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Latest News Updates

SEIU National


Last week we saw the Supreme Court’s importance when they ruled against working people in the Janus vs. AFSCME case. Then Justice Kennedy announced his retirement, giving the administration one more opportunity to chip away at the rights of working people–white, black, and brown. We must take action right now to fight for our families and communities!

Call (866) 426-2631 and tell your Senators that it’s time to #SaveSCOTUS!

On this 4th of July, we stand together to say that this is our America and we want to live in a country where working people don’t have to struggle to make ends meet, immigrants are respected, and people don’t live in fear of getting sick because they don’t have access to good health insurance.

You can help by calling your Senators and urging them to reject any nominee who would take our healthcare away, take reproductive rights and voting rights, and make it more difficult for working people to join together in union.

Let’s give America what it really needs–a fair-minded Supreme Court justice who understands that the law should provide everyone with a level playing field and believes that everyone is created equal.

Call (866) 426-2631 and tell your Senators that it’s time to #SaveSCOTUS!

Together #WeRise!

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1800 Mass Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Updated 7/3/18



Being in a union saved my life.

I have survived the scare of cancer twice because I have healthcare, because I’m part of a union. Working for a cleaning company where I found my union, I quickly realized that working people—whether white, black or brown—have power because we can negotiate together. That means good raises and health insurance. That’s something I didn’t have in my previous position working as a non-union bank teller. I made $8 an hour and couldn’t afford healthcare. I had to choose between groceries and my inhaler. That’s not right.

Working people deserve fair pay and quality, affordable healthcare to take care of ourselves and our families, regardless of our color or where we come from. However, greedy billionaires and certain politicians don’t believe we should have the same freedom they have to negotiate.

So it’s not surprising that the rich CEOs and their powerful friends who were behind the Janus Supreme Court case want to make it harder for us to join together across racial differences to build unions that can win for our families. These same billionaires wanted to repeal Obamacare, taking away healthcare people need.

Join me in calling out these billionaires who are using their wealth to rig the system. Together with people from all walks of life, we must fight for our future, just like we did in the past to win better wages, safer workplaces, and civil rights. Visit AmericaNeedsUnions.org to learn how.

Together We Rise.
Sandra Ellington
Airport Cleaner
Proud SEIU Member
Cleveland, OH

Updated 7/3/18



Dear fellow SEIU 503 member,

Three things you can do right now to keep SEIU 503 strong

1. Recommit your union membership

2. Join actions in your worksite (contact your organizer for details)

3. Take the Union Challenge: post a photo holding your “UNION” sign and share it on social media using #Union

4. Join a Union Strong Rally tonight:

  • Portland: 5:30 at Portland City Hall (1221 SW 4th Ave)
  • Salem: 5:00 at the Revenue Bldg courtyard (955 Center St)

Early this morning, the US Supreme Court issued a decision that is the latest in a long line of attacks against public workers’ wages, benefits, and voice on the job. 

In their decision, the Court ruled that people could stop paying their fair share, but still receive representation and benefit from the salary and benefits we all bargain for… essentially making it easier for anti-worker extremists to rig the economy further by dividing working people.

We believe that in the wake of this decision, our union will continue to be strong, because we know that union members like you will join together and say that no court can decide how strong our union is—only we can decide that.We expect that, over the next few weeks, you’ll be hearing from groups that want to divide working people, and undermine the power that we’ve built together in our union. Special interests that want to cut government and privatize public services—groups like the Freedom Foundation—will tell you that you “lose nothing” by dropping your union membership.

The tens of thousands of us who have chosen to be union members know that couldn’t be farther from the truth. States with strong public employee union membership have better wages, improved workplace standards, and quality healthcare plans because the union is able to negotiate from a position of power. The progress we’ve made over the decades has only been possible because each of us made the choice to stick together in union.

Being a union member is, now as it always has been, a powerful choice. It’s a choice to join together for the respect we deserve, and the jobs our communities need. It’s a choice that only we can make—and that no court can take away. Let’s stick together, and continue to fight for the respect and good jobs that Oregon needs.

In unity, 

Melissa Unger
Executive Director, SEIU 503

Steve Demarest
President, SEIU 503

 Updated 6/27/18


Today, the Supreme Court came down on the wrong side of history in the Janus case that the rich and powerful are hoping will get in the way of those of us standing up for the good, union jobs we need. I know what it’s like to not have a union. I worked that way for years and you really were on your own. People lost their job on a manager’s whim. Our wages and benefits could change anytime. Sexual harassment was common. But I had to support my children. Being a single parent was stressful and so was my workplace.

