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SEIU Local 503/SubLocal 083 at Oregon State University

WE WON!!

A very public thank you to all the union cousins on campus who assisted in this win: Coalition for Graduate Employees, United Academics and SEIU Local 49 who represent the ABM custodians. #Solidarity won the day.

From Newport to Josephine County to Bend to Corvallis, Oregon State classified staff stepped up to lead a strike. THANK YOU!  Let’s be ready next time: volunteer a couple hours a month to be a steward!  Our stewards at OSU are not that busy;  they do act as a resource for their co-workers and as the union network that keeps people connected.
Want to be a steward or just go to contract enforcement training? Email me at burkes@seiu503.org. 

Right now we have leadership vacancies due to retirement.  We have Vice President and Secretary positions open! Email me back if you want to know what that involves. You would fill the vacancy until May 1, 2020, and are welcome to run for another 2 year term starting in May if you want!

Board of Trustees observer: under the contract we can have one member observe the BOT meeting on paid time. We need your name asap. The meeting is October 18 at Corvallis campus.

We are planning upcoming meetings to take more q and a and allow you to drop off your ballot if you did not get a chance to e-vote.

EVOTE NOW!
This is a big cost savings for dues money if we can get as many people as possible to e-vote. If you do not e-vote you will receive a paper ballot.

E-VOTING NEWS:
Email and text messages started 10/4 with links to vote.  If you did not get an email or text,  please email me back at this email and I will get it sent to you at a personal email. 

All voting will end 10/30 and votes will be counted 10/31. This quick turnaround is to ensure that you will receive salary increases in the November 30 check.

CONTRACT SUMMARY:

Here’s a complete list of articles and changes:

https://seiu503.org/member_news/the-tentative-agreement-for-classified-staff-in-higher-education/

More questions? Just email back here. 

Here are the highlights:

TERM : 2 Years (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2021)

COLA:  3% retroactive to July 1, 2019 pending ratification and another 2.1% starting July 1, 2020.

HEALTHCARE: No change

INCLEMENT WEATHER: 48 hours of paid inclement weather over the 2 year contract to be used if campuses are closed. For people who are “essential services” and must come in, pay rate will be 2.5X your regular rate.

STEPS: Regular steps in both years of the contract

LONGEVITY INCREASE:  All workers with 5 years of service who are “topped out” for one year past their anniversary date as of 11/1, will get an additional 2.5% added to their base salary on 11/1/19.

DIFFERENTIALS:

● High Voltage Electrician Differential increase from 10% to 30% for all time performing the work

● Veterinary Technician 2 Specialty Certification Differential $1.50 per hour for specialty certification holders
● Allowing Co-Gen Engineers to receive differentials and deleting the accompanying letter of agreement Article 21 – Salary

SALARY CHANGE:
All salaries will reflect Portland min. wage effective January 2020. ($12.50), and so these steps will be deleted.

● Step Deletion. Delete the following steps on January 1, 2020;
○ Salary Range 5 Steps 7 and 8
○ Salary Range 5B Steps 7 and 8
○ Salary Range 6 Steps 6 and 7
○ Salary Range 7 Steps 5 and 6
○ Salary Range 8 Steps 4 and 5
○ Salary Range 8B Step 5
○ Salary Range 9 Steps 3 and 4
○ Salary Range 10 Steps 2 and 3
○ Salary Range 11 Steps 1 and 2
○ Salary Range 12 Step 1

● Salary Selective Adjustments. Effective November 1, 2019 the following classifications will see an increase in salary range as noted below;

Classification Class # Current Range New Range Architectural Consultant 3615 27 30

Architectural Drafter 2 3151 18 23

Athletic Equipment Coordinator 0715 15B 19

Campus Public Safety Officers 5522 17 22

Construction Project Manager 1 4270 23 26

Construction Project Manager 2 4271 26 30

Electrical/Control System Technician4248 27 30

Electrician 4213 26 28

HVAC Control Technician

4112 20B 25 Locksmith

4227 18B 22 Maintenance Electrician 4204 17T 19T

Plumber 4211 23B 27

Radiation Protection Tech 1 3450 19 24

Radiation Protection Tech 2 3451 24 27

Radiation Protection Tech 3 3452 29 30

Sr. Nuclear Reactor Operator 3751 24 27

Thanks for all the work you did to demand respect for the critically important work you do every day.

Sincerely,

Siobhan Burke
Organizer
630.699.0281
burkes@seiu503.org

Strike FAQ

 

If We Decide to Strike: Q&A for University Members

Why are we preparing for a strike?

After months of negotiating, the university system has dug in on low wages and step freezes,  and changing the step system permanently. They also want to limit workers’ layoff rights and have made proposals to weaken job security through three of our most important contract provisions.

Classified staff members have already been making it clear that the university system’s union busting proposals and insulting economic offer are not acceptable – through email and letters to university and OUS officials, through rallies, and through signs and placards. But management’s bargaining team is not listening! That’s why we have to raise the stakes: we’re asking members to sign onto a strike pledge petition. Many times, workers’ making preparations to strike can convince management to start bargaining fairly and thus prevent a strike.

These preparations will serve the dual purpose of strengthening our position at the bargaining table and will also prepare us to launch a successful strike if it becomes necessary.

What can I do now to avoid a strike?

Continue to show solidarity with your coworkers, participate in workplace and campus actions, and sign a strike pledge to give our bargaining team the power to win the best contract possible. Signing a strike pledge is an indication of your intentions, but there are more steps to take before a strike could be called.

