Back in February, members working at Portland Public Schools (PPS) kicked off their bargaining campaign sending a Valentine’s Day message to management outlining their goals for the process. Since then they have purpled up on Wednesdays, shared photos on social media, and sent photos to the PPS management team via email. This week, they reached a tentative agreement on their new contract!
Management was proposing unacceptable pay increases and take-aways on working conditions. As a result, members escalated to group actions at all-employee training days and a button action at the start of the school year. Leaders invited members of the school board to attend their meetings to better understanding the issues workers were prioritizing. The last PPS union meeting was attended by two members of the school board, which had a large impact during the last bargaining session.
Highlights of PPS’s Tentative Agreement include:
- Though management attempted to remove all permissive language from the CBA, we were able to secure all language that would have an impact in practice, including transfers, posting of vacancies, and employee evaluations.
- Successfully prevented management’s proposal to increase limit for temporary status from 6 months to 12 months.
- Maintained status quo on health insurance.
- Secured clear inclement weather policy for Custodians, reopener language for Nutrition Services.
- In a show of unity, the team would not be divided on wages and were willing to give up step increases, which would only affect custodians (20 percent topped out), in exchange for higher COLAs evenly across both departments. This resulted in a retroactive cost-of-living increase (COLA) of 3 percent as of July 2017, and a 2 percent COLA on July 1, 2018.
Congratulations to all the members at Portland Public Schools and their bargaining team, which including James Dean, Phyllis Dean, Bob Rosingana, Tim Curtin, Leslie Phillips, Barbara Woods, Sekoynia Wright, Barbie Dice-E-Fraguadas, and chief spokesperson Mike Bray.
Marion County Bargaining team.
After months of bargaining, SEIU 503 members working at Marion County have reached a tentative agreement! Bargaining team members Sara Campos, LaTricia Straw, Mary Reese, Erik Anderson, Krista Rowland, Kim Christofferson, Ed Watson, Rachel Rohrs, Maria Garibay and Trish Stephens had been in contract negotiations with Marion County management since December of 2015.
By sharing personal stories of the hardships faced every day, members won strong health care language that ensures PEBB and OEBB plan options as well as a larger County premium contribution. Beginning January 1, 2016, the County’s contribution will increase by $50. In January of 2017, the contribution will increase by $50 once again, for a $100 total raise in County contribution.
Here some highlights from the recent TA:
- Increased vacation accruals.
- 5% differential to the newly created floater positions to compensate for the inconsistent work schedule.
- Strengthened reclassification request procedures.
- 2.5% longevity step increase at 20 years of service.
- Cost of Living Increases:
- 1.5% cost of living increase beginning September 11, 2016.
- 1% cost of living increase beginning July 1, 2017.
- 1.5% cost of living increase beginning July, 1 2018.
- 2% cost of living increase beginning July, 1 2019.
- Strengthened temporary employee language.
- Continuation of sick leave conversion letter of agreement.
Congratulations to the members of the Marion County Employee Association who united together to support their bargaining team throughout this months long process. Only through their hard work was this agreement made possible.
After months of bargaining, members reached a tentative agreement at Linn County. Members were able to successfully sit with a receptive Linn County management team to find a solution that help fill a variety of common goals. Bargaining team members Lisa Walker, Lisa Thompson, Naomi Mackey, Rich Farrier, Eric Bowling and alternate Scott Knox spent four months firing up their coworkers by moving surveys, scheduling unity breaks and mobilizing nearly 80% of the Linn County membership into taking an active role in the bargaining process.
The new 3-year contract includes:
- 2% COLAs each year of the contract;
- 95% County covered healthcare (of the most expensive PPO plans);
- increased employee accumulation of vacation time;
- removed cap on sick time accrual.
Throughout the process, members united with workers from the City of Albany, Albany PD, Linn County DHS and a variety of other community allies to resolve outstanding courthouse safety concerns, improving not only their contract, but their community. By coming together to create a better future, Linn County is taking an important towards a just and vibrant future.
Join Marion County employees on Tuesday, July 12th at Riverfront Park at 4:45pm in Salem. Members will march to the Marion Street Bridge where they will rally for a fair contract.
Nursing home workers at Fernhill Estates and temp workers at Marion County won organizing victories in the past week and became the newest members of SEIU Local 503.