I don’t want to go back to that. Because of the misguided decision today, it’s important to send a message that no matter what, we’re going to stick together to win what working people need. So here’s what I’m doing today:

  1. Taking a photo holding a sign with the word UNION and posting it on social media using the hashtags #Union and #WeRise.
  2. Telling everyone about americaneedsunions.org, where people who support unions can learn more about the decision and take action!

When I got a union job as an Office Specialist and became of member of SEIU, everything changed for the better. I can discuss issues with my employer as an equal without worrying about my job. We won living wages and my kids could go to the doctor whenever they were ill. We don’t have to worry about whether we can afford decent healthcare. And no one can fire me because they are having a bad day. That’s what being in a union is all about.

Make no mistake. The Janus case is part of a concerted, well-funded attack on working people and progressives waged by greedy billionaires and self-interested politicians to further rig the rules in favor of corporations and the rich. Let’s stand up to them and make it clear that no court case can stop our union if we stick together.
Together We Rise

Leonora Rianda
Office Specialist
Proud SEIU Member
Albany, OR

Updated 6/27/18


Steward Training

We are doing steward training at OSU Corvallis campus. If you are at another worksite and want to be trained, please email back and we will set up a 1:1 training for you.

Steward Training
with dinner
Adams Hall Union Office
5 – 6:30 pm
Tuesday July 10, 24, 31.
Graduation/First Stewards Council meeting: Tuesday August 7th.
The graduation is not mandatory, but to become a steward officially you need to attend a stewards council meeting (held from 5:15 – 6:15 pm the first Tuesday of the month).

If you are working during those hours we can set up a 1:1 training for you. Please email me back!! More can be covered 1:1 so the time requirement will likely be less.

We need stewards. OSU is eligible for the most stewards of any university, with 25, we have 15 working stewards right now.

What do stewards do?
Primarily they  are a resource for their coworkers. Most issues are resolved at the lowest level. Stewards get paid time to do steward work and are backed up by other stewards, the organizer, and staff trained in contract language at SEIU at the Member Resource Center. You are not alone! And you provide an important link to information for your coworkers!!

Stewards needed at Bend campus too!  Contact your organizer Christine Morgan here.

Stronger Together,Siobhan Burke Campus Organizer 630-699-0281 and burkes@seiu503.org

Also please find us on Facebook!! http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-06-26/rv9xv/148047569SEIU083/

Updated 6/26/18


You may have heard news recently about a case that is expected to be decided soon by the U.S. Supreme Court. We’ve put together a fact sheet for you.

The Janus case is the latest attack by powerful corporate interests, including the Koch Brothers, to use the U.S. Supreme Court to weaken collective bargaining power for workers to negotiate higher wages and overall compensation, including healthcare and retirement benefits.

They believe that if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses the laws that keep us united, we will become weaker and less effective. 

But the special interests are wrong. 

When we ask members why they will stay with union, they agree with Shaun Parkman, a research analyst at DHS and SEIU 503’s member representative on the PEBB Board:  

No matter what happens, I am sticking with SEIU 503 and my co-workers. We know that as members of the union we can increase our pay and benefits and have more of a say in workplace conditions. In states where more public employees remain members of the union, salaries are higher for all employees because the union has the power to negotiate from a position of strength.”

Shaun is protecting his pay and benefits and joining with his co-workers by recommitting to SEIU 503. 
Will you will join Shaun and recommit today?

Update 5/17/18

SEIU Union Strong

Classified Staff Win the Support of PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi

Most Oregonians can tell you that when it snows in Portland, the city shuts down. What most Oregonians can’t tell you is that when PSU shuts down for a snow day, classified staff feel the impact in their paycheck. The only way for classified staff to get paid for inclement weather closures is by taking their own paid time off.

SEIU 503 members at Portland State have been pushing for inclement weather compensation for years, with renewed interest after the harsh winters of 2016 and 2017. After a snow day this December, members organized a campaign to send PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi an ecard with over 50 signatures asking for support in gaining inclement weather compensation for some of the university’s most vulnerable employees.

When  President Shoureshi didn’t respond to the message, SEIU 503 Local 089 members turned up the heat by using their monthly “Take Back Your Break” community building unity breaks to launch a second campaign, this time collecting postcards for President Shoureshi. “It was amazing to see so much support. People were taking blank postcards back to their offices for office mates to complete,” said newly elected Local Vice President Allison Adkins.

