ODOT

Who we are…
For the purposes of bargaining, members who work for state agencies are divided into four coalitions – DHS, Institutions, ODOT, and Specials. The ODOT Coalition includes: Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Oregon Parks & Recreation Department (OPRD) (incl, State Fair), Forestry Department, Oregon Department of Aviation (ODOA), and Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW).


PERS Buy-Out FAQ

What is the 6 percent pick-up and how did it come to be?

Prior to 1979, state workers paid 6 percent of our wages towards PERS. In 1979, during bargaining, we accepted a proposal from the State to pay the 6 percent into our PERS accounts, which increased member take-home pay even though wage rates remained the same because members no longer had to pay the 6 percent out-of-pocket.

What is our proposal?

Rather than the state continuing to “pick-up” the 6 percent by paying it directly into our PERS accounts, these funds would be transferred back to the employee’s pay and then transferred, as a pre-tax deduction, into the employee’s PERS account. Any additional payroll tax, and increased PERS contribution, incurred as a result of the “buy back” would be covered by an additional 1 percent paid by the state into the employee’s pay. The intent is that this would be a zero cost to members.

PERScomparison

How would this benefit us?

There are a number of ways this would be in our best interests. First, it would be an additional benefit for OPSRP members (those hired on or after August 29, 2003, also known as Tier 3), as it would translate into a higher average final salary. Currently, Tier 1 and 2 members already have the 6 percent pick-up counted toward their final average salary, but Tier 3 members do not.

In addition, pay and benefits that are based on your wage rate would increase; this includes IAP contributions, overtime, out-of-class and lead differentials, vacation payouts, and Social Security calculations. For example, if you work overtime or have a pay differential, this could put more money in your pocket.

Previous attempts to end the 6 percent pick-up would have resulted in an equivalent pay cut for all PERS members; this issue was a central cause of the 1995 strike by state and higher education workers in Oregon. Because we prevailed in striking down the recently passed PERS COLA cap in court, there have already been proposals to end the 6 percent pick up in a way that would not hold us harmless, but would instead entail some sort of pay cut (i.e. legislation allowing for negotiations over splitting the pick-up, or eliminating it altogether at our own expense).

Does this mean a pay increase for me?

No. There would basically be no change in total compensation. It would, however, increase your IAP contributions, overtime pay, out-of-class and lead differentials, vacation payouts, and Social Security.

If this doesn’t put more money in my pocket, why do it?

Besides the fact that the current system suppresses retirement income for Tier 3 members, the Bargaining Team is making this proposal as a defensive measure aimed at protecting member retirement for the future.

The Bargaining Team has made proposals to “put more money in pockets” including:

  • a cost-of-living increase on July 1 of each contract year that would be equal to the consumer price index plus 2 percent, with a minimum increase of 2 percent and a maximum increase of 6 percent
  • Steps in each year of the contract
  • Maintaining the current health insurance language
  • Adding two steps to the top of the pay scale
  • Creating a $15 minimum wage for all state employees
  • Working with the State to examine and address the gap in pay that exists between women and men who do jobs with similar skill levels

Would the PERS buy back impact my ability to qualify for public assistance or increase garnishments or other payments I am required to make?

It’s not possible to speak to all circumstances. If you are impacted by an income-based benefit or payment plan, you’ll need to consult with whoever oversees your benefits or payments. Be sure to tell them this is a “pre-tax retirement benefit.”

Is this a new idea?

No. The idea of buying out the 6 percent has been discussed at bargaining tables and in the legislature for years. Many unions, including our fellow members at Portland Public Schools and most firefighter and law enforcement bargaining units, have already adopted a buyout because they saw it as being in their best interests. Our bargaining team believes this is the best way to secure our retirement.

Why now?

This concept is a carry-forward from previous bargaining sessions and the current Bargaining Team recognizes the time is right and winning the proposal is crucial. At the Bargaining Conference held on Sunday, January 25, this proposal was brought forward to the assembled delegates. The delegates in attendance understood the importance and supported moving this forward.

Timing is critical as we face huge attacks on Unions and public workers. These attacks are focused on collection of dues, the right to collectively bargain and the ability to have a secure retirement.

