Final Offers!

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Side-by-Side Comparison of Final Offers

Below is a comparison of the main proposals from AFSCME’s and OHSU’s final offers, which were submitted to our mediator on Monday, July 29.

Issue AFSCME OHSU Comments
Length of contract 3 years 5 years OHSU reverted back to its earlier position re: contract length.
Tiered language No OHSU is still proposing splitting our unit with tiered language (PTO, across-the-board increases, one-time-payment) This is a non-starter. Contract tiers are a way for employers to divide and conquer a workforce. OHSU added additional tiered language from their supposal position.
Across-the-board wage increases 10.5% over 3 years (3.5% increase each year, for all employees) 14.1% over 5 years for employees making $22/hr or less (2.82% average increase per year); 13.1%  over 5 years for all others (2.62% average increase per year) Both teams made some movement. OHSU reverted back to its earlier position re: tiered wage increases. As we’ve said before, our members cannot accept such low increases when OHSU has publicly stated that they are “on track for a record $150 million profit on record revenues of $3.2 billion.”
Inflation/CPI protection No Possible additional wage increase for eligible impacted employees; would not be triggered until 2022 This would be applied if overall wage increases (across-the-board and step increases) for AFSCME-represented employees have not kept up with inflation.
One-time payment No (AFSCME previously withdrew our proposal for a 1% lump-sum payment) $500 for up to 0.49 FTE; $1,000 for 0.5-1.0 FTE; $1,200 for employees making $57.69-$86.53/hr;
$1,500 for employees making $86.54/hr or more
OHSU has introduced another proposal where employees would receive different benefits based on their hourly wage (after previously rejecting our proposed percentage-based lump-sum payment. OHSU’s cost summary indicates this proposal would cost almost $7.7 million — Our position is that these funds would better serve our employees in the form of higher across-the-board wage increases for all. We’re also unclear how a higher one-time payment to the highest-paid members of our bargaining-unit meshes with OHSU’s stated goal to help lower-wage workers.
PTO No Optional for current employees, mandatory for new employees The majority of our members have said “no PTO” — even on an optional basis — for two years. A different proposal for new employees is unacceptable.
Vacation 1 additional day for all employees hired after 9/11/98 1 additional day for employees at 0 – 5 years Employees both new and long-term have stated in OHSU employee-engagement surveys that burnout is a problem. This is a patient-care issue.
Weekend differential Year 1: 3%; Year 2: 5%; Year 3: 7% No Weekend shifts are hard to fill and our workers end up working overtime to cover these shifts.
Preceptor pay 5% No We were heartened when OHSU previously appeared to willing to recognize the preceptor work done by our employees. OHSU has reverted back to its previous position, however, declining to offer a preceptor differential.
Float differential 3% (~1 range higher) for NRM Ancillary float pool, Ambulatory Care Operations float pool, and clinical depts. w/ a designated float No Prior to negotiations, HR had requested we bring this to the bargaining table. We remain perplexed that OHSU has made no movement here.
TriMet passes $50/year $50/year AFSCME agreed to this OHSU proposal on July 2. This is great for our members!
Hardship fund $100,000/year dedicated needs-based funds for lower-wage workers, to be administered by AFSCME Average $100,000/year funds to assist w/ housing, food insecurity or transportation, to be administered by AFSCME We look forward to creating this program to help our members in need!
Wage increases retro to 7/1 Yes No We believe that a retro payment of the across-the-board increases is the fair option for our members.
Term of agreement No change to current language (economic provisions take effect the first full pay period after ratification) Delay effective date of economic provisions to after two full pay periods after ratification AFSCME is opposed to introducing contract language that would delay the effective date of pay increases, changes to differentials, etc. for this and future contracts.
Appendix A (salaried employees)
Progression increases Yes Yes Salaried employees will receive the same progression increases as hourly employees. This is fantastic!
Meal and rest periods Yes No We believe that all employees should be able to take rest periods for their own well-being and so they are able to provide great patient care.
Time tracking No Yes (e.g., for grants/ projects or supporting an FTE increase) We are very close on this.
Pay for work on holidays Yes No We believe that all employees should receive a premium for working on a holiday.
Community advisory board Yes No Our proposal has little associated cost. There currently is no venue for all OHSU constituents (all of whom have endorsed the advisory board or expressed interest in participating) to discuss ways to improve our workplace and our community.
Staffing task force Yes No; OHSU has instead proposed to arrange twice-yearly meetings between Local 328 and OHSU leadership Our proposal has little associated cost. Departments are so short staffed that patient care is often delayed. Short staffing also causes employee burn-out. We don’t understand OHSU’s unwillingness to more frequently address its staffing issues.

Remaining Sticking Points

Tiered Contract Language: There are a number of reasons our union is strongly opposed to this. It’s a well-known way for employers to divide a bargaining unit and weaken a union. This article explains it a bit more. We’re stronger together, and we want a contract that’s fair and equitable for all of the employees we represent.

As individual employees, we all have issues that are important to us, and may be interested in contract language that will most benefit us personally. We ask that our members consider the two final offers in terms of which one would benefit the greatest number of our represented employees, and consider what future contract negotiations would look like if our bargaining unit were split into smaller subsets of employees who aren’t all advocating for the same thing.

Tiered language can result in resentment between the two groups of employees who receive different benefits and wages based on hourly wage or hire date. Many contracts ago, a past bargaining team accepted language that allowed for lower vacation accruals for employees hired after 9/11/98. The tiered accrual language still comes up as a source of hard feelings to this day. It’s partly because of this instance of tiered contract language that our union is so opposed now to introducing tiers in other areas of the contract. (The current bargaining team is attempting to make the accruals more equitable for both sets of employees by proposing an additional vacation day for all employees who are accruing at the lower rate.)

Tiered language also weakens a union’s ability to negotiate fair contracts — employees who have different benefits are unlikely to advocate for one another in the same way that a unified bargaining unit would. We say this based on past experience — when OHSU came for the PERS pick-up in 2012, we were unable to build enough support to fight it, because the take-back didn’t impact UPP folks. If we agreed to optional PTO for current employees and mandatory PTO for new employees, during the next contract negotiations (when OHSU will almost certainly take another shot), we won’t have enough member support to fight mandatory PTO for everyone. Employees with PTO are unlikely to withhold their labor or be willing to give up other contract language so that other employees can keep the VAC/SIK system they prefer. Mandatory PTO for new employees now likely means mandatory PTO for all employees in the future.

PTO: While there are certainly some members who would prefer a PTO system to the current VAC/SIK system, the vast majority of our membership is opposed to PTO (even on an optional basis). That opposition has been consistent since before bargaining. There’s a reason that all of the unions at OHSU — who represent employees who punch a clock — are opposed to PTO. Despite OHSU’s insistence that PTO will offer flexibility to our members, it’s faculty and managers who benefit the most from a PTO/EIB model — employees who don’t have to use their accruals to cover a late arrival due to child-care issues or an early departure for a medical appointment. Under a PTO/EIB model, there will be employees who feel they need to come to work sick in order to preserve their accruals for vacations and spending time with their families, even though OHSU is now offering five days of PTO to offset the 40-hour requirement to access one’s EIB. This will put patients (and coworkers) at risk of catching contagious illnesses from employees, and that’s not something we can support. Employees who rarely get ill or need to use sick time to care for sick children may benefit from PTO, but it doesn’t help the majority of our members.

Across-the-Board Wage Increases: In our July 19 supposal, Local 328 had asked for increases of 12.0% over three years (4.0% increase per year) and OHSU had asked for increases of 6.5% over three years (average increase of 2.17% per year). We decreased our request in order to move closer to OHSU’s position. In its final offer, OHSU has reintroduced language proposing a higher across-the-board increase for lower-wage employees (now for those making $22.00/hour or less) — but only for the first year of a long contract. Local 328 continues to believe that higher increases are a better way to help lower-wage workers — that’s why our final offer proposes increases of 3.5% per year, for everyone. The wage increases in OHSU’s final offer will average 2.82% for lower-wage workers and only 2.62% for others. This simply isn’t in line with the realities of living in the Portland metro area.