In late April, Local 089’s newly elected officers had their first meeting with President Shoureshi during which incoming VP Allison Adkins delivered over 100 handwritten postcards asking for Shoureshi’s support in their campaign for inclement weather compensation. Adkins then asked PSU’s President for a statement in response.

On May 1, President Shoureshi sent the following email to classified staff at PSU:

Dear Colleagues,

Our PSU classified employees are, in many ways, the backbone of the University.  I want to express my gratitude for the important contributions each of you makes to the success of Portland State University.

I also understand the difficulties many of you face when your paycheck unexpectedly falls short because of a campus closure due to the weather.  Those with the least ability to manage those shortages are often affected the most.

I’m committed to doing what I can to protect our most vulnerable employees from this type of financial uncertainty.  To that end, it is my intention to declare that days we are closed due to inclement weather will be paid days, as authorized by our SEIU contract.  

Thank you again for your hard work and your commitment to PSU.


Prof. Rahmat Shoureshi


The members at PSU have taken an important step towards winning an inclement weather policy for Higher Ed members throughout the state. The support of President Shoureshi could prove to be vital in the 2018 Higher Ed bargaining campaign, and would not have been possible without the continued pressure applied by SEIU members working at PSU.

Fair for a Fair Economy

Featured Benefit: Dependent Care Reimbursement

Heroes can't fly without CAPE

Featured Members: Classified Staff at Portland State University

May Day 2018

Members of SEIU 503 joined activists and allies from Causa, CareWorks, APANO, PCUN, and dozens of other community and labor organizations in Salem to celebrate International Workers Day on May 1. This year’s May Day rally and march focused on defending Oregon’s 30-year-old sanctuary laws which are under attack by an initiative petition filed in late April.

During the Rally, Governor Brown took two important steps towards preserving Oregon’s sanctuary status by signing Senate Bill 1563 and House Bill 4111. SB 1563 provides undocumented students in Oregon continued access to tuition equity, while HB 4111 allows the DMV to renew and replace limited-term driver’s licenses for DACA and Temporary Protected Status recipients whose status may have expired due to federal immigration policy changes.

Hundreds gathered at the State Capitol to hear from Oregon House Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon, Governor Kate Brown, CareWorks Activist Jan Montes, SEIU 503 Civil & Human Rights Committee Co-Chair Guillermo Romero, and more. After the rally, hundreds took to the streets to march throughout downtown Salem to demonstrate that when we are united, Oregon can become a better place for all.

Big Stake in 2018 Primary Elections

The 2018 Primary election is May 15, and there are several campaigns around the state that will have a big impact on SEIU 503 members.

Tiffiny Mitchell, Deb Patterson and Micki Varney
Three SEIU 503 members are running for office this year! Here’s a little info on each of them.

Tiffiny Mitchell, running for State Representative – North Coast
“Tiffiny has been an active member of our union from the moment she joined. She is intelligent, articulate, and in touch with the needs of SEIU members and other working people in Oregon. I know she will bring those values to the State Legislature and represent our interests in Salem.” — Guillermo Romero, SEIU member leader, Warrenton, OR

Read more about Tiffiny at http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-05-14/q75rm/140612632

Deb Patterson, running for State Senate – South Salem
Deb Patterson has been an active SEIU member for three years. She was the founding Vice President of the Deaconess Foundation, a children’s health philanthropy, where she researched and funded programs to improve children’s health, including early childhood interventions, school-based programs, and services to children in the foster care system. She has more than twenty years of experience in health advocacy and education.

Read more about Deb at http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-05-14/q75rp/140612632

Micki Varney, running for Salem City Council – West Salem
“As a union steward I have always spoken up for living wages, equitable and reliable scheduling, workplace safety and an environment that fosters worker morale. As a City Councilor representing Ward 8, I will carry these values into our community.” — Micki Varney

Read more about Micki at http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-05-14/q75qy/140612632

Val Hoyle for Commissioner of Labor and Industries
Another key campaign for SEIU 503 members is the race for BOLI commissioner. Val Hoyle won the endorsement of SEIU members because of her experience and her values. Val has also been endorsed by The Oregonian, the Willamette Week, The Register-Guard, the Salem Weekly and the East Oregonian.