How would it work?

See chart above. If we were to agree to this framework, our bargaining team would need to negotiate the details, including effective date and implementation.

How would this impact my dues and other payroll deductions?

Any deduction based on a percentage of your wages would be impacted. On the income side, overtime, wage-based differentials, vacation payouts would benefit. Similarly, dues would go up a small amount: For every additional $100/month you earn, your dues would go up $1.70. For example, if you make $40,000 a year, your dues would likely go up between $3.40 and $3.90/month, depending on exact terms of the buy-out.

Would I be able to pay that money into a 401k of my choice or use it otherwise?

No. By law, the 6 percent must be paid into your IAP account either by the employee or the employer.

How will this impact my income taxes?

While the funds are part of your income, they are not reported in Gross Income for tax purposes. The deduction is handled on a “pre-tax” basis just as your portion of your insurance premium is handled; therefore, it will have a negligible impact on your income taxes.

For information on PERS, there is a wealth of information on the PERS website, including the following benefit comparison chart:

http://apps.pers.state.or.us/pers238/a-z_project_chapter_238.htm

This FAQ was updated May 6, 2015, and will continue to be updated as more information is available.

PERS video

A short animated clip explaining the past and future of PERS:

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ODOT Coalition Continues Wins on Call Back Compensation

Our Union bargaining team came to a few tentative agreements in our last bargaining session. Employees in ODOT, DMV, OPRD, and ODFW will now have the option of designating call back compensation as compensatory time or cash. The team also negotiated language designed to ensure Temporary Inmate Crew Coordinators at Forestry receive compensation when breaks and lunches cannot be taken. We are also happy to report that the OPRD Office Coordinator differential will be extended through our next contract.

As we enter the month of May in this bargaining process, the team needs members to be visibly involved in bargaining. You can engage by attending bargaining sessions, being willing to speak to union proposals, or helping organize worksite actions that demonstrate your commitment to supporting the proposals being bargained for on your behalf.

As always, any member is welcome and strongly encouraged to attend bargaining. We meet on all bargaining dates at 5:00 p.m. at the Forestry Headquarters on State Street in Salem. If you want to attend, please RSVP to Keith Quick at quickk@seiu503.org or Ahjamu Umi at umia@seiu503.org in order to ensure we have enough food to provide dinner for you and every member in attendance.

Location:

Oregon Department Of Forestry
2600 State Street, Building C
Salem, OR 97301

Dates:

5/12, 5/26 & 6/23
(Please note the cancellation of the 6/9 bargaining date)

In Unity,

The ODOT Coalition Bargaining Team

Noel Magee, ODFW-HQ, Salem – Co-Chair/Central Table Team
Mike Scott, ODOT, Grants Pass – Co-Chair/Central Table Team
Katherine Gile, DMV-Lana Ave HQ, Salem
Gail Boatman, DMV, Cave Junction
Dianna Honeycutt, DMV-Lana Ave HQ, Salem
Peggy Howard, DMV-Lana Ave HQ, Salem
Brandon Ferguson, Forestry-South Fork Forestry Camp
Jim Neuman, Forestry, Tillamook
Dave Wells, Forestry, Tillamook
James Reed, ODFW-HQ, Salem
Jill Smith, ODFW, Astoria
Micki Varney, ODFW-HQ, Salem
Patrick Hatfield, ODOT-4040 Fairview Industrial, Salem
Craig Johnston, ODOT-Lawnfield, Portland
Craig Lankford, ODOT-Astoria Drawbridge, Astoria
Donna McKeever, ODOT-Mill Creek Bldg, Salem
Steve Hernandez, Parks, Silver Falls
Dan Icklan, Parks, Cove Palisades
Peggy Rinck, Parks-N Mall Office Winter St, Salem
Keith Quick, SEIU 503 Staff
Ahjamu Umi, SEIU 503 Staff

Contact your ODOT Bargaining Team at ODOTCoalition@seiu503.org.