What’s Next?

Local 328’s bargaining team is dedicated to ensuring wages that adequately support the costs of living and working in this area, treating future employees as fairly as current employees, protecting a time-off system that doesn’t encourage employees to come to work sick and keeping our bargaining unit strong for the future.

We’ve said since the beginning, repeatedly, that we hope to reach a fair settlement with OHSU at the bargaining table, and that a strike is an option of last resort, and that hasn’t changed. OHSU’s final-offer post on OHSU Now suggested that you should “encourage your union to get back to the bargaining table by voting ‘no’ on a strike.” Our union is getting back to the bargaining table — on August 13 and 30, as we’ve noted previously and as OHSU’s itself indicated yesterday.

OHSU’s suggestion also misrepresents what our scheduled strike-authorization vote means. A “yes” vote means that a member is willing to strike, but it doesn’t mean our union will automatically go on strike. Instead, it will mean that our bargaining team is authorized to call for a strike if necessary to move OHSU toward a more fair contract. If we have strike authorization but are able to make movement at the table, we’ll remain focused on reaching an agreement at the table. 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 that additional movement won’t still be made during mediation.

In the meantime, it’s important that our members take a stand now. We need to come together with allies, community partners, elected officials and our union family and make our voices heard! In a little over a week, we all have a chance to show OHSU’s leadership that we won’t sacrifice our patients’ safety and our own well-being so that executives can haul in more bonuses. Our represented employees deserve better, and OHSU can do better. Join us at our informational picket on Thursday, August 8, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Defend our patients, our contract and our OHSU!

153 thoughts on “Final Offers!”

  1. Thank you for explaining what a “yes” vote means in regards to voting for a strike!!! This is really helpful information I will bring back to my unit.

  2. We support AFSCME and will not settle for another year of take backs. We are fighting for what is ours, and we are ready. We have so much outside support from our families, management, and doctors. Why the executives don’t acknowledge that they have really messed this up is beyond me. We are standing up and we will not back down. We deserve more.


  3. Can AFSCME comment on maternity leave? OHSU is offering an additional 3 weeks paid paternal leave with its PTO proposal and seems committed to offering it to employees to offer flexibility and financial security.

    I haven’t heard one mention of paternal leave from AFSCME and I feel like afscme has downplayed OHSU’s generosity here.

    Is AFSCME actively fighting for paternity leave? If so, what have you asked for?

    1. Hi, K. No, Local 328 isn’t actively fighting OHSU’s paid parental leave. We would welcome it if OHSU would offer this benefit to all of our represented employees (including PERS 1 & 2 folks who aren’t eligible for PTO). Paid parental leave isn’t something that needs to be linked to PTO. In its final offer, OHSU proposed establishing a task force to explore an alternate paid family leave program to the one created by the Oregon legislature–that’s certainly something we’ll be considering during our upcoming mediation days.

      We didn’t ask for paid parental leave in our initial proposals because it didn’t come up as a member priority in our bargaining surveys. We were also anticipating the state paid parental leave legislation, which we took an active role in supporting.

  4. Too bad this is a final offer and not where they could have met members in the beginning of this process.

    Also we still need to get to work and under our expired contract transit passes are $100. OHSU will need to refund us!

    Tiered language is the worst. It’s disappointing they are trying to divide members.

    An additional day for those hired after 98 isn’t a lot to ask. And only offering it to people who have been here 1-5 years puts a sour taste in my mouth as someone who has been here 7 years. Our max of vacation accruals is what an ONA employee gets on their first day.

    For those with extra sick time they can’t use lets revamp the criteria for people converting sick time to vacation time. Make it so anyone could convert (vs only people who call out 3x a year or less) and maybe if could be quarterly (vs once a year). This would help people who have large balances of sick time that aren’t accessible to use. It could benefit people who have sick time and oh my gosh had more than 3 sick days.

    See you all in green on the 8th

    1. I agree with your comment. I am disappointed we are only asking for 1 day in general. I am only 1 of 2 AFSCME members in a unit otherwise employed with ONA members. Even though I have worked at OHSU longer than many of my peers, they outstrip me in vacation by leaps and bounds simply by being ONA members. I will take what I can get (1 day is better than zero additional days) but everyone should get an additional day not just the new folks.
      This is also why I don’t support a 5 year contract. I want 3 years so (yet again) we can fight over getting equal vacation to ONA. But it is depressing to think that it could take an entire career here at OHSU to get the same benefits as other employee groups. And, to those who may comment later, I have heard the argument about floating holidays (ONA) vs paid holidays (AFSCME) multiple times. It still does not bridge the gap between AFSCME and ONA.

      1. Hi FG. Please remember that our union did ask for more than 1 additional VAC day for folks in our initial proposal (we asked for increases ranging from 1-3 days). OHSU rejected this outright. In an effort to reach an agreement at the bargaining table and to demonstrate movement, later during mediation we reduced our ask to 1 additional day for all, which OHSU has also rejected thus far. We agree that everyone should get an additional day–it’s OHSU that has proposed an additional day for newer employees only. We do recognize the unfairness around the amount of VAC time members of our bargaining-unit receive–this inequity was made worse when a second tier of accruals was introduced for employees hired after 9/11/98. (This is one of the reasons our union is so strongly opposed to introducing new tiered language into our contract–tiers aren’t fair, and future employees deserve the same benefits as current ones.)

        While the 1 additional day of VAC for all isn’t as much of an increase as our bargaining team wanted or as our members hoped for, it is an improvement, and it’s still on the table. If members feel strongly about this issue, we urge folks to attend the informational picket and participate in the union actions that will be taking place during the coming weeks. It was member activism that got some of OHSU’s take-backs pulled, and it will be member activism that gets us some gains.

    2. Under our recently expired contract, employees in years 1-5 can get 192 total hours (sik/vac combined). OHSU is proposing 144 total hours.

      It’s like that in every step. I rarely call in sick, but I’d much rather keep our current system.

  5. If we are due for an annual review soon, will we be getting progression increases? If so are they based on the previous contract or will we retroactively get increases based on the new contract?

        1. I see. We’d need to confirm this, but I think that you’d initially get the increase as outlined in our 2015-2019 contract, but then would get an additional bump after ratification, to conform to the new contract language. I don’t think the additional increase would be retroactive, though, based on OHSU’s current proposal in their final offer.

      1. Hey Jennifer. Could you explain this a little more? As I understand it, we currently receive two separate raises annually. The COL, and the step increase. Is that correct? For me, those both usually happen in the 1st/2nd week of July. I haven’t seen any changes on my check, or in Oracle. I figured this had something to do with negotiations, but have been hearing conflicting stories about what is on hold and what is not. Asking around in my department, F&N(I’m an RSA), no one seems to have received any pay increase for this year.

        1. Hi Jennifer. I got some clarification from HR. They informed me that I have topped out at my pay grade, and will not receive another step increase until 2022. I apologize if this is an improper forum to discuss this, but I have been trying to get an answer to a question regarding a 6% pay increase from about 5 years ago, when ohsu strongly encouraged us to switch to retirement plans, and nobody seems to have an answer.
          This is the question I have asked HR and my direct managers(i am copy/pasting from email to HR):

          “Hello Chau,
          Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. One more question….. Do you recall a few years back when OHSU gave us the option to either take the 6% employer contribution to our retirement account as a raise, or we could’ve directed it back into our UPP 403b(?) retirement? Sorry if I explained that poorly, but that 6% bump is the only reason I am topping out on the pay scale. That doesn’t exactly seem fair. Had I chosen to direct it back into my retirement, I would still be receiving step increases. Does that make sense? ”

          If anyone has an opinion on this, it would be much appreciated.

