel spreadsheet) – benefit packages from year to year.
      If it was really about making the system less confusing, this PTO model makes NO sense. It’s more confusing than the current system. It’s the current system but with hurdles to jump before you can access your sick bank. How is that better or less confusing?

      1. The idea of the PTO system being less confusing somehow is laughable in and of itself–I say that as someone who has to deal with it from a timekeeping perspective and who has to explain how it works to faculty.

        I think what makes me the most mad for some reason is the willful ignorance–they keep saying ‘PTO is common at other institutions’ when what they’re offering is, apparently, very little like those systems, and ‘we’re doing this to stay competitive’ when racing to the bottom with the market is antithetical to their mission statement, etc etc. Lies that are incredibly easy to refute, but they aren’t actually interested in the truth.

    2. This is a great example of how OHSU has been misleading in their presentation of the facts. They have said it’s not a cost-savings, which is technically true because it’s a revenue enhancer the effect on the bottom line is the same….RECORD PROFITS

        1. I love how we just have to stick to facts and statistics, while they have to spin a bunch of nonsense and half truths to get members to buy into their side.

    3. But its not a cost saving measure. RIIIIIGHT. They think we don’t pay attention. We are not so easily fooled.

    4. It was also mentioned on pages 11 and 89. Here is a quote from page 89:

      “Earnings are $56 million above budget, of which $20 million reflects one-time, items: lower start-up costs for CHH-2, implementation of paid-time off (PTO) for non-union employees, and an adjustment to prior-year accounts payable for hemophilia clotting factor. CHH-2 startup and PTO were included in the budget but at more conservative levels”

  2. Well said AM and RL. OHSU’s PTO: bad for me, bad for you, bad for families, bad for co-workers, bad for patients, bad for Oregonians. Only good for corporate greed.

  3. Does anybody have an estimate of how many non union employees were moved to the PTO model? I’m coming up with about 7,000 but I’m 100% on that.

    OHSU has about 16,400 employees.

    ONA roughly 2,400.

    AFSCME about 7,000.

    16,400 – 2,400 (ONA) – 7,000 (AFSCME) = 7,000 non union.

    Does that sound about right?

  4. Their release today that “your voice matters”. What a joke, they have literally been deleting all our comments but now they want us to remember our voice matters? Give me a break. Do they think if they release the results August 8th, we will forget what we are ACTUALLY doing August 8th?! Fat chance, OHSU you can’t come back from this. You have really done it, I’m seriously not sure how you guys sleep at night.

    #OHSUStrike2019

    1. not only erasing our comments, but threatening to report us to our managers if they deem a comment ‘deletable’.

  5. In the operating Vs budget table, they want to spend more next year. Because WE worked hard and made them crazy mad cash, they want to squeeze OUR pockets to build more facilities to line theirs. I love my job, patients, Co-workers! When will this end if We don’t make a stand? Thanks to our bargaining Team and all of our union, you ROCK!!!

  6. Given the PTO information above supplied by Agent Eagle, it begs the question:

    How much does OHSU stand to gain from moving AFSCME members to PTO?

    An estimated $23 million in earnings.

    How?

    There were roughly 7,000 non-union employees already moved to the PTO model.

    This move increased OHSU’s earnings by $23 million as stated in the June Board of Directors meeting.

    We have 7,000 AFSCME members.

    So moving 7,000 AFSCME employees to PTO would likely add another $23 million to OHSU’s earnings, give or take.

    If we add the $23 million already earned to the $23 million proposed from our union, OHSU stands to gain = $46 million.

    That would mean $46 million in earnings for moving 14,000 employees to PTO.

    If you’re wondering if management is working on behalf of its employees, I think you have your answer.

    1. Thanks Soul Glo! Seeing as how OHSU’s PTO plan would force us into choosing between coming to work sick or spending time with our families, profits are really more valuable than patients.

      1. sorry if I’m being obtuse, but I don’t seem to understand how does move to PTO gives OHSU earnings…is it by saving money? shouldn’t it be then called saving?

        1. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but this PTO package came with big changes to how much vacation time you can cash out if you were to leave OHSU. They are required to hold on to that amount of money as cash-on-hand to be able to pay everybody if needed, and are hoping to free up that cash.

          At best, PTO seems like a lateral move for amount of time off people will have. By combining sick time and vacation time, they’re probably hoping employees will be less likely to take unscheduled time off when sick.

        2. Elina – You’re not obtuse. It’s not easy to understand. There are certain accounting changes a company can make that can affect the earnings statement.

          These changes affect earnings regardless of whether actual money exchanges hands. Accounting is funny that way.

          Due to the way PTO is accounted for, it creates earnings for OHSU.

          I know it doesn’t make economic sense but companies do this kind of thing all the time. Sometimes its referred to as massaging earnings.