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ODOT Coalition Moving Forward in Negotiations

Our ODOT Coalition bargaining team met with management last week. We made progress on several proposals, but did not tentatively agree to any. On some of our proposals, management is slow to express a desire to negotiate solutions. For example, we presented and discussed proposals to protect ODFW members from abusive hosts and management’s initial response has been a simple “not interested.”
There are many proposals that we are waiting to hear back from management on. As the example above clearly illustrates, we are at the junction in bargaining where the power cannot come from the bargaining team alone. We are going to need you to be involved in order to send a stronger message to management about support for these proposals.

We have the following bargaining dates scheduled, and as always, any member is welcome and strongly encouraged to attend bargaining. We meet on all bargaining dates at 5:00 p.m. at Forestry Headquarters on State Street in Salem. If you want to attend, please RSVP to Keith Quick at quickk@seiu503.org or Ahjamu Umi at umia@seiu503.org to ensure we have enough food to provide dinner for you and every member in attendance.

Location:
Oregon Department Of Forestry
2600 State Street, Building C
Salem, OR 97301

Dates:
4/28, 5/12, 5/26, 6/9, 6/23

Continue submitting your photos to our April 15 Photo Contest – open until April 30 at 5:00 p.m. Click on VOTE to view the gallery of entries and “like” your favorites! The photo with the most “likes” will be featured in the winner’s local field office, and the winner will receive a framed, high-quality print of the photo.

In Unity,

The ODOT Coalition Bargaining Team

Noel Magee, ODFW-HQ, Salem – Co-Chair/Central Table Team
Mike Scott, ODOT, Grants Pass – Co-Chair/Central Table Team
Katherine Gile, DMV-Lana Ave HQ, Salem
Gail Boatman, DMV, Cave Junction
Dianna Honeycutt, DMV-Lana Ave HQ, Salem
Peggy Howard, DMV-Lana Ave HQ, Salem
Brandon Ferguson, Forestry-South Fork Forestry Camp
Jim Neuman, Forestry, Tillamook
Dave Wells, Forestry, Tillamook
James Reed, ODFW-HQ, Salem
Jill Smith, ODFW, Astoria
Micki Varney, ODFW-HQ, Salem
Patrick Hatfield, ODOT-4040 Fairview Industrial, Salem
Craig Johnston, ODOT-Lawnfield, Portland
Craig Lankford, ODOT-Astoria Drawbridge, Astoria
Donna McKeever, ODOT-Mill Creek Bldg, Salem
Steve Hernandez, Parks, Silver Falls
Dan Icklan, Parks, Cove Palisades
Peggy Rinck, Parks-N Mall Office Winter St, Salem
Keith Quick, SEIU 503 Staff
Ahjamu Umi, SEIU 503 Staff
Contact your ODOT Bargaining Team at ODOTCoalition@seiu503.org.

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ODOT Coalition successfully reached TA on 11 LOAs!

Your Union bargaining team was able to reach accord with management to continue several key Letters of Agreement into the next contract. Highlights include differential pay for ODFW facilities workers, flexible overtime pay for ODFW workers, and work schedule language for ODOT Motor Carriers and Astoria Drawbridge workers. The team was also able to improve language on Boot Allowance Eligibility Education for OPRD members. Click here for a full list of ODOT proposals.

Continue to talk up the bargaining process in your worksites. Plan to attend and participate in the critical upcoming contract campaign actions:

  • Minimum wage hearing – Monday, April 13 at 6:00 p.m. at the State Capitol in Salem
  • The 15 for $15 unity break – April 15
  • The contract economic justice lobby day – May 13 in Salem

Encourage your co-workers to participate as well. As your work colleagues continue to negotiate at the table, remember, they are there fighting for you, your family, and your community! Show your support any way that you possibly can!

Join PSU workers, janitors, food service workers, care providers, city workers, community and other allies at noon at O’Bryant Square in downtown Portland as they continue the Fight for $15 and a union for low-wage workers. Upload photos from your 15 for $15 on April 15 action to enter 503’s April 15 Photo Contest. Watch for more information coming soon!

We have the following bargaining dates scheduled, and as always, any member is welcome to attend bargaining. We meet on all bargaining dates at 5:00 p.m. at the Forestry Headquarters on State Street in Salem. If you want to attend, please RSVP to Keith Quick at quickk@seiu503.org in order to ensure we have enough food to provide dinner for you and every member in attendance.

