State Workers

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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Fighting to protect our rights!

In the face of proposed contract takeaways, your bargaining team pushed back. Management delivered the first package of proposals of this session.

Management proposes to:

  • Extend trial service for Appraiser Analysts at the Department of Revenue
  • Reject our proposal to use seniority for the assignment of overtime at the Department of Agriculture
  • Remove the employee recognition plan at DCBS and the Oregon Medical Board

The bargaining team reminded management that packaged proposals historically are used to group proposals of similar intent and purpose, as well as seek acceptance from both sides on some of those proposals. By rejecting management’s package and sending a balanced counter package back to them, your team sent a clear message that takeaway proposals alone, are not acceptable.

The Labor team again declined to accept longer trial service for employees, but was open to accepting management language allowing the accrual of compensatory time or being paid for vacation days on scheduled days off. In addition, we included an extensive proposal expanding education, training and professional development opportunities for the entire coalition.

Your bargaining team will be hard at work over the next few months to secure contract language that will ensure employees are treated fairly and get the recognition they deserve. Your feedback and participation are critical to the process. Please join us at the next bargaining session and remember to purple up on Wednesdays!!

Continue submitting your photos to our April 15 Photo Contest – open until April 30 at 5:00 pm. 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 their photo.

In Unity,

The Specials Coalition Bargaining Team

Mary Stewart, Revenue, Eugene – Central Table
Sandi Kalin, DAS, Salem – Central Table
Mike Forrest, Ag, Salem
Roberta Laux, Ag, Salem
Carolyn Briggs, Blind Commission, Portland
Lloyd Perez, BOLI, Portland
Dan McKay, DAS, Salem
Steve Walsh, DAS, Salem
Jim Beck, DCBS, Portland
Dianna Janowski, DCBS, Salem
Michael Elliott, Education, Salem
Karen Harrison, Education, Salem
Sam Ko, Education, Salem
Keary DeBeck, Justice, CCBC, Salem
Kathleen Lamar, Justice, CCBC, Salem
Nita Goss, Medical Board, Portland
Dolores Vance, OHCS, Salem
Mary Lang, PERS, Tigard
Susan Mundell, PERS, Tualatin
Flor Morales, Revenue, Salem
Jessyca Stafford, Revenue, Eugene
Ann Reed, State Library, Salem
Matthew Garrett, Teachers Standards & Practices, Salem
Leah Rickert, Veterans Affairs, Salem
Susan Douthit, Water Resources, Salem
Ronald Kohanek, Water Resources, Salem
Shawna Akin, SEIU 503 Staff
Veronica Miller, SEIU 503 Staff

Contact your Specials Bargaining Team at Specials@seiu503.org.

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Help our HSS3s and sign the petition by April 23!

Human Services Coalition had a full room for the bargaining session on April 9. We had members attend on two different salary issues that were discussed. Thank you to the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors who did an outstanding presentation (Sheila Hoover – Salem, Sue McClure – Salem, Alice Pangburn – Salem, Tracy Schaffer – N. Portland, Phil Matthews – S. Salem, Stephen Sanders – McMinnville, Thomas Dooley – N. Salem, Brook Yetter – McMinnville, Molly Joubert – McMinnville, Ken Smith – E. Portland, Alyssa Martin – Springfield, Tessa Siebert – Springfield). In addition, many thanks to the DDS workers who also joined us (Kim Babcock, Kim Coleman and Amy Hammond).

We are asking everyone to sign the petition about extending the trial service for the Human Service Specialist 3’s. You can sign the HSS3 petition here. We need you all to sign the petition by April 23.

Remember Take 15 for $15 and a Fair Contract! Take action today, April 15 in support of the $15 per hour campaign and in support of your contract campaign. Attend a unity break in your worksite and enter your photos in our photo contest at http://www.seiu503.org/april15photos/ or by using #503InItTogether on Twitter or Instagram!

What’s Next? We bargain again on April 23 at 5:30 pm in the Salem SEIU Office, located at 1730 Commercial St. SE. We are asking everyone to get involved and join us. Now is the time we need your support at the bargaining table.

Your Human Services Coalition Bargaining Team

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
Martin Ramirez – DHS – Medford
Austin Folnagy – Employment – Klamath Falls
Tia Fraser – Employment – Beaverton
Jerry Rosenkoetter – Employment – Salem
Michel Miller – OHA – Salem
Bobbie Muncrief – SEIU 503 Staff
Lisa Donoho-Medsker – SEIU 503 Staff

Contact your team at stateworkerbargaining@seiu503.org.

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Progress made with first TAs

Management still holding firm on leave takeaways

Your Institutions bargaining team met with management last Wednesday and reached tentative agreement on several Letters of Agreement. While the TAs weren’t surprising, it was great to see some progress at the table.
Unfortunately, management is still holding firm on several proposals on sick leave, holiday pay, and compensatory time that represent huge takeaways for our members. We let management know that we won’t stand for workers in the Institutions coalition being treated differently than every other state worker when it comes to paid leave.

Two opportunities coming in May to support a fair contract!

  • Join workers all around the state in signing the petition for a fair contract. Look for it in your worksite beginning May 4.
  • Attend the Economic Justice Lobby Day on May 13. We need as many workers as possible to head to the capitol and let legislators know we need a budget that lifts wages for all workers.

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.
Our next bargaining session is at 6:00 p.m. on April 29 at the SEIU office in Salem. All members are welcome to attend.

In Solidarity,

Institutions Bargaining Team

Rolando Ramirez, Co-Chair – OYA Woodburn
Brant Johnson, Co-Chair – OSH Salem
Cary Fardal – OSH Portland
Rene Lopez – Pendleton Cottage
Steve Guy – OYA Woodburn
Randy Davis – OSH Salem
Janet Ferris – OYA Tillamook
Jeff Hodson – OSH Salem
Doug Dryden – OYA Albany
Kerry Rechiro – OSH Salem
Jose Moreno – OSH Salem, Alternate
Dan Smith – OSH Salem, Alternate
Dan Ferguson – OYA Woodburn, Alternate
Donna Blakely – OYA Salem, Alternate
Mike Hurd – OYA La Grande, Alternate
Brad Fairbank – Pendleton Cottage, Alternate
Jamaal Anthony, SEIU 503 Staff
Molly Malone, SEIU 503 Staff

Contact your Institutions bargaining team at InstitutionsCoalition@seiu503.org.

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Time to Talk Wages and Benefits

In bargaining this week, we held the line with management on keeping our ability to deal with bully bosses by being able to grieve the Professional Workplace Policy. In addition, we had several groups of members make strong presentations on why their classification should receive a selective salary increase.

Our next bargaining session is April 28 and 29, when management will be giving us their economic offer. We’ve been clear with the State that we expect a contract that lifts wages for all state workers, ensures that no one works for the state and lives in poverty, and helps secure our economic future after years of sacrifices.

The economic proposal we gave management in March was:

  • A cost-of-living increase on July 1 of each year of the contract that would be equal to the consumer price index 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

There’s still time to enter our April 15 Photo Contest! You can submit entries through Apr. 30 at http://www.seiu503.org/april15photos/, through the SEIU 503 Facebook page or website, or by including #503InItTogether on Twitter and Instagram posts.

In Unity,

State Worker Central Table Bargaining Team

Steve Demarest – Employment Department, Co-Chair
Mary Stewart – Department of Revenue, Co-Chair
Wayne Ground – Department 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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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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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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