          1. The COLA/across-the-board-increases are on hold because they’re still being negotiated, but bargaining shouldn’t be affecting the timing of anyone’s step/anniversary increase.

            Although your pay issue ended up not being related to that, we may still be able to give you some feedback about this. If you log in on the eZone and click Member Menu, there’s an option to Get Union Assistance. Just click that, select Ask the Union a Question, and complete the form, and we’ll have someone look into it.

  6. Could you also clarify the inflation protection? How would this be determined and how will we be able to enforce it if it does go through?

    1. Hi KJ. Below is the full text of OHSU’s proposal re: inflation protection (this can also be found in their final-offer PDF that was posted to OHSU Now). If this makes it into the contract, we could file grievances if the process doesn’t happen.

      8.1.1 CPI Protection. In addition, the Employer will enact a wage guarantee after pay period 21, 2022 to protect against unforeseen inflation. Specifically, if the overall average annual actual wage increase (including progression steps) for employees eligible for future across-the-board increases who are bargaining unit employees on July 1, 2019 and remain employed by OHSU through pay period 21, 2022 is less than the percentage CPI-U increase for the Portland metropolitan area listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for that time period (West Region if there is no listing for the Portland metropolitan area), then the Employer will provide an additional across the board increase for those employees whose wage increase was less than the CPI-U increase for that time period.
      OHSU will apply this paragraph as follows:
      Step 1: OHSU will determine the base rate of pay for all bargaining unit members eligible for future across-the-board increases as of July 1, 2019 and the base rate of pay for the same employees at the end of pay period 21, 2022. OHSU will calculate the percentage change for each individual over that period of time and then use the average of those calculations to establish the average wage increase (AWI) for the bargaining unit for that time period.
      Step 2: OHSU will determine the percentage CPI-U increase for the Portland metropolitan area listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (West Region if there is no listing for the Portland metropolitan area) for the same period of time or, if data is not available for that specific time period, then for the closest time period.
      Step 3: If the AWI determined in Step 1 is greater than or equal to the percentage CPI-U increase determined in Step 2, there are no wage adjustments required. If the AWI determined in Step 1 is less than the CPI-U percentage increase determined in Step 2, then those employees eligible for future across-the- board increases whose base rate of pay increases from July 1, 2019 to the end of pay period 21, 2022 were less than the CPI-U percentage increase determined in Step 2 will receive a percentage base wage adjustment equivalent to the difference between Step 2 and Step 1. This will be effective pay period 23, 2022.

  7. I know that OHSU has run the numbers looking at the fiscal impact of every bargaining proposal. I wonder if they have put as much thought into the other costs that will come out of this bargaining process. How much will a completely demoralized staff cost them? Poor workplace morale causes decreased productivity, higher rates of absenteeism, higher rates of workplace conflict, increased patient complaints and increased turnover. How satisfied will patients be when the chronically short-staffed departments they’re visiting lose even more personnel, and existing employees just don’t feel like going that extra mile? How will OHSU deal with the inevitable loss of revenue as patients decide to seek care elsewhere once they find out how little OHSU cares for its employees, its patients’ safety, or anything but its bottom-line? How can OHSU be so blind to the true cost of this drawn-out, contentious bargaining process?

  8. This is about respect. Respect for our hard work. Respect for our dedication. Respect for the skills, experience and talent that we bring to OHSU every day. At this point, I feel as if OHSU expects us to just accept that every contract will be a little worse than the last one. We aren’t asking for the world, just a share of the wealth that we’ve all worked so hard to create. We’ve given too much of ourselves to this institution in the worst of times to not reap some sort of reward in the best of times.

    I do not want to strike, but if OHSU pushes us to it, I will not back down.

  9. Thank you for this update. I am frustrated that OHSU keeps bringing tiered language and PTO to the table when we’ve said repeatedly that both of those things are non-starters.

    I want to acknowledge that some AFSCME members might not be opposed to PTO and might not feel strongly about some of the other issues. I respect those opinions. But I know the AFSCME bargaining team has made multiple attempts, through surveys and tabling, to gather as much feedback from AFSCME members as possible. We’ve had lots of time to voice opinions and state priorities.

    I am so impressed with the bargaining team’s willingness to stand firm on those issues that the membership has repeatedly said were important. That’s what collective bargaining is all about!! There are a lot of forces trying to pull us apart and separate us into different categories, but now is the time to stand together and stand firm. No tiered language, no splitting up the union. Solidarity!!

  10. Splitting our membership is unacceptable, and PTO is a no go. Jennifer thank you for your hard work putting this together. The way you lay this out is freaking amazing. Much appreciation.

  11. Nothing new, but the fact that we can’t comment on OHSU’s post is infuriating. With a catch all question and answer insert, who did they ask? Each other? Through this whole thing we have been repeating that we want to be heard, that our opinion matters, and then they pull this…again. I’m so over it and so ready to strike. I’m no where near done fighting for a contract much better then OHSU’s last final offer.

    Let’s keep strong, we have a long way to October!

  12. A person making 75,000/year would see $8,150 under AFSCME’s proposal and 6,050 under OHSU over the 3 years using 3.5% for AFSCME and 2.62% for OHSU. That is a difference of $2,100. The weekly pay for a person at 75k is 1,442 (gross). That means if AFSCME were on strike for 10 days the 3.5% would be completely nullified. If we went to a strike we’d have to get this as a minimum and have it over in less than 10 days.

    1. Fair point. My one counter-point is that anchoring is a real psychological thing. If we fight for 3.5% this contract, we probably won’t accept an offer of 2.5% next contract. If we accept a 2.62% this contract, we might accept an offer of 2.5% next contract.

      Actually going on strike also will have an impact on future bargaining – they’ll know a strike vote isn’t an idle threat. In the long-run, even if a 10-day-strike nullified the higher wage increases, it would still let OHSU know that we want our share of the profits we’ve generated for them.

      I still hope it doesn’t come down to one. I hope OHSU can get rid of the union-splitting language and conditionally-optional programs like PTO, and budge a little more on the economic front.

    2. The last strike was in 1995 and it lasted for three days.

      With all the different areas AFSCME employees cover, I can’t see a strike going on very long. At least, I hope not.

      Still . . . Going on strike and staying out until we get an acceptable contract will send an indelible message to leadership that we’re tired of all of this and we ARE willing to step away if need be.

    3. I’ve run the numbers for my position and weighed it against my real life obligations. I think it’s only sensible to do so. But at the same time I think OHSU is looking long-term on this one. If they can split us into thinking in tiers “well, I’m PTO so this doesn’t impact me”, “well, I’m salaried so this doesn’t impact me”, “I was hired before X date so this doesn’t impact me” – it’s going to be easier to slowly chip away at our benefits in future contract negotiations.

      Also, I just feel like it’s really underhanded that the membership is saying no to PTO and OHSU is still trying to make it mandatory for everyone who gets hired in the future. I mean…. why not hire folks under the conditions we bargain for and then next contract see what the new employees are willing to bargain for? If most folks in AFSCME wanted PTO – we’d ask for it.

      I don’t really want to strike. More than a couple of weeks would have a serious impact on my finances. But I also don’t want to see the union fractured into different tiers to the point where we have less bargaining power in the future. It’s not *just* about the money.

      1. ” But at the same time I think OHSU is looking long-term on this one”

        Which is exactly why we need to stand together and look at this long term. Any short term sacrifices I have to make, I will gladly do so, to make sure we set ourselves up right for the future

  13. So now AFSCME is deleting my posts? I’m a member and a supporter who’s also trying to make sure people understand what is at stake.

    1. No, Adam, we’re not deleting your comments. We don’t monitor the blog 24/7, and I’m not always able to approve or respond to comments in as timely a manner as I would prefer.

  14. I am curious if an option for PTO without the extended illness bank requirement has been discussed? I am absolutely against the current proposal but seems like PTO without the strings attached would give more flexibility. I will support AFSCME’s position but wondered if this has been discussed at all?

