State Workers

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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State Worker bargaining update 3-19-2015

 Energy around bargaining is building

DAS Barg 2015ABetween March 17th and 18th we had over 2000 people participate in almost 100 statewide actions. [FB photo gallery] With our Fair Shot for All community and labor partners, we highlighted that we share common values for economic justice from Ontario to Coos Bay! The high energy at these actions shows that after years of making sacrifices, we are ready to create a future where work is valued and everyone is treated with respect and dignity.

At the bargaining table, Wednesday was the last day to introduce new proposals. We exchanged economic proposals with management. While management is not proposing a step freeze in our next contract, they have not given us a proposal for cost-of-living increases either. Instead, they plan to offer a counterproposal to our cost of living proposal later in negotiations. And, similar to two years ago, management made a health insurance proposal that would cap their health insurance contributions at our expense – this is unacceptable!

We made the following economic proposals:

A cost-of-living increase on July 1 of each year of the contract that would be CPI plus 2% with a minimum increase of 2% and a maximum increase of 6%
Steps in each year of the contract
Maintaining the current health insurance language
“Buying-out” the 6% PERS contribution [PERS FAQ] [PERS past and future video] Adding 2 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

Click here for a full summary of our non-economic and economic proposals.

Do your part to win a fair contract by joining your co-workers on April 15 when workers all over the state will be taking a 15 minute break in support of a $15 living wage for state workers and all Oregonians. We’ll also need to send a message to the State that we won’t accept a health care proposal that puts all the risk of health care cost increases on us.
We meet again with management on April 1st (no fooling!) to start digging deeper into all of our proposals.

Don’t forget your weekly purple up days!

In Unity,

State Worker Central Table Bargaining Team

Steve Demarest, Co-Chair – Employment Department
Mary Stewart, Co-Chair – Department of Revenue
Wayne Ground, Dept of Human Services / Oregon Health Authority
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
Heather Conroy, SEIU 503 Executive Director
Heather Blankenheim, SEIU 503 Staff

Contact your bargaining team at stateworkerbargaining@seiu503.org.

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PERS: Past and Future

PERSvid

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PERS Frequently Asked Questions

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

Prior to 1979, state workers paid 6% of our wages towards PERS. In 1979, during bargaining, we accepted a proposal from the State to pay the 6% 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% out of pocket.

What is our proposal?

Rather than the state continuing to “pick-up” the 6% by paying it directly into our PERS accounts, the state would increase member wages by 6% (plus payroll tax costs and the increased IAP contribution) and then each member would pay that 6% through payroll deduction into their IAP account. The cost to members would be zero; the cost to the State would be the additional cost of payroll taxes.

Current system:          State funds 6%           ———>           Individual accounts (IAP)

Proposed system:      State increases wages 6% + payroll taxes & increased IAP contribution —–>        6% deducted through payroll deduction into —–>            Individual accounts (IAP)

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 (Tier 1 & 2 members already have the 6% pick-up counted toward their final average salary). In addition, any pay or benefit based on your wage rate would increase, which includes IAP contributions, overtime, out-of-class and lead differentials, vacation payouts, and Social Security.

Second, as many have argued before, it would “get the target off our backs” in that our opponents could no longer agitate around the supposed unfairness of the 6% pick-up. It’s very likely — should we prevail in striking down the recently-passed PERS COLA cap in court — that future attempts to end the 6% pick up would not be a buyout, but rather would 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 will 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.

Will this impact my ability to qualify for public assistance or increase garnishments or other payments I am required to make?

Possibly. You will need to consult with whomever oversees your payments or benefits.

 Is this a new idea?

No. The idea of buying out the 6% 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 agreed to 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 suggestion came up many times in your bargaining surveys and was enthusiastically supported by bargaining delegates at our campaign kickoff on Sunday, January 25th. The team believes that now is the right time to consider this approach because, if we are successful in overturning the recently adopted PERS changes, we are concerned that future legislatures will see the 6% pick-up as an even more attractive place to cut our compensation.

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?

Just like overtime, wage-based differentials, or vacation payout, any deduction based on a percentage of your wages, like dues or Oregon Savings Growth Plan contributions, would also be impacted. For every additional $100/month you earn, your dues would go up $1.70.

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

No. The 6% must be paid to into your IAP account.

How will this impact my income taxes?

This money is part of your gross pay and is then deducted pre-tax just like any other retirement contribution therefore it will have a negligible impact on your income taxes.

This FAQ will be updated as more information is available.

For more information, please contact your SEIU Field Office, Contract Action Team leader, or field organizer. You can also reach the bargaining team at stateworkerbargaining@seiu503.org

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Specials Coalition Bargaining Update 3-6-2015

Working late into the night brings success for Specials

Conversation last night at the Specials bargaining table lasted well into the evening, which allowed for a lot of work to be completed. The bargaining team and management were able to agree on a number of Letters of Agreement. It was exciting to sign off on our first tentative agreements of the session! There was extensive discussion on the Medical Hardship Transfer proposal, and the team is hopeful management will return with a counter proposal soon.