Read more about Val at http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-05-14/q75r1/140612632

Click here to see full list of candidates endorsed by SEIU 503.

Ballots are due by May 15. Click here to find a drop box near you.

Update 5/14/18



Classified Staff Meeting

All classified staff invited: Thursday, April 26th, 11 – 12:30 (drop in for lunch)
, in Memorial Union 213. We will discuss Member Benefits, grievances we are working on and victories on campus! We will also swear in new leadership!Take the Survey (if you haven’t yet!)
Bargaining & Training & IT Grievance QuestionBargaining is coming soon and we want to hear from you.
This survey also includes questions about Training Days from our Union VP who is organizing to make these opportunities more meaningful. Please take this very quick survey!
LINK: http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/r-OSUClass/pmwty/136778974
Thanks to everyone who did take it already!Merit Increase InformationAt our last member meeting we discussed the one-time “extra meritorious” pay increase available through OSU. Many people clicked through so here it is again. Contact your organizer for details at burkes@seiu503.org.Merit Increase – http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/assifiedextrameritincrease-pdf/pmwv1/136778974

In unity,
Leonora Rianda, OSU Sublocal 083 President

Questions? Email
Siobhan Burke, Campus Organizer at burkes@seiu503.org

Also please find us and LIKE us on Facebook!! http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-04-20/pmwvf/136778974SEIU083/
Update 4/22/18


Classified Staff Meeting

Union Member Benefits: All the details from SEIU member benefits staff

Some Member Benefits: Short term disability, AT&T discount, Great Wolf Lodge, life insurance, legal insurance

Hardship Fund: $$ for emergencies

We are setting up a new Hardship Committee to aid our members.

Thursday, April 26th

213 Memorial Union

11 am – 12:30 pm lunch served, stop by and we will re-run the agenda

Questions? Concerns? Any topic please contact campus organizer Siobhan at burkes@seiu503.org

Updated 4/15/18



Take the Survey!
Bargaining & Training & IT Grievance QuestionBargaining is coming soon and we want to hear from you. (A more detailed survey will be distributed by the bargaining committee late this year or early 2019.)This survey also includes questions about Training Days from our Union VP who is organizing to make these opportunities more meaningful. Please take this very quick survey!
LINK: http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/r-OSUClass/p4prp/133290630
And…if you are an IT worker please take the survey! U of O stewards are filing a grievance regarding pay and need your input.Meningitis Vaccines for Faculty and StaffA few months ago our union filed a grievance to get ALL classified staff covered for meningitis vaccines, because many of you work in the dorms that are considered more at-risk areas. We heard most of the people nervous about the disease were given time off to check in with their doctors so we did not continue pushing.  NOW OSU IS OFFERING FREE VACCINES on campus April 9 and 10. Here’s the information:FROM OSU:Faculty and staff planning to attend the optional MenB clinic, please register at Meningococcal B Vaccination Clinic Signup – OSU Faculty/Staff.
Link: http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/j-form-SV-9TsT8RLqytQps3z/p4prr/133290630Registering, will help to ensure adequate staffing and availability of the vaccine. Registrations for the clinics will close at midnight on Wednesday April 4, to allow sufficient time for ordering and delivery of the vaccine for the clinic.

Faculty/Staff vaccination clinic information:

· Monday, April 9, noon to 5 p.m.

· Tuesday, April 10, 8 a.m. to noon


Links regarding Meningitis:
Benton County Health Department: Communicable Disease Nurses – 541-766-6835
Factsheet: http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/Forms-Served-le0665b-pdf/p4prw/133290630

Factsheet in Spanish: http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/is-spanish-meningococcal-b-pdf/p4pry/133290630

Merit Increase Information

At our last member meeting we discussed the one-time “extra meritorious” pay increase available through OSU. Many people clicked through so here it is again. Contact your organizer for details at burkes@seiu503.org.

Merit Increase – http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/assifiedextrameritincrease-pdf/p4ps3/133290630

Next member meeting: Thursday, April 26th, 11 – 12:30 (drop in for lunch), in Memorial Union 213. Our staff Member Benefits specialist will take your questions and explain your member benefits.

In unity,

Leonora Rianda, OSU Sublocal 083 President

Questions? Email
Siobhan Burke, Campus Organizer at burkes@seiu503.org

Also please find us and LIKE us on Facebook!! http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-04-03/p4psp/133290630SEIU083/
Updated 4/4/18

SEIU Union Strong

#Union Support
Growing Throughout the Country

In the wake of our February 26 day of action with SEIU locals throughout the country, elected officials, news outlets, thought leaders and academics are speaking up in support of unions as we approach a decision on the Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME. Though a decision in favor of union workers is unlikely, it has not stopped a groundswell of union activity throughout the country.