          In any case, if your bonus is tied to making earnings higher, you might do what you can to make things appear better.

          What we know is OHSU “earned” around $23 million converting roughly 7,000 employees to PTO.

          It is estimated that if they move AFSCME to PTO it would “earn” another $23 million as Soul Glo pointed out. Again, an estimate.

          The point is OHSU stands to gain millions of dollars from converting it’s employees to PTO.

          At the same time they’ve been saying their motivation for this change is not financial, rather they are helping us be able to choose how to use our time and giving us more freedom.

          But when you see how much money they are “earning” it’s clear their motivation is purely financial.

  7. I just saw this posted on the Portland subreddit so if any of you guys are on Reddit go upvote it for visibility! The more people we inform the better!

  8. As mentioned, can’t make it to the hill at that time due to my shift and location. Everybody who can make it – please bring as many allies as you can to show the support AFSCME employees have!

      1. It looks like @OHSUNews is their main twitter? I’ll also hit @OHSUfamilymed since I’m in Family Medicine. Let me know if there’s another big account to hit. I’ll try to get my other Richmond colleagues who are scheduled past 5 down here to do the same.

  9. This just in from President Matt Hilton’s fb post: “Thank you Elizabeth Goetzinger, Jeff Klatke, Stacy Chamberlain and the rest of the AFSCME council 75 executive committee for the authorization of a quarter million dollars in strike support for Local 328.

    To be clear, we don’t want to strike, but we are willing to do what it takes to preserve health care benefits in a time of record profit, to prevent an unsafe time management system (PTO) and to ensure a contract that doesn’t create tiers and different benefits.”

    #SOLIDARITY
    #AFSCMESTRONG

      1. The strike support funds from Oregon AFSCME aren’t intended for replacement of wages. These funds would be used to help members in need with things like utility payments, rent, etc. To be eligible for assistance, employees must be dues-paying members and be actively participating in the picket line and/or other union actions. We’ll be posting an article soon with more details about these funds and other assistance that will be made available in the event of a strike.

  10. OHSU Just posted their final offer.

    “Key components of the Final Offer include a 5-year contract that guarantees:”

    • They pushed out the contract to 5 – years.

    • No increase to the cost share for health insurance.

    – Yay! – Great job OHSU!

    • Wage increases averaging 2.62% or 2.82% each year, in addition to anniversary step increases

    – Lower than what we proposed, but better than where they started –

    • A PTO program that is optional for current AFSCME-represented employees to select

    – The change to PTO will earn OHSU an estimated $23 million MORE in earnings if all members move to PTO. If you’re wondering why they are pushing this so hard…see above comments.

    – We should reject this outright. Our doctors hate it. Our nurses rejected it.

    • A one-time payment, which will be payable more quickly if a contract is approved by AFSCME members.

    – This is a financial tease to encourage us to accept. Don’t fall for it.

    – The problem with the one-time payment is it will be taxed heavily so you’ll see much less than the actual payment.

    – Further, your future increases will not be based off your salary plus this one time payment. It will be based off of your current salary or wages (what you’re being paid today)…meaning lower overall wages and salary in the future.

    -We should fight for a percentage increase in pay, which would be taxed at a lower rate and provide more economic benefit to our members in the future.

    – We should reject this financial tease in favor of a percentage increase.

    1. Thank you for the information about the one-time payment. I completely agree that we should push for a percentage increase. Stay informed folks! It’s not a great as it sounds for the reasons Agent Eagle posted.

      I think another important aspect of OHSU’s offer is that they continue to split our members into tiers: employees who make $22/hour. This should be a non-starter!

    2. Agent Eagle,

      I don’t know if I understand your logic on the PTO program saving them money. The way I read it they’re offering us 5 days additional PTO which would effectively mean the 40 hours that would have to be used for sick time is covered and the accruals would be the same as they are now. Plus if you’re healthy and have a lot of sick time accrued you can put an extra week into your PTO bank.

        1. Doesn’t this contradict the statement that they’re going to see a huge pickup in the Income Statement. Income is based on revenues and expenses, if they are not writing off any liability there’s no pickup on the Income Statement.

          1. Hey Adam.

            Check out the June Board of Directors meeting available online.

            On page 90 you’ll see OHSU budgeted $15 million in *earnings* for the PTO change. Those are OHSU’s numbers.

            They actually realized $23 million in *earnings*. $8 million more than budgeted.

            You referred to a hypothetical huge pickup in the income statement.

            They already saw a huge pickup in *earnings* by moving non-union members to PTO…it’s on their published figures on page 90 of that report. Again, their numbers.

            And they stand to gain more if they move AFSCME members to PTO. An estimated $23 million more.

            It creates one time *earnings* which are basically due to an accounting change in the cash-out upon termination.