  15. OHSU’s refusal to the precepting and advanced certification proposals still boggles my mind. They tout being the top academic institution in Oregon but won’t support us academically advancing ourselves and others …..

  16. Disgusting. Less than 3% wage increase when housing costs are far higher? No Holiday pay? PTO? Proposal to pit members against other members? Penalizing employees with over 5 years of employment? What is going on here??

    Please people, do not settle for this. OHSU executives can and should do better. Spread the word.

  17. The 3 & 4% raise differences based upon hourly rate seems divisive, but overall I don’t think their proposal is that bad. I’d rather go for retroactive pay than a lump sum given taxes too. The COLA raises of 2.3-3% seem OK compared to their past contract of 1-2.5% ranges of the past 8-9 yrs. I think higher would be more appropriate given cost of living though.
    Their “best offer” PTO model gives 2 extra days technically and the VAC is identical to current policy (well, the new 13 days), after using 5 days PTO before tapping into EIB, so I just don’t get what the big problem is especially since Tier 1 & 2 folks are ineligible for PTO (who are the most likely to oppose it).

    1. Hi Unger. It’s a common misconception that the PERS Tier 1 & 2 folks are most likely to be opposed to PTO, but we haven’t found that to be the case. Our surveys have consistently shown that the great majority of our members are opposed to PTO. In-person discussions with members during these negotiations have shown us that there are some older PERS employees who support PTO as well as plenty of newer UPP employees who oppose it.

      Another thing to keep in mind is that it’s possible that PERS Tier 1 and 2 employees would be eligible for PTO at some point in the future. When OHSU imposed PTO on its unclassified employees, their communications indicated that “OHSU believes its PTO program is consistent with how PERS has interpreted other PTO programs and will continue to work with PERS to address these issues.”

      1. Some of my colleagues and I have been struggling with the PTO question. With OHSU’s final offer PTO plan including 40 additional hours of PTO accrual to offset the 40hr requirement for use of EIB, it does not really make sense to us why we are still opposing this idea. You need only (per the language of the final offer contract as I read it) use 40 hours of PTO total in the entire calendar year in order to access your EIB bank. This means, for the sake of simplicity, that if I work 10 hour shifts and call in sick one day in January, one day in February, one day in March, and one day in April, I can then use EIB for any additional sick time for the rest of the calendar year without having to use PTO first. This actually seems like a pretty reasonable idea.

        Under the current/expired contract:
        1-5yr employee working 40 hours/wk = 12 8-hr days VAC/ 12 8-hr days SIK (24 days total)

        Under OHSU’s Proposal (if you chose to remain on VAC/SIK):
        1-5yr employee working 40 hours/wk = 13 8-hr days VAC/ 12 days SIK (25 days total)

        Under OHSU’s Proposal (if you chose to switch to PTO model)
        1-5yr employee working 40 hours/wk = 18 8-hr days PTO/ 8 8-hr days (technically 63.856) EIB (26 days total)

        To be clear, I am still fundamentally opposed to a lot of their other proposals that don’t take our hard work seriously and are divisive and unnecessary.

        This particular one, though, seems like something we may want to consider further.

        1. Hi S. You state in your scenario that if you were out sick 10 hours a month for the first four months of the year, you wouldn’t have to use PTO first to access EIB for the remainder of the year. I just want to clarify for folks that in this scenario you wouldn’t have to use PTO again to access EIB later in the year, but you would have to use PTO first, and would have done so when you were out sick once a month at the beginning of the year.

          We understand that some folks, like those who don’t use a lot of sick time, might find PTO appealing. However, one of the many things that bothers us about PTO is that it’s very likely that some members will end up needing to taking some sick time unpaid under PTO. If a new employee gets ill but doesn’t yet have enough PTO to cover their sick time, they would have to take that time unpaid even if they have EIB time in their bank. Employees who’ve been at OHSU for a while could also be impacted in this way. An employee could go through most of the year without calling in sick, take a nice summer vacation and use up a lot of their PTO, and then be hit with an unexpected illness/injury right after that—they would need to take that sick time unpaid, even though they’ve had great attendance and have plenty of EIB time accrued.

          We’d also like to remind folks that OHSU had proposed 1 additional day of VAC (for those remaining in VAC/SIK either by choice or ineligibility for PTO) only for employees who’ve worked at OHSU between 0-5 years, whereas AFSCME has proposed 1 additional day of VAC for all employees who were hired after 9/11/98. OHSU’s final offer isn’t the only one that members need to consider. (And what we’re seeing now isn’t necessarily what will be on the table after our upcoming mediation sessions. We believe there is still movement to be made at the bargaining table.)

          1. i’m not completely opposed to PTO at this point. i think opinions can change throughout the bargaining process. obviously this is on my individual basis and i’m also not in patient care. it would be nice if ohsu offered something for new employees in case they got sick during the first few months or something. i know i completely depleted my VCN within my first few months of starting due to snow days and there were a few hours i didn’t get paid for so having PTO in that case would have worked well for me (i know this isn’t a usual case). however i do have SIK time i don’t use a lot at this point so it would be nice to convert to VCN without a contingency of how many times you called out in the year. i like this aspect under the under the PTO plan in moving some EIB to PTO without having perfect attendance or something. obviously there is some bargaining movement but wanted to get my comment in. really appreciate all you guys do! we’ve come a long way since the beginning of the process and thanks for keeping us all informed!

          2. No one starts their employment with any sick or vacation time, even under the current/expired contract, so to me that response feels a little disingenuous. I am not trying to be (too) combative, but I also feel like there is a way to take the PTO system and negotiate within that framework to make it work for everyone.

          3. Of course, but new employees are currently able to access what sick time they have accrued, as it’s accrued. Even if it’s just a small amount, surely that’s better than taking the hours unpaid. Future new employees shouldn’t be forced into a system where they have to take time unpaid even though they have accruals in their bank.

  18. Can we all give Jennifer Barker a huge applause for putting out this information?

    My god girl. I can’t thank you enough for putting these updates together. Thank you so much for responding in an intelligent, polite and thorough manner. I think a lot of us would be lost without you and the rest of the staff. It helps us stay engaged in the process and I can’t wait to see the next update when it comes out.

    I have to say I’m hopeful after seeing this comparison. Really, if you look at the final disagreements we seem to be getting closer to a fair contract. If we could work through 3-4 items I think we could avoid a strike. That’s what we all want.

    It’s great to see how strong and united the union has become this round. Thank you for helping us understand the details. I’m happy to see that we’re staying together and aligning with our principles for a fair and equitable contract.


    1. Here! Here! Benjamin! The bargaining team would be lost without Jennifer she has been integral in making sure our members are informed and engaged. Love you Jennifer!

    2. YES! She has done a wonderful job of keeping us up to date. It is a lot of effort and I for one really appreciate it.

    3. Yes. Jennifer, for what it’s worth: If the old, original Staff News “now” has any succession, it’s apparent here more than in anything from OHSU administration.

  19. NO Tiered Language!! Every single OHSU offer will essentially divide the union. They are not trying to even meet us in the middle, lump sum no thanks, 2.62% no thanks, Tiered Language no thanks. I was really anxious to see what they offered, all i seen on my phone was “OHSU FINAL OFFER Show’s how dedicated we are to our employees”. I looked and i was lol!! Wow are your kidding me , how condescending, and Patronizing of you, that whole little speech proves and contradicts how much you claim you value your staff, patients experience, due to unhappy workers and employees, whom all will be effected if not by strike definitely on our 08/08 PICKET. SEE YALL THERE.!! Let’s take back our OHSU and rid it from all the greed. Amen.

    1. They may be “dedicated to our employees” but they certainly don’t want to see our comments on their final offer on OHSU Now.

      1. That’s why I hesitated to even join OHSU Now. You can’t be dedicated to your employees while ignoring/silencing our input.

