Respect for All?

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We’d like to thank our members and other supporters for sharing and responding to our article about our management troll. As OHSU’s Twitter reply to us indicated, the person in question has been removed from OHSU’s bargaining team, and we’ve received confirmation that he has admitted responsibility. 

Our bargaining team is grateful for this, but we are concerned about how this person’s attitude toward our union and our bargaining positions may have influenced management’s discussions and decisions about negotiations. We also suspect that one other member of management’s bargaining team may have participated in the trolling to some degree. As such, our trust in OHSU’s ability to negotiate a fair contract with us has been severely tested. We are weighing our best course of action and expect to have more to share about this situation over the next couple of days. We’ll update our members with additional information as we can.

Our ~7,000 represented employees have been integral to OHSU’s success. We deserve a fair contract and we deserve respect. Looking outside our own bargaining unit, we believe that everyone who works at OHSU deserves respect. We believe that this incident reflects a systemic problem at OHSU. We urge OHSU’s executives to take this opportunity to reflect on what type of organization they want OHSU to be going forward. It’s time to right the ship, and OHSU can take the first step by negotiating a fair contract with AFSCME Local 328.

45 thoughts on “Respect for All?”

  1. Looks like a Willamette Week reporter is asking for more details on this incident on Twitter. Hopefully some media coverage will let our whole community know what kind of behavior our bargaining team is facing. Would love to see this on the front page of WW when the new issue gets distributed on OHSU’s campus!

  2. I have no doubt that OHSU would have immediately fired any AFSCME represented employee had behaved this way on an OHSU owned site. If that AFSCME employee had been a member of the bargaining team, I believe that OHSU would also very loudly protest that AFSCME had not bargained in good faith and would seek any legal redress available.

    OHSU should hold management to the same ethical standard that AFSCME employees are expected to keep and terminate this person immediately. If the rest of OHSU’s team and upper management were bargaining in good faith then they should be as outraged as we are. If they take our Code of Conduct seriously, then they certainly should not want such a person representing OHSU at any time or at any level.

    OHSU’s next steps will give a clear indication as to how honestly they have been bargaining and if the Code of Conduct actually means something, or if it is just window dressing.

    1. You are absolutely right, it’s time for OHSU to step up and show us what they as an organization really represent. I hope for all of us that they present us a fair and equitable contract as proof that OHSU is the bright light shining on the hill and that they want to be an industry leader not just fall in with the status quo. OHSU has a great opportunity as a partially state owned organization and with that position should show the rest of Portland area hospitals that happy respected employees are the key to their organizations success and they can reward us for our hard work.

      1. You’re exactly right X-ray! Our main focus all along has been to get our members a fair contract that benefits patients, employees and community members alike. OHSU has every resource available to make that happen so we can get on with our lives and refocus all of our energy into keeping our Ohsu a safe and fair place to work.

    1. People go to the WWeek Facebook page and share. The more people who do that, the more likely they write a follow up.

  3. This contract negotiation has brought out the worst of OHSU. It’s about time that the outside world learns the truth about how low this executive bargaining team will stoop. Disgusting.


  4. I have completely lost faith in OHSU management.
    1. They write articles for ‘OHSU Now’ slanted with their point of view about the AFSCME contract negotiations, but close down any comments citing that it is against policy to discuss negotiations outside of the bargaining table. Then why write the articles at all?
    2. They are using management terrorism to keep AFSCME members from posting any comments regarding their articles with threats of turning the employees in to their managers and/or deleting all their comments, effectively shutting down our voices.
    3. At the town hall where our post-it notes were not read, Hollie began by being incredibly condescending saying “oh we know *you* would never call in sick just to get a day off, but we know that you know someone who has”, to the latest incident where OHSU bargaining team member Patrick Frengle trolled our social media sites with fake information trying to skew opinion.
    We are not children to be chided or mislead. We are adults working our hardest to survive in a world that is overpriced and increasingly violent. OHSU, we do not need your condescension, crumbs of your high earnings or your pity. We demand to be treated like the hard-working adult team members that we are.
    OHSU management – AFSCME workers bring intelligence, mindfulness and hard work to the table. What have you brought to the table thus far? Think about it and let us know soon. Time is almost up.

