Yesterday, we started negotiations with an opening statement by our union’s Executive Director, Brian Rudiger. He described our desire for fair wages and benefits, the diversity of our membership, and our commitment to provide quality services and build strong communities across Oregon.
Here are the union and management opening proposals:
|Our Union Proposal||Management’s Proposal to Us|
July 1, 2017 — 2.5 to 4% based on consumer price index (CPI)
July 1, 2018 — 2.5 to 4% based on consumer price index (CPI)
|No cost living increase in either year of contract|
|Steps||Steps in each year of the contract||Steps in each year of the contract|
|Health Insurance||Maintain current plan:
1% premium share for lower cost plans
5% premium share for costlier plans
|Establish 7% premium share for costlier plans|
|Longevity||Reward employees who are “topped out”||None|
|Salary Floor||Minimum monthly salary of $2600/mo||None|
The state’s proposal also reinforces why our bargaining team pushed to protect steps for four years and buy out the PERS pick-up in our 2015 bargaining: for all other state workers, management is now proposing a one-year step freeze with a small cost-of-living adjustment, and a buy-out of the PERS pick-up at only 6% (as opposed to the 6.95% we won in 2015).
The proposal on the table from the state is insufficient and does nothing to address the needs of the state workforce. It is important to note that Management’s proposal is contingent on the legislature passing Governor Brown’s recommended allocation for state employee compensation. With a $1.6 billion shortfall, we can’t sit back and expect a better budget to materialize. The best way to ensure a good contract and quality services is to contact your legislator right now or sign-up to participate in a Lobby Day.
Our next bargaining sessions are April 25th and 26th.