            I think the real question is why are they pushing this so hard?

            Why relent on health care costs and wage increases but hold the line on PTO?

            Why push so hard for PTO if our doctors don’t like it…our nurses rejected it and employees at other hospitals feel forced to choose between using vacation and coming to work sick, creating an unsafe work environment.

            Is OHSU pushing so hard because it receives zero financial gain from doing it?

            That can’t be the answer because they already have increased *earnings* by moving non union members to PTO. They clearly have a financial interest in this move.

            The likely answer is OHSU stands to gain financially for converting the rest of us to PTO and their own financial statements show this intent because it was budget for.

            I don’t mind the hospital trying to increase their financial position.

            What I do mind is when they continuously lie about the rational for this PTO in favor of a system that the majority of our members don’t want and that could potentially place our patients and our well being at risk.

      1. Adam, Yes, “if you’re healthy” but the randomness of life changes things. I was healthy and then I wasn’t. I had to use sick time (and depleted it) to care for a loved one dying of cancer. After she passed away (and I got no bereavement leave because it was my sister), 2 months later I received a cancer diagnosis myself. I’m still receiving treatment and I worked full time during chemo, surgery and radiation only taking time as I earned it. I’ve been at OHSU a long time and they are doing us no favors with the PTO offer. I even had short-term disability for which I had been paying for years. But that had a waiting period in which I had to use the leave I had saved, AND, you do NOT receive full salary. They should just give us a quicker way to accumulate leave instead of the little hour increments we current have. And, managers are already working the system. I see if every day. They simply don’t account for their time and are often AWOL without putting anything on their calendars. PTO is not really as painful for them because they are simply (and never have been) as accountable as we are.

  11. Regarding taxes on a lump sum payment, if you need this info. I reached out to a CPA friend.

    Here’s how it works:

    The one-time payment will be subject to a higher withholding rate because it’s treated similar to a bonus payment. Meaning what you will see on your paycheck will be much less than the stated one time payment. For example, a $1000 payment may be $700 on your check.

    However, it is considered your ordinary income and so it is taxed at the same rate as the rest of your income.

    So they hold withhold more from you now but you may get more back on your tax return at a later date.

    In addition, your future wage increases will not be based off of the one-time payment. They will be based on what you made before the one-time payment. In effect you’ll have lower wages than you would if the back pay was based on a percentage increase.

    1. Correct me if I am wrong but the one time payment is just to cover the time between July 1, when we were supposed to receive our ATB increase, to now (if we were to agree to their final offer)

      It looks like we are still receiving a 3% ATB wage increase on top of the one time payment. I personally believe that was a generous offer.

      If OHSU got rid of the EIB and offered us a true option for PTO, I would be more inclined to move to PTO, but this hybrid model is not good for us.

      Thank you to AFSCME for fighting for us! If we did not have our bargaining team, we would have lost $100 a month for a spousal surcharge and received a 1% ATB increase. (at the least)

      1. JP-You are correct that the hybrid model of PTO is not good for members. OHSU continues to try and find ways to divide members and it’s just not right. We are stronger together and OHSU is as successful as it is because of its employees who work as a team.

  12. I’m assuming the next AFSCME blog post will address this, but – do members have a chance to vote on whether to accept OHSU’s final offer? Or is that effectively the same as the strike vote? Meaning, each of us decides whether we are willing to accept OHSU’s final offer as presented, and if we do, a “no” vote on the strike authorization is essentially a vote for accepting the offer? I don’t quite get how this final part plays out, like if AFSCME leaders are going to consider the OHSU offer (with or without member input), or if it’ll be automatically rejected for not exactly meeting the terms in the AFSCME final offer, and then we proceed to the strike vote?

    1. The strike-authorization vote isn’t a vote to either accept (or reject) OHSU’s final offer. A “yes” vote would mean that a member is willing to strike, but it doesn’t mean our union will automatically go on strike. (A “no” vote would mean that a member is not willing to strike, regardless of whether or not they like the latest offer.) If we reach the necessary threshold in this vote, it means that our bargaining team is authorized to call for a strike if necessary to move OHSU toward a more fair contract.

      The term “final offer” is defined by statute, and the fact that both teams have submitted final offers doesn’t mean that one offer needs to be decided upon immediately or accepted exactly as is. It’s likely that additional movement will still be made during mediation. If we have strike authorization in hand but are making movement at the table, we’ll remain focused on reaching an agreement at the table. We’re looking forward to our two scheduled mediation days in August.

      If we’re able to reach an agreement at the table, we would hold a contract-ratification vote in which members would vote to accept or reject the tentative agreement on a new contract.

      Hopefully I’ve answered your questions and haven’t made things even more confusing! Please let us know if you have additional qauestions.

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