Institutions

For the purposes of bargaining, members who work for state agencies are divided into four coalitions – DHS, Institutions, ODOT, and Specials. The Institutions Coalition includes: Oregon Youth Authority correctional facilities and camps (OYA), Oregon State Hospital (OSH), Eastern Oregon Training Center (EOTC), Eastern Oregon Psychiatric Center (EOPC), and Oregon Youth Authority Administrative and Field Services (OYA).


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.

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

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.

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

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

 

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

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.

 

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

Institutions Coalition Update 2-18-2015

Support Institutions Coalition bargaining – join the March actions!

Our coalition got off to a great start last Tuesday night, by coming to an agreement with management on several Letters of Agreement.

In our next sessions we will pass the bulk of our proposals—based on your bargaining surveys—aimed at improving working conditions and worker rights for members at all of our agencies.

On February 24 many members of our bargaining team will participate in the Economic Justice Lobby Day at the Capitol, a great way to support bargaining and our legislative priorities. Join your fellow Union members and register today at SEIU 503 Lobby Days 2015.

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. These actions come right before our meeting with management where all initial proposals are due, so it’s an important way to show management that you support your bargaining team and are willing to fight for your priorities.

Our next bargaining session is scheduled at SEIU HQ in Salem on March 4 at 6:00 pm. All members are welcome to attend.

In Solidarity,

Your 2015 Institutions Coalition 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

 

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

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.

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

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

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

Oregon State Hospital celebrates 92% membership

OSH-Mbrshp-01_wide

Oregon State Hospital workers took time during their lunch break today to celebrate their 92% worksite membership rate. Local leaders here know that OSH works best when workers say “Union Yes!”

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

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.

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

State Worker Tentative Agreement Summary Video

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off
Menu Menu
Worksites Worksites