With the addition of Fernhill, workers at 50 nursing homes and assisted living facilities are now members of Local 503! Fernhill workers are the 7th group of nursing home workers to organize this year. Fernhill workers organized for respect and fair wages. Many union members at Laurelhurst and Porthaven nursing homes who also work at Fernhill helped win this election victory.
Marion County temporary workers finally became part of our union after years of attempts and legal hurdles. About 100 temporary positions will now be part of the union at Marion County and workers will begin bargaining shortly. Pay equity and job security are two of their most pressing issues.
Many members helped on this campaign, including Sara Campos, Stacey Harp, Trish Straw, Charles Arnold, Kendra Stafford, Bernadine Newland, Steve Nerrow, Oscar Izaguirre, Mark Terrill and Roseanne O’Connor.
A big congratulations to SEIU members at Marion County who reached a contract settlement on Wednesday!
The bargaining team struggled to overcome a contentious contract fight two years ago when tensions were high at the table and we were days away from striking. Most of this year’s team were new to negotiations, but they were excited to be involved and in many cases, were taking on their first role in our union. The team stayed stable and strong even as they lost and gained several team members in the first few months of negotiations.
Negotiations began last December. The bargaining team’s goals were to change the tenor at the table, mend relationships with the county, increase member involvement, organize the temps, and win a raise for all members. The path to settlement and the settlement itself accomplished all of their goals. Here are some of the highlights:
- 3% COLA in first year, 1.5% COLA in second year
- Maintain Health Care Premium Cap improves re-opener language from 8% to 4% over the Cap to trigger re-negotiations
- Stops mandatory cash out of comp time. Members could accrue comp time but it was cashed out once per year. This practice ends and now members can carry comp time on the books until they decide to use it or they can chose to cash it out at anytime.
- Increase shift differential from $.50 to $.75 per hour
- Increase call back compensation from 2 hours to 3 hours
- Improves flexing language to clarify that members can flex time if they are a few minutes late for work
- Allows members who have 110 hours of sick leave on the books to transfer sick time to 3 personal days each year
- Increase boot & rain-gear allowance for public works by $50
Although the contract is settled, the team will return to the table in a month or two to negotiate language for temporary workers, who are not currently represented but are organizing to join SEIU now.
MCEA Bargaining Team:
- Sara Fillion
- Stacey Harp
- Cristina Martinez-Sandoval
- Diana Mitzel
- Erik Anderson
- Janie Hanson
- Leslie Polson
- Trish Straw
- Jeff Dolan
- Tanika Dumas
- Alma Garibay
- Sam Perez
- Chief Spokesperson, Keith Quick
Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments (OCWCOG) members have a tentative agreement that they can celebrate with some major wins and language improvements. Thanks to the great work of the OCWCOG Bargaining team.
OCWCOG workers stood united for a fair contract by purpling up every week, purpling up their cubicles, packing the room during our bargaining sessions and creating an effective communication system within the Local.
This TA proves that their unity and hard work paid off! In the coming weeks members will be receiving ballots in the mail at their home address. The OCWCOG bargaining team urges a “Yes” vote.
This was not a great day in the Oregon House for public workers or the people we serve, but the fight for fairness in this legislative session is far from over.
First, Republican leaders and their allies in the “loophole lobby” derailed a bi-partisan effort to make big corporations and the wealthiest Oregonians to pay a bit more in taxes to produce $275 million in revenue to avoid service cuts. Then Senate Bill 822, which caps COLAs for many PERS recipients, passed the House and went to the governor for signing over our vehement opposition and avowed intention to challenge in court.
The PERS vote was 33-27. A number of those who voted YES — all Democrats — hated the bill but wanted to conclude the debate on PERS and move to focusing on funding the services our members provide. Most of those who voted no want to make even deeper cuts.
Like the PERS vote, the maneuvering over revenue was politically complex. Pro-public service legislators succeeded in keeping the process moving forward by passing a greatly reduced version of the bill to extend the debate on funding vital services Oregonians rely on.
We are reminded once again of the power of big business to manipulate the political process to avoid paying its fair share. The original revenue bill started the day with bi-partisan support, but corporate lobbyists and the leaders they control compelled some House members to oppose the larger package.
The fight over revenue and against further PERS cuts now moves to the State Senate. Contact your Senator today to call for restoration of the full $275 million revenue package.