  20. Thanks for this information. I have a question (as this is my first union job/contract negotiations) — do AFSCME members get to “vote” on these final offers? Like, as members, are we polled on our opinions as to where the offers stand? I know you guys have done a really great job gauging our thoughts on what was on the table, but a lot has changed since the surveys went out.

    This may be an unpopular opinion, but I am mostly okay with OHSU’s offers. I would be okay with PTO if the EIB was removed. My biggest concerns were surrounding the health insurance takebacks, but OHSU has moved on this position which I’m happy about.

    Thank you for all you do.

    1. Hi JM. We won’t be formally polling our membership about the final offers. We are tracking how members’ opinions have (or haven’t) changed during the course of bargaining, though—through site visits, the drop-in sessions held earlier this month, emailed comments/questions, and, of course, blog comments. At this point in bargaining, the best way for our members to let us know their thoughts is via email or commenting here.

      In the past, OHSU proposed take-back after take-back because they knew our members would just accept it. Thanks to our members’ activism during this round of negotiations, OHSU knows that’s no longer true. They didn’t pull their health-insurance take-backs out of benevolence—they did so because they saw that our members have had enough and were willing to fight the take-backs.

      While we appreciate OHSU’s movement, we believe that in times of record profit, OHSU can do better. Our members deserve better than OHSU’s final offer, and we believe there is still movement to be made at the bargaining table. The term “final offer” is defined by statute—although both teams have submitted final offers, that doesn’t mean that what we’re seeing now (in either team’s offer) is what will be on the table after our upcoming mediation sessions. Folks don’t need to decide right now that they’re okay with OHSU’s offer. We urge folks to wait and see what happens over the coming weeks.

  21. Thank you for explaining the strike authorization vote! A yes vote gives our bargaining team the power to move OHSU at the bargaining table on August 13th and 30th! It is so important for all of us to stand up for each other!

  22. I have spoken to ONE person in the last 6 months who is in favor of moving to a PTO system. But a “opt-in” (especially one that means new employees cannot choose the VAC/SIK option, means that in 5 years we WILL have a PTO system.

    I’m even more opposed to a 5 year contract than to the PTO system, TBH. How many people new employees will OHSU have that are AFSCME-represented in 5 years? How many people who have experience with regards to bargaining will be at OHSU in 5 years? How much will be lost to a half a decade of other ideas and memories, experiences? I’ve read reports that say that Portland’s population will be 850,000 by 2022. If OHSU grows with that pace, a 5 year contract sets us up to have to do that much more education, and having lost the input of members who may retire or leave by that time. We deserve a wage increase of 14% – OVER 2 YEARS. Isn’t that what state employees are about to get?

    See you on the 8th!

    1. Exactly right, Eli. I think OHSU wants our members to feel a false sense of security with a 5 year contract. But in reality, it just gives them more time to divide our membership, profit from our losses (PTO) and disregard our need for wage increases that allow us to live in Portland and more importantly, close to OHSU or our children’s School, daycare, etc. See you on the 8th!

  23. Personally I feel one extra day of time off for the final offer is abysmal on both sides especially given what crap time off we have now. For all the discussions on surveys about work life balance- I am failing to see how more movement in time off was not pushed.

    1. I agree. I am pretty sad too. I was really excited that after nearly 5 years here I might get the same amount of vacation as my peers (ONA members) but apparently not this contact. That being said, I think the admin is using the “let’s set everything on fire” approach which means a lot of energy on a lot of issues resulting in less attention to any one given issue. If the big fight is against PTO and keeping VAC/SIK then “winning” that battle makes it less tangible that we can also win equal vacation. Especially with health care, raises, preceptor pay, contract length, etc… are on the line. I think the strategy is unscrupulous but that appears to be what is happening. It is hard to fight multiple fires at once.

      That being said, I am very pleased with how much more of a fight we are putting up this time around. Even though I am sad about vacation I do appreciate how much work this bargaining team is putting in. In fact, I would have thought we’d abandon preceptor pay a long time ago. I am very pleased we haven’t though I don’t agree with splitting hairs on what type of employee gets preceptor pay. I hope we take the administration’s strategy this year and turn them into learning opportunities for future negotiations.

      1. Hi FG. I responded to your concerns about VAC time in your earlier comment, but I wanted to touch base here and let you know that you’re right that OHSU’s bargaining strategy is to throw a bunch of take-backs at us so that our bargaining team and members have to spend so much time fighting things like health-insurance “cost-sharing” that there’s not much room for the kind of give-and-take that would get us more gains in our contract.

        The fact that our members are putting up such a fight this time has been the key to getting us to this point, and this year’s member activism will shape our future negotiations. This time OHSU knows that it might have to make significant movement toward our union’s proposals in order to get some of the things it wants. Better raises, preceptor pay, and a reasonable contract length are all attainable–our members just need to keep up the pressure during the coming weeks.

  24. While I am happy to see that OHSU has moved some I just can’t get on board with tiered language. No PTO, and better wage increases. The lump sum payment is a standard method used to make people feel like they are getting a good deal, but it is one-time and doesn’t add to your wages next year or the year after. I would prefer better yearly increases even if it means losing the increase for the period of time we don’t have a contract.

    1. Mike, you’re correct. The 1 time lump sum bonus sounds nice in theory, and would probably be useful to many people right now. But it does not equal what a higher across the board wage increase, or a weekend differential does in the long run.

        1. The initial withholding is 40% IIRC. But it’s considered regular income by the IRS, so you end up being taxed at your regular rate. Which means you might get some of that refunded.

        2. I believe all “bonuses” are taxed at 50%. So you are really only getting $ 500.00, if full-time. Also, the retroactive pay we get when negations are completed is labeled as a bonus (I don’t understand why retroactive pay is considered a “bonus”).

          1. Different Matthew.

            There’s a difference between what gets withheld when the bonus is given out vs your actual tax. My W-2s have never separated out any special amounts (like when I cash out vacation) vs my regular pay.

            So the actual tax rate is the same as your normal pay. All else being equal, you get some of that back in the form of a reduced tax bill (if you otherwise owe) or a greater refund.

    2. I worked for a (non-union) company that went from offering annual % increases to splitting the increases between a lower % increased and a lump-sum payment. With no union, we just had to accept it. Of course it’s nice to get a big check once a year to help with expenses… but in the long term, that amount didn’t accumulate and my wage started to stagnate. A lump-sum payment is rarely as good as it looks.

  25. OHSU is wanting to be “competitive” with benefits when they talk about PTO, why don’t they make it optional for new employees for the next contract and see what new employees choose and then bring the numbers back to the negotiating table at the next contract.

    1. RB- PTO is appealing mostly to Doctors and faculty. OHSU wants everyone else to have PTO because hey benefit financially when employees move to PTO. OHSU made $23 million when they forced 7000 unclassified employees into PTO. Once again, they aren’t listening to what AFSCME Members need or want.

    2. Making PTO optional for everyone would be a start. As would giving people the one-time option to switch back to VAC-SIK if they determined that the PTO option didn’t really work for them.

  26. OHSU’s offer is more than fair, with a few minor adjustments to the tiered economic proposals. I, along with many of my co-workers, am in favor of the PTO. I’ve worked at places with PTO before and loved it. As a dues-paying member, I am disheartened by AFSCME’s discrediting of the latest proposal.

    1. Hi, NF. As individual employees, we all have issues that are important to us, and may be interested in contract language (such as PTO), that will benefit us personally; however, our union represents ~7,000 employees. The bargaining team’s task is to negotiate a fair contract that will satisfy the most people possible, and the majority of our members aren’t in favor of PTO. We ask that our members consider the two final offers in terms of which one would most benefit the most people in the entire bargaining unit. In addition, although both teams have submitted final offers, that doesn’t mean that what we’re seeing now is what will be on the table after our upcoming mediation sessions.