Will bargaining continue during strike preparations?

We are prepared to bargain at any time, even during strike planning and preparation.

Who decides to conduct a strike?

You do. Our Union Bargaining Team will ask for authorization from members to initiate a strike, if necessary to move the university system, and all members will have the right to vote on the decision. If a strike occurs, the bargaining team would also make the decision to call for a vote of the membership to end the strike.

Who can vote?

All members in good standing.

Who can strike?

All bargaining unit members.

How long would a strike last?

Workers decide. In the past, university strikes have been relatively brief, lasting for one week or less. Any decision to return to work will be made by the membership, hopefully as a result of a fair settlement.

If the strike lasts long enough will there be strike benefits?

Yes.  Each month, $.50 per dues payer is placed in a Strike and Job Protection Fund with 30 cents allotted solely to pay benefits in the event of a strike.

The Board of Directors has money into the statewide Hardship Account. The Strike Benefit account would be used to pay a stipend to striking members in a weekly amount and based on eligibility criteria also established by the statewide Hardship Committee. In accordance with the union’s Administrative Policies and Procedures, strike stipends of $300/week would commence after the 7th day of a strike. The Hardship Account would be used to provide individual assistance to members who are facing particular hardship as a result of loss of income from participating in a strike. For example, in the past members who were on the verge of being evicted, losing their homes, or having essential utilities discontinued received assistance.

Locals or individual worksites can also host events to raise strike funds, including food drives and bake sales. These events help show higher ed management that we are serious.

Are all members expected to picket?

Yes. It is essential that we have strong picket lines throughout our strike to keep people from crossing our lines and to allow other unions and campus allies to support our strike. Strike benefits and hardship aid are only available to members who show up on the picket lines. Accommodations will be made for members with disabilities.

What happens if a represented worker crosses our picket line?

While the law allows unions to sanction members for anti-union activity, and this has been done in rare occasions, this has never been an effective way to organize strike support. We would do all we could to convince fellow workers that it is in their best interests now and in the future to honor the line until a fair settlement is reached.

What about health insurance during a strike?

Employees must work a minimum of 80 hours in a pay period to qualify for insurance benefits for the following month. Once members authorize a strike, part of the strategy in setting the strike date includes ensuring that full-time workers can complete their 80 hours for insurance eligibility. Part-time workers who walk the picket line can apply for hardship benefits to assist with COBRA payments to maintain insurance coverage.

Can I use accrued vacation and sick leave during a strike?

No, workers cannot use or accrue leave during a strike.

How will the strike affect retirement benefits and seniority?

Strike time is treated as unpaid leave. Strikers do not receive retirement benefits or seniority credit when they are on strike.

Can strikers get unemployment benefits while on strike?

No. You are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits while on strike.

Can anyone be fired or replaced for striking?

You cannot be disciplined for participating in a lawful strike. Although the law may allow the employer to permanently replace striking workers, it has not happened in previous public sector strikes and we would not return to work without protecting all workers as part of the strike settlement.

Won’t a strike play into their hands by saving management money?

A strike is our collective statement of power and purpose. We are taking the power out of the university’s hands and standing together to demand fair treatment. The money the university saves doesn’t make up for the power they lose when we stand united and in the end, if we strike, we’re asking management to dig deeper than they’d otherwise be willing to do.

Overview of Process to Determine a Strike:

  • Our Union Bargaining Team calls for a strike authorization vote based on what’s happening at the bargaining table. Determination of whether a strike authorization vote is needed will likely happen in September, based on when legally-required timelines run out.
  • Decision time: If members authorize a strike, the bargaining team has the ability to call a strike based on meeting the required timelines under the law which includes both sides laying out final offers and a “cooling off” period. The bargaining team will only call a strike if they believe our striking is necessary in order to win a better settlement.

 


(After PERS cuts,) University Management Proposes Wage Freezes, 300% increase in Your Health Insurance Costs

Management Gets An F For Respect, Offers Wage Freezes and Health Care Hikes 

Our Bargaining Team’s Economic Proposals 5/3/2019:

Also see post from SEIU 503 on economic proposals

5% across the board wage increase July 1,2019

5% across the board wage increase July 1, 2020

Maintain health insurance share and reduce share on least expensive health insurance plan

Drop bottom step and add step for all workers, both years

If PERS is cut, make up cuts with wage increases

Add a personal day to maintain parity with state workers


 

Our union represents approximately 1,530 classified employees at Oregon State University.

SubLocal 083 is part of the statewide Service Employees International Union Local 503, Oregon Public Employees Union.

Our union is member-driven and staff-supported, we democratically elect stewards, local and statewide officers, and bargaining delegates who negotiate the collective bargaining agreement between classified employees of the state universities and the Oregon University System. The collective bargaining agreement sets the wages and working conditions for all classified employees for the length of the contract. A new bargaining cycle will start in 2019. Contact us for more information or to find out how to get more involved. We currently hold monthly meetings the 3rd Thursdays of the month at Valley Library from 11 – 12:30 pm or in the MU. Worksite meetings can be set up to accommodate your office location and schedule.  We want all union members to get active, and plugging in is the first step. Contact us to set up a worksite meeting or 1:1.

Contact Chief Steward Gloria O’Brien for steward issues at obrieng60@gmail.com or organizer Siobhan Burke at 630-699-0281 (call or text)

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