    1. I agree! And I also think (unfortunately) that OHSU’s behavior reflects the politics of the moment, and in this case we are being represented by a person that doesn’t value anyone, really, other than himself. His rhetoric, IMO, is reflected by how OHSU is treating this bargaining. Lots of words but with no real meaning (“Respect for All”, not a real thing at OHSU). Demeaning people that aren’t in the 1%. Denigrating the Union and therefore OHSU’s very own employees! I hope we can get through this and maybe then OHSU can think about getting some actual human beings that have empathy into leadership. Right now it feels extremely frigid from OHSU.

    2. Terri, I agree. I went to the OHSU presentations and tried to understand what they wanted to do and why. I asked a clarification question but it was brushed over. We are intelligent, hardworking adults. We want OHSU to be successful, we’re not trying to bankrupt the place. But we’re not being treated like adults. And at least one member of the OHSU Bargaining team is clearly not acting like an adult.

      The apology posted on O2 today said that OHSU wanted to rebuild trust…but exactly how do they plan to do that? My trust in OHSU is at an all time low, and I’m not alone in that feeling. I’ve talked to a few long-term employees over the past week and the conversation keeps turning to “Why are we still here? Maybe it’s time to take our talents elsewhere.”

  5. Chris and Terri well said ! I am looking forward to hear what type of action that the union can take since it looks like everything this person came in contact with is now questionable. I think the big question is will he roll on the other plant.

  6. Thank you for sharing the information on the troller. I trust OHSU will deliver equal, swift consciences. This behavior was totally unacceptable.

  7. 1.1 A Culture of Ethics and Integrity
    .Return to the Code of Conduct
    Version 1.0

    Every organization has its own unique culture. Culture is defined by the written and unwritten rules, the common ways of doing things, and the formal and informal processes that account for the way things get done. Culture is also defined by what an organization and the people who make up the organization value and prioritize.

    We also know it is important that others trust us. Our patients and families, studies, researchers, vendors, neighbors and other care providers in Oregon and beyond must trust that we will do what we say, honor our commitments and meet our responsibilities. In other words, we must have integrity.

    Integrity: To commit to and remain true to a set of values and principles through consistent actions, with unwavering dedication to being upright and honest.

    In practice, this means we are committed to reviewing our own processes, and identifying strategies for progress. As a result, we are an organization committed to solving problems with careful deliberation and with methods that are mindful of the standards, requirements, our values and mission. We never loose sight of the fact that our decisions can have profound effects on the lives of others, intended or not.

    This is our culture. It is defined by our action and inaction; the ways which we approach and resolve the tasks placed before us.
    Our Responsibilities
    All OHSU Members are expected to meet the following responsibilities:

    Align your decisions and actions with the Code as well as with other OHSU policies and applicable laws. Pay particular attention to the policies pertaining to your work responsibilities.
    Behave in a professional, honest and ethical manner when acting on behalf of OHSU or participating in OHSU activities. This includes:
    Abiding by the professional standards set forth by our respective professions. Maintaining all necessary qualifications and licenses related to patient care, teaching or conducting research;

    Exercising good judgement and professional objectivity in all matters related to OHSU;

    Treating others with respect and dignity, including our patients and families, visitors, vendors and other members of the OHSU community;

    Being courteous, honest and respectful in our verbal and nonverbal interpersonal behavior;