Public school teachers in West Virginia went on strike for nine days until the Governor was able to convince both the State House and Senate to approve a 5 percent increase for teachers. Since then, teachers in Oklahoma, Kentucky and historically anti-union Arizona have taken collective action towards improving wages and healthcare for some of the lowest paid teachers in our country.

Adjunct faculty at universities in Chicago, Florida, and Iowa have all begun organizing unions at their worksites. Workers at Burgerville in Portland have continued to strike, petitioning the NLRB for what could be the first recognized fast-food worker union. US Senator Kamala Harris highlighted that unions have been at the forefront of challenging the institutions and leaders that divide us. Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek published a piece in the Oregonian asking folks to “remember that unions make entire neighborhoods and communities better off.”

Below is a collection of stories highlighting the importance of staying #UnionStrong.

Featured Benefit

Featured Benefit:
Life and Disability Insurance

Brenda Rodriguez-Cruz

Featured Members:
Brenda Rodriguez-Cruz, OSU

MLDP Participant Brings Nearly 30 New Members Into Our Union!

Our union’s Member Leader Development Program (MLDP) is designed to develop and strengthen leadership and organizing skills through a combination of classroom work and practical field organizing alongside SEIU 503 staff members. The MLDP program is built into our contracts and work release is arranged between the union and our employee.

Higher ed housing worker and recently elected OSU Bargaining Delegate Brenda Rodriguez-Cruz recently completed the MLDP program, during which she signed up close 30 new SEIU 503 members. Brenda worked directly with her organizer to set up multiple events on OSU campus including membership meetings, new employee union orientations, and multiple rallies and unity breaks, including OSU’s portion of the February 26 statewide and nationwide day of action.

On top of assisting with Linn County and Western Oregon University’s sublocal election, Brenda attended CareWorks meetings, translated materials into Spanish, and organized and facilitated new employee union orientation meetings for SEIU members working at DHS offices in Salem.

Prior to her work as an MLDP, Brenda led and participated in various campus actions. In 2017, she and her coworkers in the Housing Department wrote and circulated a petition asking for OSU for a commitment to support immigrant rights. After gaining signatures from students, staff and community members, Brenda and a delegation of SEIU 503 members at OSU delivered the petition to President Ed Ray.

“What I’m going to bring back to OSU is why it is important that we stick together with our union,” says Brenda. “This is not just about us and our wages and benefits. It’s about the generation coming up behind us. We need to carve a path for millennials to follow in our footsteps. This is OUR time. We need to be the example for the ones coming after us.”

Union Members Running for Office in Oregon

Oregon’s Labor Candidate School (OLCS) is dedicated to providing union members with the tools to run effective political campaigns. Their alumni include nine school board members throughout the state; members of the Salem, Hillsboro, Sandy, and Junction City city councils; as well as State Reps. Teresa Alonso Leon, Rob Nosse, and Sheri Malstrom. Though it’s definitely not a requirement to attend OLCS, the program provides a series of trainings and networking events throughout the state that can help build a strong campaign.

2018 will see another round of union members  running for various offices throughout the state, including members of SEIU Local 503!

So far this year, our member-elected and member-driven CAPE council has endorsed two SEIU members for elected office:

  • Tiffiny Mitchell: Tiffiny is running for State Representative in House District 32, which covers all of Clatsop, half of Tillamook, and parts of Western Washington County. Tiffiny is a longtime resident of Astoria, an alumni of SEIU 503’s Leadership Academy, and works in the Astoria DHS office.
  • Micki Varney: Micki is running for Salem City Council, Ward 8, and is a graduate of OLCS. Micki is a salmon biologist for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and also serves as SEIU 503’s Chief Steward at ODFW.

Click here for a list of SEIU 503’s CAPE Council endorsements.

For more information on CAPE, or to get involved, please visit http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/d-political-action-cape-signup/p4nzr/133250388

Updated 4/4/18



Union Orientation for All OSU Classified Staff

You’re Invited

  • Union Orientation
  • Friday March 30
  • 11 am – 12:45 pm
  • Adams Hall SEIU office (next to Parking office)
  • 606 SW 15th Street

RSVP to get lunch, (Baja Fresh buffet), to Brenda at 541-220-7568 or Siobhan at burkes@seiu503.org.