Location:
Oregon Department Of Forestry
2600 State Street, Building C
Salem, OR 97301

Dates:

4/14 and 4/28

In Unity,

The ODOT Coalition Bargaining Team

Noel Magee, ODFW-Cherry St HQ, Salem – Co-Chair/Central Table Team
Mike Scott, ODOT, Grants Pass – Co-Chair/Central Table Team
Katherine Gile, DMV-Lana Ave HQ, Salem
Gail Boatman, DMV, Cave Junction
Dianna Honeycutt, DMV-Lana Ave HQ, Salem
Peggy Howard, DMV-Lana Ave HQ, Salem
Brandon Ferguson, Forestry-South Fork Forestry Camp
Jim Neuman, Forestry, Tillamook
Dave Well, Forestry, Tillamook
James Reed, ODFW-Cherry St HQ, Salem
Jill Smith, ODFW, Astoria
Micki Varney, ODFW-Cherry St HQ, Salem
Patrick Hatfield, ODOT-4040 Fairview Industrial, Salem
Craig Johnston, ODOT-Lawnfield, Portland
Craig Lankford, ODOT-Astoria Drawbridge, Astoria
Donna McKeever, ODOT-Mill Creek Bldg, Salem
Steve Hernandez, Parks, Silver Falls
Dan Icklan, Parks, Cove Palisades
Peggy Rinck, Parks-N Mall Office Winter St, Salem
Keith Quick, SEIU 503 Staff
Ahjamu Umi, SEIU 503 Staff
Contact your ODOT Bargaining Team at ODOTCoalition@seiu503.org.

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ODOT Coalition Proposes to Allow Transfers Without Competitive Interview

Our union bargaining team passed eight proposals to management at this week’s negotiation session. These proposals represented the final proposals that will be presented for this contract campaign. Highlights include making transfers easier and allowing seasonal workers to apply to job openings as internal candidates in their off-season. We also presented on Differentials and Increases to the Boot Allowance. We’ll have a full listing of all our proposals with more details next week.

Now is a critical time to talk up the bargaining process. Make sure your co-workers are aware of where we are in this campaign. Think about ways you can demonstrate your support for your bargaining team in your worksite. Also, consider attending a bargaining session and encourage your co-workers to do the same.

Now that all of the issues have been passed across the table, expect negotiations to intensify in the coming weeks. Whatever support you can generate for your bargaining team in your worksite will strengthen the arguments/proposals we have passed on your behalf.

We have the following bargaining dates scheduled, and as always, any member is welcome to attend bargaining. We meet on all bargaining dates at 5:00 p.m. at the Forestry Headquarters on State Street in Salem. If you want to attend please RSVP to Keith Quick at quickk@seiu503.org in order to ensure we have enough food to provide dinner for you and every member in attendance.

Location:
Oregon Department Of Forestry
2600 State Street, Building C
Salem, OR 97301

Dates:
3/31, 4/14 and 4/28 (all meetings begin at 5:00 p.m.)

 

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ODOT Coalition Bargaining Update 3-6-2015

Proposals push for improvements and fair treatment

Your ODOT Bargaining Team met with management on Tuesday March 3rd. We passed four proposals across the table. For Aviation we made two proposals improving opportunities for promotions, education, training, and development. ODFW members proposed a differential for dangerous duties performed on or in the water. Forestry members made a proposal on rest and recovery for employees assigned under the Incident Command System.

Do your part to win a fair contract by joining your co-workers for a weekly purple-up day and participating in a rally at your worksite in mid-March. On March 17 & 18, we’ll be holding over 100 rallies across the state to emphasize that we should all have a Fair Shot – in our contract and in our communities.

We have the following bargaining dates scheduled and as always any member is welcome to attend bargaining. We meet on all bargaining dates at 5pm at the Forestry Headquarters on State Street in Salem. If you want to attend please RSVP to Keith Quick quickk@seiu503.org in order to ensure we have enough food to provide dinner for you and every member in attendance.

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State Workers elect central bargaining team

StateWorkerBTElected bargaining delegates from throughout Oregon met on Saturday to talk about bargaining priorities and strategy, including winning good wages and benefits for state workers and fighting for a fair economy for all Oregonians.