    Value and respect difference, individuality and diversity of thought; and

    Holding yourself accountable and encouraging others to speak up, contribute and fully utilize talents.
    Create an environment where others feel comfortable asking questions, addressing issues and raising concerns.
    Do not abuse the power and authority you might have based on title, position or other delegated authority.
    Foster an environment of improvement by taking prompt action to honestly report deficiencies and errors, even those that may seem small or insignificant, to the appropriate individual in your area.
    Resolve any differences that might impact safety, quality or performance in a respectful manner through open and honest discussions. When you are not able to resolve differences directly with team members, seek additional resources to help resolve the issue.
    Promptly report concerns about possible violations of laws, regulations, OHSU policies and this Code as noted below, without fear of retaliation, especially from those in positions of power and influence.
    Complete all required training in a timely manner and apply what you have learned in your work every day.
    Cooperate, tell the whole truth and provide all information when responding to a review, investigation or audit.
    Manage partnerships with third parties such that they align and abide with this Code.
    Refrain from unacceptable and disruptive behaviors, including but not limited to:
    Shouting or yelling;

    Using profanity;

    Physically demonstrative or threatening behavior, including slamming or throwing objects in anger;

    Engaging in hostile or demeaning communication or actions;

    Criticizing others’ performance or competency in a public or an inappropriate manner not aimed at performance improvement; or

    Being unfit for duty for any reason, including impairment from alcohol or other substances.

  8. I am disturbed because if I were to impersonate a member of management I have no doubt that I would be fired. This troll person needs to be removed from OHSU immediately, and a transparent fact-finding commission setup ASAP.

  9. I used to be proud to work for OHSU and really respect the company. My opinion began to shift once the bargaining started and the lack of respect for employees became clear.

    I highly doubt that a member of the OHSU bargaining team would decide to start trolling AFSCME on their own without discussing it with other colleagues. And the only penalty to the employee was that they were removed from the bargaining team?

    I’m very disappointed with the OHSU Executive team.

  10. Some of my colleagues found they received invitations to the informational picket, but they came — apparently — from OHSU. It looks very similar, the event initiator looks correct, the same image is used, but the event says it came from OHSU with an 844 contact number.

      1. Okay. Based on your reply, I’m going to tell my colleagues that the message that says from OHSU, with the 844 telephone number, is legitimate, and was sent due to a problem with Evite. But both messages are from AFSCME.

        Unfortunate timing to have an Evite problem. That’s not laying any blame to AFSCME. Just unfortunate that it happened to occur within the current environment.

  11. I spent time in Military Service. This kind of behavior would be classified as “Conduct Unbecoming.” Which, depending on the situation, could lead to official court martial.

    The conspiracy theories are flying around and some of them seem like they could be very plausible.

    I hope this blunder has given us more bargaining power and shows how important collective bargaining is.

    Our Union is strong and I stand with Our Union for respectable, fair, and safe employment here at OHSU.

    1. Exactly right Another type of Chris. We hope this helps remind OHSU that a fair contract is about respecting your employees and the community they serve.

  12. This looks sooooo bad on their bargaining team. I hope they truly do understand the impact this has caused, and put their money where their mouth is. The abuse that management at OHSU is allowed to get away with is absolutely sickening, and integrity doesn’t do squat about it. This results in high turn over and yet no one has sense enough to make the connection, because to the people that hire the toxic manager, they are perfect! Behind closed doors, the mask falls, and the employees in a lower position are negatively affected, sometimes to the point of needing therapy!
    This is a common issue everywhere, and I’m disgusted that OHSU refuses to take it more seriously. We’re a healthcare establishment for crying out loud.

  13. I have to say, I have been less than impressed with OHSU’s responses to its employees’ concerns surrounding contract negotiations over the last couple months, however, after reading about the recent trolling incident, the level of disrespect that OHSU’s upper management and leadership is showing to its employees is very upsetting.