Our bargaining team gave five proposals to management, while management presented a counter offer on increasing the number of stewards and a new proposal that would extend trial service for Appraiser Analysts at the Department of Revenue. The bargaining team will be discussing these items further.

Our next bargaining session is set for March 17, at the Salem SEIU office, beginning at 5:30 pm. All members are encouraged to attend and show their support for the bargaining team.

March 17 & 18 are statewide Days of Action. Plan on participating in a solidarity action in your worksite and sign the pledge card now that says you’ll be there.

Don’t forget to wear purple on Wednesdays!!

 

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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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Election Results for SEIU Local 392 – Oregon State Hospital

The results are in for the OSH Officer and Steward Elections. Ballots were counted on March 5. Here are your elected officers for the following offices:

Salem Vice President
Brant Johnson

Junction City Vice President
Paul Praskievicz

Junction City Member-at-Large
Brandy Aguirre

Junction City Stewards
Crystal Huston
Brandy Aguirre
William Remior
Alisha Robinson
Miguel Aguirre
Shawn Holliday
Timothy Warren
Guy Dent

 

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Institutions Coalition Update 3-5-2015

Comp time cap reduction proposed by management

Thursday night the Institutions bargaining team met with management. We gave them proposals on overtime, investigations of employees, safety issues, and hour donation. Management made a proposal that dramatically reduces the maximum amount of comp hours employees can accrue.

In the last contract, OSH workers made dramatic concessions to the maximum amount of comp time allowed – from unlimited to 200. Management’s proposal to cut the amount even more may be sending an early message of how out of touch they are with our needs.

Through March there will be various work site actions and demonstrations, challenging management to do the right thing and give all Oregonians a Fair Shot. March 17 & 18 are statewide Days of Action. Plan on supporting your bargaining team by participating in the action nearest you. We encourage you to contact your local elected leadership or union organizer to find out the event locations.

The bargaining team will next meet on Tuesday March 24th. You are encouraged to contact your bargaining delegates should you have any questions, comments or concerns.

 

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Human Services Barg Update 3-3-2015

We met with the management bargaining team on Thursday, February 26 for our second round of bargaining. We have reached tentative agreements on seven articles so far, but we need to keep moving forward. We are moving through the current Letters of Agreement and gathering data to support your issues.

We need your help on a couple of the issues we are working on.

  • We need everyone in DHS/OHA to sign the petition on Article 45.1M transfer language and return them to your organizer or Lisa Donoho. You can get a copy of the petition from your organizer or steward.
  • We also need people in both DHS/OHA and Employment to sign and return the petition on LOA, Article 49.1C relating to trial service. Return to Tia Fraser, Austin Folnagy, your organizer or Dianne Hibbard at hibbardd@seiu503.org. You can get a copy of the petition from your organizer or steward.

In order to support all bargaining, attend the Statewide Days of Action on March 17 & 18 in your area or worksite.

Our next bargaining session is scheduled on Thursday, March 12 at 5:30 pm. Bargaining sessions are open to everyone and we invite you to join us. Contact Lisa Donoho at donohol@seiu503.org or Bobbie Muncrief at muncriefb@seiu503.org for more information.

Your bargaining team members for the Human Services Coalition are:

Steve Demarest – Employment, Portland -Central Table
Wayne Ground – DHS, Salem -Central Table
Shamus Cooke, DHS – Portland
Betty Holladay – DHS, Salem
Bruce Kennedy-Smith – DHS, Hillsboro
Rhonda Morgan, DHS – Gold Beach
Mary Perry, DHS – Portland
Martin Ramirez – DHS, Medford
Mike Roberts – DHS, Medford
Theresa Arndt – Employment, Salem
Austin Folnagy – Employment, Klamath Falls
Tia Fraser – Employment, Beaverton
Jerry Rosenkoetter – Employment, Salem
Michel Miller – OHA, Salem

Contact your team at stateworkerbargaining@seiu503.org.

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State Worker bargaining focuses on family

DAS Barg 2015AYesterday, we introduced a new set of proposals centered around the theme of “Families.” Many of these proposals focus on ways to update workplace policies to reflect the needs of families such as job sharing, telecommuting and teleworking, and adjusting work schedules. Following the lead of other Oregon employers, such as Intel and Laughing Planet Cafe, we are also proposing paid parental leave to bond with and care for a new baby or adopted child.

We know that when workers have the right balance between their work and family life, everyone benefits. Helping workers to achieve that balance is not restricted to the bargaining table, both Heather Conroy and Steve Demarest testified at a legislative hearing this week at the capitol on paid sick leave for all Oregonians.

Our first lobby day is an Economic Justice Lobby Day on February 24, where we’ll be fighting for a Fair Shot for All. Joining us for a Lobby Day is one of the best ways to support bargaining right now.

We meet with the management team again on March 4. 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.

Sign up for Lobby Days now!

In Unity,

State Worker Central Table Bargaining Team

Steve Demarest – Co-Chair, Employment Department
Mary Stewart – Co-Chair, Department of Revenue
Wayne Ground, Dept of Human Services / Oregon Health Authority
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
Heather Conroy, SEIU 503 Executive Director
Heather Blankenheim, SEIU 503 Staff

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