Delegates also chose our union’s leadership team for bargaining. Our elected central table bargaining team is:

Steve Demarest, Employment Department
Wayne Ground, DHS/OHA
Brant Johnson, Oregon State Hospital
Sandi Kalin, Department of Administrative Services
Noel Magee, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Rolando Ramirez, Oregon Youth Authority
Mike Scott, Oregon Department of Transportation
Mary Stewart, Department of Revenue

The elected bargaining team will be joined by Heather Conroy, SEIU 503 Executive Director, and SEIU 503 staff member Heather Blankenheim.

The team will meet soon to discuss our bargaining priorities for 2015-2017. If you are an SEIU 503 represented state worker, please take a few minutes to complete your bargaining survey.

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PEBB announces September face-to-face meetings for 2015 health plans

PEBB has just announced that they will do a series of meetings around the state to inform us about our health care choices for 2015.  Increased communication is something our committee has pushed for and we are glad to see an expanded list of in-person meetings happening prior to October open enrollment.  Click here to find the meeting closest to you – the meetings start this Thursday, Sept. 4th.

As a reminder, there are two big pieces of good news around our health insurance:

  • We will receive our cost of living adjustment (COLA) this month (3 months early!) – the 2% COLA will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2014 thanks to union contract language that puts money unspent on healthcare into our paychecks.  This is a direct result of health care premiums going slightly down in 2015.
  • If full-time members choose the least costly plan in their area, their premium share will be reduced from 5% to 3%.

These steps forward are due to increased member activism around contract negotiations and healthcare, and to effective advocacy by our union PEBB representatives. Despite these gains, we still believe the state has a ways to go in improving our work environments so that we can all be healthier.  We will provide updates as we make further recommendations to PEBB.

In Unity,

Your PEBB Member Advisory Committee (PMAC) Representatives
Keary DeBeck, Labor Chair for the Committee, Dept. of Justice
Cary Fardal, Oregon State Hospital
Wednesday Martin, DHS Vocational Rehabilitation
Shaun Parkman, Oregon Health Authority
Siobhan Martin, SEIU Staff Advisor
PMAC@seiu503.org

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ODOT Local 730 statewide meeting: October 12th

Please join us for our next ODOT Local 730 statewide meeting on October 12th. We use these meetings to review our work as a local and plan ahead for the next fights. We try to move the meetings to different locations around the state so its easier for members from the local area to participate. You can download a flyer here to use in your worksites to invite your coworkers to get involved by attending.

Agenda

  • Review new contract details
  • Create our Local organizing plan for 2014
  • Talk about our contracting out work (including the new language in the contract and our win in getting the 219 pilot project bill stopped)
  • Update on our contract enforcement work
  • Update on the work of the officers at the labor management committee

Saturday, October 12th, 9:00 A.M  – 3:00 PM
Best Western Hotel
16515 Reed Rd | La Pine, Oregon, 97739

Lunch provided.

In addition to the meeting we’ll be getting together at Ponderosa Pizza the night before (Friday October 11th at 5:30 p.m.) for an informal get together. Any member is welcome to join us at either event. The address for Ponderosa Pizza is 52574 Hwy 97, La Pine, Oregon, 97739.

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State workers vote to ratify contract

The tentative agreement for the 2013-2015 union contract has been ratified by state worker members. At the ballot count August 17, with just under 5,000 ballots cast, 95% of voters approved the agreement.

We hope you share the pride we feel in the substantial improvements in this contract, as well as in the unity and action demonstrated by thousands of members.  In pickets, purple-ups, strike preparations, and political participation in our communities, the halls of the Capitol and at the ballot box, we demonstrated to management and our fellow Oregonians that we are indeed all “In It Together.”

The next few years will continue to challenge us. There continues to be discussion of a special legislative session later this year to enact further PERS cuts. On the 2014 ballot, anti-union forces are putting forward measures that, if passed, would weaken our collective voice. As we navigate these challenges and prepare for contract negotiations in 2015, we must maintain the great spirit of solidarity—with each other, our clients, and all Oregonians—that propelled us to victory today.

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