      Our members deserve better than OHSU’s final offer, especially after a decade of take-backs, and we feel that in times of record profit, OHSU can do better. We believe there is still movement to be made at the bargaining table, and we urge our members to wait and see what happens over the coming weeks before forming a final opinion about either team’s final offer.

    2. I think there are more of us that would be open to PTO if the plan was more generous. When I last had PTO I had a pretty robust bank. So the 5 days to get to EIB wasn’t as big as an issue. I doubt we are going to see the end of PTO – I hope the next offer (next contract) is more realistic where we can actually come to the table to consider. You aren’t alone.

    3. Hi NF,
      I had PTO before coming to OHSU. The PTO proposed by OHSU is PTO in name only. True PTO is that, Paid Time Off. You have a lump sum of hours which you can choose to use for whatever you want, sick, vacation, birthday, etc. The proposed PTO is a shell game. They are holding our sick time hostage. I am sure it will work well for some members, but not for everyone. It will hit members hard and either force you to come to work sick, or be on time off without pay.

      This is a real risk. I have a co-worker who had a program almost exactly like this at a previous job. She ended up on time without pay.

      I was out on vacation last week. I had saved up my vacation time. My daughter fell and sustained a buckle fracture in her wrist. We ended up at Tuality. I was supposed to be back at work Monday. I called in to my manager to let her know I would not be in. I was out part of the day Wednesday taking her to Doernbecher for a follow up with pediatric orthopedic.

      So, if we were on PTO and this happened, and I had not used my 40 hours of sick PTO, and had used my vacation, what would happen?

      This is a real scenario. I could very well have been on time off without pay.

      The only ones being disingenuous are the OHSU bargaining team/management.

      What happens when we pit each other against each other? We have to stick together. Our strength is in our numbers and our voice. One union, one contract that is fair and equitable, not broken apart. If we let ourselves be broken, we lose, plain and simple.

  27. We are not where we need to be. Fellow union stewards, please keep sharing and getting the details out. My concern is people not getting the side-by-side comparisons so you see clearly what is on the line.

    PTO real life example. I was on scheduled vacation last week. My daughter took a bad fall from a bike and we ended up in urgent care at Tuality in Forest Grove on Sunday am. She fractured her wrist. I was home with her on Monday, we are at a pediatric orthopedic appointment right now (waiting for the doctor).

    With the PTO plan look an as it is currently proposed, what would happen? These are the real life examples I pointed put to HR.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Michelle. I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s wrist, I hope it heals quickly! This is exactly why PTO is dangerous for our members and their families.

    2. Thank you for pointing this out, Michelle. There are hundreds of members that would find themselves in a similar situation if we accepted PTO. For the many us that are struggling to keep up with the rising costs of living in the Portland metro-area, the resulting loss of pay would create a significant hardship. This is one of many reasons that PTO is bad for employees.

      I wish your daughter a speedy recovery.

  28. Maybe this would be a good time to send out a survey to see how union members feel about OHSU’s final offer.

    1. Hi Dylan. We don’t have plans to conduct a survey about the final offers. We have been tracking how members’ opinions have (or haven’t) changed during the course of bargaining, though—through site visits, the drop-in sessions held earlier this month, etc. At this point in bargaining, the best way for our members to let us know their thoughts about what’s on the table is via email or by commenting here.

  29. Could someone more well-versed than me comment on the deletion of Section 8.3 (Merit-Based Adjustments) and replacement by Section 8.X and 8.63? Am I reading this right in that if we accept the One Time Payment now, that means that going forward there will be no option for lump sum bonuses?

    1. OHSU has proposed striking article 8.3 from the contract, which includes this language: “Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as prohibiting the Employer from providing an employee at any time with a merit-based adjustment, or lump sum bonus as determined by the Employer in its sole discretion.” and replacing it with new language (8.X) that states “Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as prohibiting the Employer from, in its sole discretion, providing an employee at any time with an upward adjustment of the employee’s wage rate.”

      Bonuses/one-time payments are already uncommon for members of our bargaining unit. Although the new language still includes the statement that this section of the contract outlines “the minimum compensation levels to be provided to an employee,” meaning bonuses wouldn’t be prohibited, it’s likely that the change would result in bonuses becoming exceedingly rare for our members.

      1. I don’t like it. I’ve received a bonus in the past. Managers said it was easier to approve a bonus (just need clearance from Div Director) instead of a raise (which needs to go to CFO if I remember correctly).

        If it’s not explicitly written in there, I have serious doubts they’ll ever consider a bonus for an AFSCME member ever again. Which means the only way to reward an employee would be through a raise. I suspect I’ll find more hen teeth in my backyard before such a raise comes out. Just my guess.

        1. Jennifer thank you for your quick and clear response, I appreciate it. And thanks Matthew for your input.

          I’m also uneasy about that language. Given that workloads can shift in extreme ways sometimes due to retention issues I think that we need a variety of methods at our disposal to be compensated appropriately as the situation allows.

        2. I agree. I’ve brought numbers (top 5 out of 70) into reviews to show why I deserved a raise. They told me I was doing below expectations. After that, I didn’t feel motivated to provide great numbers anymore

          1. I’m checking the redline version of the contract and see that it still includes the lump sum bonus option in Section 8.3! Many thanks for retaining that!!

  30. Judging from the movement in bargaining so far it’s clear that OHSU Management REALLY wants to move the union to PTO. If not now, then in the future. This is evident when you see the push to keep existing members on VAC/SIK but move new members to PTO. I understand their interest when they stand to gain $23 million in the end.

    What’s interesting is they want it so much they’ve moved towards the union position on insurance premiums and raised their percentage increases among other items on the agenda. It seems PTO is their number one priority overall.

    I wonder what it would take for the union to move to PTO that would benefit both parties. Just as a hypothetical.

    What if there was a proposal to accrue PTO at a rate of say 30 days per year for new employees, or 240 hours and then 40 days or 320 hours after 5 years…scaling up with years of service? That would certainly add more cushion for sick days in that it wouldn’t take away from vacation.

    My point is, if they want PTO so bad, why not use it as leverage for fair wage increases and vacation days to ease burn out? In the end, they get their $23 million and we would get 4-6 weeks of vacation a year, more of European style of vacation system combined with wages that allow us to live in Portland.

    I know there’s more to it than that with cash outs, etc but there’s got to be some point where we can both benefit with pay and time off to ease burnout.

    Anyway, food for thought.

    1. YES. If OHSU is so hung up on PTO you can bet it will come up in the next round of contract negotiations and so on.

      This can be to our advantage.

      In order for PTO to be a non-non-starter there should be NO scenario where employees have EIB time but are forced to take unpaid days when sick because of some esoteric red tape crap. Secondly, 5 extra days to the PTO bank (like in the final offer supposal) is less a compromise and more a BARE minimum floor. We should be countering, I think, with shutting down any scenario in which we can be denied earned sick time currently in the bank, and a large increase in the # of overall PTO days. Think 6-8 weeks worth. If this model is saving them so much money and risk, they can afford to share its profits and risk. Otherwise, OHSU is merely shifting risk onto the backs of its working employees for the linings of management pockets.

      1. It’s my understanding — and I admit it’s limited — that other PTO programs amount to a single large bank of time. Use when needed in whatever form you need it. Long vacation, extended sick time, whatever.

        If OHSU were to do that, I would entertain the possibility. But I won’t categorically say I’d take it without seeing the details.

        1. You’re right, what most companies call PTO is NOT what OHSU is offering. Confusion is a great way to discourage an employee from taking full advantage of benefits.

        1. If it benefited the majority of us, I’d be willing to talk about it. This current proposal is not one that benefits us. It actually takes away hours

      1. Yeah, TBD in the fiscal year-end reports AFTER the change has been implemented. Because OHSU has already shown they were not able to make an accurate forecast re: moving Unclassified to PTO.

  31. How come neither OHSU nor AFSCME brought to our attention that in Section 8.2.1 OHSU is proposing LOWERING our quartile percentages? (Anniversary Raises). I can see why OHSU would not mention it. This is a little disappointing.