Member Benefits: Short term disability, discounts, Great Wolf Lodge, life insurance, legal insurance

Bargaining: Last Contract, Next Round 2019

Who is Your Steward?


Updated 3/26/18


Wages & Merit Increase Info

Last week we had a great meeting on campus. Here’s the information we shared (and a bit more thanks to some good input from members!)

Classified Staff meeting 3/15/18
How do you increase your wages?

  1. Bargaining – STEP INCREASES

This past year we kept steps for everyone. Depending on where you are placed and how long you have worked at the university, you receive a step increase on your anniversary. In very rare cases, your supervisor may deny you a step increase. If that does happen please contact us asap and we can take action, under the contract!

  1. Bargaining – Cost of Living Increases – we bargain for cost of living increases. If we all come together and organize for higher COLAs we can get them! In 2017 management’s offer was ZERO steps and ZERO COLAs and wanting you to pay more for healthcare. We got back steps, small cost of living increases and held the percentage you pay for healthcare.
  2. Bargaining – Selectives  — This is not widely known information and that’s why we are sharing it now, far in advance of bargaining.  Bargaining will happen next year (2019). Groups of workers can come together and make presentations for increases. In last year’s contract custodial coordinators, grounds maintenance 2 workers and several other groups received increases. To get a selective we need to hear from you that you want to get one, and that you have people willing to do a presentation. There is training and support for doing a presentation, which is brief. Your group has to have a hard time recruiting and retaining workers because of wages. There is no guarantee you will get a selective. It often takes more than once to win one.
  3. Merit Increase – http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/assifiedextrameritincrease-pdf/nt4lm/131449234
  4. In order to get the merit increase you need to be getting annual evaluations. This is in the contract and OSU policy too! If you are NOT receiving regular evaluations which includes sitting down with your supervisor and receiving a review then please let us know.
  5. Reclassification – if you believe your job does not match your job description and you are doing work at a higher classification you can be reclassed at a higher wage.

How do you find your current position description?
Here are the clicks to find your individual Position Description:

  • myOSU
  • Login with username and password
  • Admin Tools (a tab)
  • Online Recruitment and Position Descriptions (under Work Tools)
  • My Profile (a tab)
  • Position Descriptions (a tab, about mid-page)
  • your job title
  1. Please contact us asap and we can walk you through the reclass process. You would start with your supervisor first.  They may immediately agree. Or they may ask you to contact HR. They may or may not be familiar with the process.
  2. Salary on hire – OSU policy is that departments can hire without any further permission at step 1 or step 2. Sometimes departments get the ok before hiring to go higher than that. Either way we are hearing from many departments that do a lot of hiring that people are told when they are hired “we can only hire you at step 1.” Managers may say this is in the contract, or they may say that’s all HR will allow. This is not the case. It may be true that is all the department can afford. We are exploring ways we can let people know pre-hire they have a window to discuss this issue.
  3. What happens if you are already hired at step 1 and you have a lot of experience? We are reviewing this issue. Let us know.

8. Salary on promotion – Currently OSU is saying when you are promoted you only can receive one step. If you are in the process of getting a promotion please contact us so we can advocate for you. There is a very limited window to impact this decision so please contact us before you have received and/or accepted the promotion. Other universities ALSO have processes to get salary increases in special circumstances and we are exploring these and discussing within our Labor Management meetings.

Other ways to increase wages through bargaining:

We need as many people to be members as possible. This is how we push for the highest wage increases and keep our health insurance payments where they are. The more members we have, the better off we all are. If someone has questions about anything to do with membership let us know.

During bargaining we have in the past asked for an additional step for those people topped out. At some bargaining tables we have asked for additional money to reward longevity. These are things that we need people to fill out the bargaining surveys and ask for. Contact us and say you want these and we can let the bargaining team know this is a big priority! We know many of you have been topped out for a long time.

During bargaining we asked this last time to raise the wage floor to $15. We can also do that again, we need to hear from you this is a priority.Workers at the state level won this.

Other steps we could request might be to eliminate or add classifications. If we hear from worksites and individuals these are important steps let’s organize to make this happen.

Other costs we can bargain around are really up to you – are you willing to organize around parking? This has been something we have raised in the past. We know this is a very large financial burden to many workers.