    I care deeply about the work that I do for my patients and their families and I know many of my colleagues feel the same. Daily we put significant effort into providing service for patients and families, many of which are dealing with trauma or the most difficult situations they have ever been faced with. This hospital functions because it is filled with staff and health care providers that care about the work they do and people they serve. As the largest hospital north of San Francisco which serves Oregon and neighboring states, I am shocked at the level of unprofessionalism, disrespect, and blatant disregard to OHSU’s “vision” and code of conduct that OHSU is showing. After an incredibly profitable year for OHSU, I not only expect a fair contract that recognizes the contributions of OHSU employees, but for OHSU to hire a team of leaders/decision makers that act with a higher level of professionalism, compassion, honesty, and integrity than what has been appointed to represent the OHSU bargaining team.

    Long story short, this hurts my heart and disappoints me more than anything. I’m proud of my work place, but not the people making decisions on behalf of the hospital.

  14. This shows how the management bargaining team thinks that these contract negotiations are a joke.

    And by the management member just being dismissed from something that was an extra task, shows that OHSU upper management also thinks these negotiations are a joke. Remember you and I would be fired on the spot.

    Next time they offer a few tenths of a percent, demand 10%

    1. Keith, I agree 150 percent. The contempt that management and the OHSU bargaining team (are they even a team, really?) have for half of the OHSU workforce is painful. Asking for 10 percent seems like a start to make it up to those of us who give our days and nights and weekends to Pill Hill.

  15. This is bargaining leverage. If OHSU asks us for ANYTHING regarding this issue–public discretion or otherwise–we leverage it. You can’t taunt us in the midst of bargaining and just ask us to quietly dismiss it while we work to gain some semblance of a fair contract.

  16. I am wondering if OHSU just created a loophole for us to comment on the offer using the comment section in OHSU now where they place a summary of their offer. they would need to be respectful and such but I was thinking something like “thank you for clarifying the Union statement to the Portland Business Journal that you indeed are offering a two tiered system to the AFSCME members”.

  17. These last few days have been shocking, my team and I have been watching with disgust and disbelief.

    I want to take a moment and thank Jesse Miller for discovering the trolling behavior in the first place and taking the initiative to dig deeper. Jesse, I really admire the leadership qualities you’ve been showing during this bargaining session. Thank you for all of your hard work, smart decisions and commitment to keeping us accurately formed.

    I also want to thank the bargaining team. You have sacrificed so much time, worked with determination and persevered with bravery. It makes me angry to think that the service you’re providing your colleagues is being repaid with disrespect and upsetting misconduct.

    Seeing Dr. Jacobs’ post this morning makes me realize even more how important it is that we stay strong and united. Without the strength of our union, our membership, I doubt we would have seen any executives held accountable for this kind of gross transgression. Together, we have power and we can make positive change, even in toxic circumstances.

    My heart goes out to everyone else trying to stay strong and focused during these topsy-turvy times. I hope to see everyone at the picket today.

    1. M, I couldn’t agree more with what you said, thanks to everyone! I haven’t seen a post from Dr. Jacobs, where is it?

  18. YA’LL!! Did you see this from President Jacobs in OHSU NOW: “As follow up to yesterday’s post regarding the concerns raised about social media activity within the OHSU bargaining team, the vice president of Human Resource has resigned his position effective immediately. He will remain employed at OHSU until Nov. 1, 2019 to help facilitate a smooth transition of his responsibilities. He will not participate in any work related to labor contract negotiations. He has expressed his remorse for his role in this activity. ”

    Dan Forbes played a “role” in this????? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Why on earth – if the VP OF HUMAN RESOURCES – had a role in this would he be able to keep his job for so long? This is totally unacceptable!!!!!!!!

  19. I’ve been very unhappy with Dan Forbes ever since he arrived (I’ve been at OHSU 18 years). Particularly the incident in November of 2017 when he had to retract a comment he made on Staff News wherein he more or less bullied a staff member who made a comment he did not agree with. Some may remember this was around the Wellness Champion/Spark program. The Dan Forbes we would see at the Board of Directors’ meeting was not the Dan Forbes I was familiar with. Now, can we also question the competency of Hollie Hemenway too? I have been extremely disappointed in her performance as well. Perhaps it is time to clean house in HR?

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