  32. Record profits by OHSU. The organization can afford to give us, those who helped create those record profits, what we ask for and deserve. Period. No discussion. Record profits. Done. OHSU ‘s proposals are the organization saying” please stay with us while we give you the middle finger”.
    Don’t be fooled, stay strong.

  33. Time for a quick survey.

    I agree with a few of the earlier posts. It would be great to conduct a brief survey. The bargaining team has done some incredible work and there has been movement on many important issues. A lot has changed since the original bargaining survey.

    I do not want a lump sum signing bonus. I NEED a realistic across the board wage increase for everyone. I am NOT opposed to PTO with a few more modifications.

    Could we have an updated strike calculator with the new numbers plugged in?

    Thank you Jennifer and the entire AFSCME bargaining team!!

    1. Hi VJ. We don’t have plans to conduct an additional survey, but we are tracking how members’ opinions have (or haven’t) changed during the course of bargaining, though—through site visits, drop-in sessions, etc. At this point in bargaining, the best way for our members to let us know their thoughts about what’s on the table is via email or by commenting here. There’ll be a number of actions in the coming weeks (the info picket on the 8th, a town hall, etc.), and folks are welcome to let us know their thoughts then, too. Our members can be assured that our bargaining team is considering all feedback.

  34. OHSU is insulting to long standing employees with the wage offer that lower paying jobs get a 4% Raise. If they feel these people can not make it in the Portland metro area with cost of living, then pay them more and everyone else. I do not make much more than they do and I am at 19 yrs. There is a saying ” you have to climb to the top of the food chain. ” And I want my extra day of vacation I have earned it. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication. I hope somewhere you are finding time for some summer fun.

  35. Two items: First, what is the rationale (if you know) that OHSU would change the effective increase dates for COL from the first full pay period after July 1 to pay period 21 of each of the years beginning PP21 2020?

    Also, when running the numbers as to how it would impact me, I find that a lump sum payment is actually more cash-in-hand than retro pay back to the first full pay period after July 1. For retro pay to be more cash-in-hand we would have to be out of contract until September 29th. This is taking into consideration the taxes on a lump sum payment vs the contractual increase divided by 26 pay periods to get per pay period increase, calculating taxes and then determining how long before the retro is greater than the lump sum. I appreciate the concern regarding the different tiers used for the lump sum, however, looking back at previous contracts, we’ve agreed to lump sum payments based on % of annual salary, which in many instances is less than what is currently being offered.

    1. Hi CJH. It wasn’t until their final offer that OHSU introduced language moving the across-the-board increases from July to October, so we haven’t yet heard what their rationale for that was. It may simply be so that our increases are timed to happen at the same time as the increases for unclassified employees. One thing our members should be mindful of, though, is that under OHSU’s current proposal, our employees would be going longer than a year between our 2018 and 2019 across-the-board increases.

      Yes, it may be the case that the lump-sum payment works out better for some folks. (Did you calculate the amount of your retro payment using OHSU’s proposed increase of 3.0%, or AFSCME’s of 3.5%?)

  36. Thank you, Terryl. We agree this is not a fair or adequate solution to a very real issue. OHSU executives are clearly out of touch with the needs of workers. But I guess when your annual bonus is more than what most AFSCME members make in a year, you really can’t relate to the 99%. How sad.

    We’re all looking forward to seeing everyone at the picket on August 8th!

  37. Thank you for all of your hard work on many issues.

    I am personally disappointed with AFSCME’s handling of vacation time accrual during these negations. An AFSCME employee with 0-5 years currently accrues 12 hours vacation time per year, which isn’t close to enough. AFSCME is asking for 1 additional day per year.

    Meanwhile…. 0-5 year nurses receive 24 days per year and unclassified employees get 22 days. That is a huge difference. While we catch up to unrepresented employees after 10 years, ONA is still well ahead of us throughout their careers.

    For me, this makes the revised PTO offer of 6 extra PTO days accrued while only using 40 hours before accessing EIB much more appealing.

    Between this and the lack of paternal leave in AFSCME’s offer, I am really struggling to decide whether to support further action.

    1. Edit: Unclassified employees are now on the PTO system, but I believe that it was a more generous offer than what we originally received. Regardless, i wish that Afscme had been more aggressive with its offer in this area.

    2. Please remember that our union did ask for more than 1 additional VAC day for folks in our initial proposal (we asked for increases ranging from 1-3 days). OHSU rejected this outright. In an effort to reach an agreement at the bargaining table and to demonstrate movement, later during mediation we reduced our ask to 1 additional day for all, which OHSU has also rejected thus far. We do recognize the unfairness around the amount of VAC time members of our bargaining-unit receive–this inequity was made worse when a second tier of accruals was introduced for employees hired after 9/11/98. (This is one of the reasons our union is so strongly opposed to introducing new tiered language into our contract–tiers aren’t fair, and future employees deserve the same benefits as current ones.)

      OHSU’s bargaining strategy is to throw a bunch of take-backs at us so that our bargaining team and members have to spend so much time fighting things like health-insurance “cost-sharing” that there’s not much room for the kind of give-and-take that would get us gains like more vacation accruals.

      While the 1 additional day of VAC for all isn’t as much of an increase as our bargaining team wanted or as our members hoped for, it is an improvement, and it’s still on the table. If members feel strongly about this issue, we urge folks to attend the informational picket and participate in the union actions that will be taking place during the coming weeks! It was member activism that got some of OHSU’s take-backs pulled, and it will be member activism that gets us some gains.

    3. K-The bargaining team neglected to include family leave in negotiations because paid family & medical leave was being voted on during this year’s legislative session. It passed back in June and although it will not be implemented for a few more years, it is by far much better than what OHSU has proposed. We had hoped that since OHSU included paid family leave to incentivize their original PTO originally, that they would at least match what is now State law, but alas, they did not. And rather than include family leave for all employees, they made it exclusive to those who choose the “optional” PTO plan. This is another way in which OHSU is trying to divide members and we will not accept that as an option.

      Link to article on the paid family and medical leave act:

  38. Here’s an interesting bit of info.

    But first a question: How many of you would make more than your full salary working at OHSU just five months out of the year?


    Well it IS possible.

    Our new President Dr. Danny Jacobs worked just five months at OHSU in 2018 and came away with $1.6 million in salary, benefits and bonuses.

    True, he started in August of 2018.

    And then made $1.6 million.

    Not a bad gig. This made him OHSU’s highest earner in 2018. For working here five months.

    Ok fine. We give in, OHSU execs, you win this round. No strike.

    You can have PTO if we could just get paid more than our annual salary with a bonus for working here for 5 months.

    For more information on the salary and bonuses of YOUR favorite OHSU execs check out:

    Or if you’re lazy:

    Oregon Health & Science University’s leadership made about $30 million in base pay and $1.4 million in bonuses last year.

    Excluding clinical pay, the top 20 earners at OHSU in 2018 were:

    President Dr. Danny Jacobs had the highest yearly earnings — about $1.6 million in salary, benefits and bonuses. He did not work a full year however: He started in August.

    John Hunter, vice president and chief executive officer, earned the second most at about $1.3 million.

    Lawrence Furnstahl, the vice president and chief financial officer, made just over $1 million.

    Dr. Sharon Anderson, dean of OHSU’s School of Medicine, earned more than $980,000.

    David Wilson, professor and director of OHSU’s Casey Eye Institute, made about $800,000.

    Fergus Coakley, professor and chair of diagnostic radiology, made almost $670,000.

    Connie Seeley, executive vice president, chief administrative officer and chief of staff, made just over $620,000.

    Kenneth Azarow, professor and surgeon-in-chief for OHSU and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, earned about $590,000.

    Dr. Sanjiv Kaul, director of OHSU’s Knight Cardiovascular Institute, made almost $580,000. He stepped down in January following the collapse of the heart transplant unit.

    Alice Cuprull-Comas, general counsel and executive vice president, made almost $560,000.

    Dana Braner, professor and chair of pediatrics, earned almost $530,000.

    Peter Barr-Gillespie, interim senior vice president for research who became and executive vice president and OHSU’s first chief research officer in January, made about $520,000.

    John Kaufman, director of the Dotter Institute for interventional radiology, made about $510,000.

    Aaron Caughey, professor and chair of OHSU School of Medicine’s Obstetrics and Gynecology, made more than $500,000.

    Elena Andresen, executive vice president and provost, made more than $500,000.

    George Mejicano, senior associate dean for education, made about $500,000.

    Anthony Masciotra, senior associate dean for clinical practice, made about $490,000.

    Dr. David Bangsberg, dean of the School of Public Health, made about $480,000.

    Dr. Philip Marucha, dean of the School of Dentistry, made about $450,000.

    Dr. George Keepers, professor and chair of psychiatry, made about $450,000.

    1. 1.6 million in five months… WOW. Can Oregon patients actually afford a year of his pay?? Apparently OHSU thinks so, at their employees’ expense.

      Clearly I should have gone into healthcare if I wanted to make mon- oh wait! I didn’t go into healthcare to make money, I went in to healthcare to help patients. What gives?!

  39. Hey All, Thanks for all the hard work and info you all have provided. I have some constructive criticism for you. If you compare the email we (AFSME) sent out vs OHSU, you see a world of difference in visual presentation. The OHSU email had a single linked image and a single “we love our employees” sentence. We had 3-4 screens of plain text. My eyes glaze over when I see this type of info overload and I’m someone that’s very interested. Then if you follow the links in both, OHSU gives you a clean simple PowerPoint break down with descriptive (but not belabored ) text below and some attachments. Now follow our link (if you noticed it) and you get to the comparison table which is a simpler overview but the lack of formatting/design again makes it not inviting. resize the page and everything moves around. We really need to embrace modern communication ideas. This is the age of memes. I’d guess anyone on this page could care less about the layout but we need to draw in the less than interested individuals. You need to start simple and let the user drill down to what they want clarification on. We (AFSME again) really need a social media/graphic designer/ etc on board to work these things out.

  40. Blake-Thank you for your input. While the bargaining team would love to be able to put together aesthetically pleasing Power Points, we are a team of 12, with really only 1 person doing the all dirty work behind our communications to members. We have help from AFSCME staff reps and AFSCME members who are on lost time, but unfortunately, we just don’t have the same amount of time or resources as OHSU for such things.
    OHSU assumes that members are lazy and are only interested in shiny objects and catchy headlines. Our members have proven time and time again that we are smart, capable, competent, driven people who will take the time to read through the fine print because they know how important this contract is not only to them, but to their families, patients and the community both on and off the hill.
    That being said, we know many of our members have hidden talents, especially when it comes to computer graphics. If you or anyone you know is interested in sprucing up our communications, we would not be opposed to a little extra help!


    Looks to me like KOIN6 subtly taking management’s side by 1) failing to report the reasons for AFSCME’s rejection of OHSU’s offer and 2) calling the optional-PTO-for-some offer a “significant compromise.” AFSCME is refusing attempts to split the bargaining unit- an appropriate response to the “long game” being played by management. Any counter that involves splitting the bargaining unit is not a “significant compromise.”

  42. Unless things have changed in the past 10 years, the results of a strike vote will not be made available to members.

  43. I prefer a PTO system, but the one they offered us is garbage compared to the 208 hours (26 days) they give unclassified employees. I also dug around and found that while other hospitals in Portland are on a PTO system, they start at 25+ days + EIB. I think the PTO system could be made better rather than outright no. Something to consider for newer members is that we did not receive the years of increases in wage increases the older folks got and it doesnt appear to me starting salaries have caught up (not to mention they made it longer to reach the top…effectively a wage decrease for newer members). Has the union considered higher cost of living increases for less senior members to address this economic disparity? I am willing to concede on PTO but I at odds on what can be done for us..

    1. New and older members all receive the same across-the-board wage increases, and older members were also affected by the change to the compensation plan (taking longer to reach the top). It’s pretty standard that employees who have been with a company longer will have higher salaries than those who are new. Older employees were once in the same position as newbies. By keeping wages and benefits the same for current and to-be-hired employees, we can ensure that newer employees won’t have it worse off than those who’ve been at OHSU longer.

    1. It’s the Nursing Resource Management float pool. The float differential would apply to employees who work there or in the Ambulatory Care Operations float pool. It would also apply to someone who works in a clinical department (e.g., Respiratory Therapy) as a designated float. Designated means that that’s the employee’s formal job (so, it wouldn’t apply for someone who occasionally is asked to float to a different location). Does that help?

  44. I want to thank the bargaining team for the tremendous amount of work and time they have put into this. As well as thanking their families who are supporting them to allow them to make these efforts on our behalf.
    It’s interesting to me when I explain OHSU’s PTO offer to others who work in facilities who have a PTO plan rather than separated sick/vacation time, no one I have spoken with has encountered the kind of convoluted PTO system that OHSU is offering. Once explained, the common response is; “That’s nuts”!
    OHSU’s nutty offer won’t effect those of us currently employed now. But I do not want to watch newcomers be treated shabbily. I got mine, but I want you to get yours too. Its all or nothing and we can make a difference on this if we stand together.

    1. Exactly, Anita. And rate of the influx of new employees and departure of current ones means that, even if we have only a three-year contract, with PTO being mandatory for new employees, over half of our bargaining unit will be on PTO for negotiations next time.
      It’ll be more difficult then to fight it off for those who don’t want PTO now.

  45. At one of the HR talks, they said you could initially transfer 32 hours from sick leave to your PTO bank. Not sure if they changed it to 40. But this is still only a one time transfer. You still will be required to use 40 hours of sick PTO every year before you can access your extended illness bank. What good does it do you to have 40 hours transfer one time?

    This is not a PTO system it is still sick and vacation, just with restrictions on how you can access your sick leave AND use your vacation. After all, you have to basically use 40 hours of vacation as sick leave to actually use your sick leave.

  46. I honestly don’t think their proposal is that bad. Plenty of companies have different “Grand Fathered” benefits for employees hired before certain dates. I wouldn’t vote to strike based on their current offer.

    1. While we appreciate OHSU’s movement, we believe that in times of record profit, OHSU can do better than “not that bad.” We believe there is still movement to be made at the bargaining table. 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. We still have two days of mediation scheduled in August, and it’s likely that additional movement will be made by both parties. Also, a fair contract is one that’s fair for the most people possible in our entire bargaining unit. We ask that our members consider the two final offers in terms of which one would most benefit the greatest number of our represented employees, and consider what future contract negotiations would look like if our bargaining unit were split into smaller subsets of employees who aren’t all advocating for the same thing. Our union would be significantly weakened, which would hurt all of us in future negotiations. We believe that offering worse benefits/less choice to future employees is the wrong thing to do, and by the end of a three-year contract, those yet-to-be-hired employees will make up >40% of our bargaining unit. We often say “we’re stronger together”–that’s not just a slogan to us, and it’s an important part of what it means to belong to a union.

      1. You know, I went on to write a bunch of comebacks for you that “in my opinion” have been in place (after the last contract negotiation 3 years ago) and are far worse, and can also exhibit “tiered” benefits that have been in place well over 10 years; Take vacation accruals for example. But I realize this would just go back and forth and get us nowhere. I see your points, but still would not vote to strike given the OHSU “final proposal” information.

        1. You’re absolutely right–the vacation accruals are tiered. And this particular example is one of the reasons we’re so opposed to tiers now–they’re simply unfair.

          We’re glad whenever we see members staying informed about bargaining, forming their own opinions, and giving us feedback. We don’t all have to agree, and our members should, of course, vote no in the strike-authorization vote if they’d be unwilling to go out on strike.

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