Siobhan Burke organizer 630-699-0281 and burkes@seiu503.org
Chief Steward: Gloria O’Brien  541-740-7609

If your department or supervisor is way behind on evaluations let us know!! Please feel free to pass this along to your supervisor to let them know this information!

Also please find us on Facebook!! http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-03-22/nt4m1/131449234SEIU083/

In unity,

Siobhan Burke, Campus Organizer

Updated 3/22/18


Local Election Results

The results are in for SEIU 503/083 OSU Classified Elections! Thank you to everyone who stepped forward to lead our union on campus!

Here are our elected officers:

  • President/General Council Delegate – Leonora Rianda
  • Vice President – Christopher Kulah
  • Secretary – Lynn Thompson
  • Treasurer – Roxy Tacy
  • Chief Steward/General Council Delegate – Gloria O’Brien
  • Membership Coordinator/General Council Delegate – Deb Carroll

Our General Council Delegates:

  • Andrew Struthers
  • Christopher Kulah
  • Henry Herb
  • Lora Sylvester
  • Melinda Woods
  • Shane Rumusod

And our Bargaining Delegates:

  • Gloria O’Brien
  • Leonora Rianda
  • Travis Heyerly
  • Rob Keunke
  • Brenda Rodriguez
  • Lora Sylvester

New officers will be sworn in at our April meeting and their two-year term will begin May 1. Thanks to everyone who ran, voted and helped out with elections.

Congratulations to our winners!

In unity,

083 Elections Committee
Amber Ahlgren
Bryan Feyerherm

Updated 3/22/18

All classified staff invited

TOMORROWThursday 3/15
11 am – 12:30 pm
(we will do presentation as people show up – drop in)
206 Memorial Union

–Merit increases
–Salary on hire
–Working out of class
–Supervising students?


Also please find us on Facebook!! http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-03-14/nl5sy/129707900SEIU083/

In unity,

Siobhan Burke, Campus Organizer

Updated 3/14/18


It is my pleasure to announce that after an open and rigorous search, our Board of Directors has selected Melissa Unger to be our next Executive Director.

Melissa brings over 15 years of advocacy for working people and students to our union, with ten of those years as a staff leader and political director for SEIU 503. In addition to previously serving as the executive director of two other organizations, Melissa has been an incredibly effective champion for SEIU members in the state Capitol and with our allies, ensuring that Oregon’s budgets and policies keep the needs of working people front and center.

She championed the groundbreaking 2011 Moving Oregon Forward report, which amplified members’ ideas for government efficiencies. Melissa also led the establishment of the Homecare Worker Supplemental and Benefits trusts, which today administer paid time off, dental, vision, and supplemental health benefits to over 20,000 members.

Please join me in thanking outgoing Executive Director Brian Rudiger for his service both as our executive director and as a staff member over the last seven years.

We are fortunate to have had a long line of excellent executive directors, and I know Melissa will continue that tradition as we navigate the challenging and exciting days ahead.

In unity,

Steve Demarest
Statewide President
SEIU Local 503, OPEU

Updated 3/14/18

SEIU Union Strong

February 26 Day of Action:
Together #WeRise

Homecare Bargaining Team

On February 26, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Janus v AFSCME, working people joined together in actions throughout the nation to let the wealthy corporate interests behind Janus know that American workers will not be divided by any attack on our basic freedoms. Janus v. AFSCME is simply the latest attack by anti-worker elites using the Supreme Court to weaken collective bargaining power for workers by forcing open shop worksites. We saw this tactic back when the Supreme Court heard 2014’s Harris v Quinn. Not only did we survive the 2014 attack, we’ve thrived — with union membership growing each year.

Here in Oregon, SEIU 503 members held over 75 actions with over 1600 members participating from over 100 worksites. 503 members working for universities, state agencies, and local governments staged unity breaks and purple ups from Portland to Klamath Falls and Astoria to Enterprise – nearly every corner of the state joined together to show that no court will hold us back.

At the Capitol Mall in Salem, members of SEIU and AFSCME united for a lunchtime rally where they heard from 503 Political Director Melissa Unger, Oregon AFSCME Executive Director Stacy Chamberlain, and SEIU 503 Marion County Local President Sara Campos. February 26’s National Day of Action was launched after Sara Campos joined a small group of union activists — including SEIU 503 Statewide President Steve Demarest — for a banner drop in the Capitol Rotunda in Salem on February 14, the state of Oregon’s birthday.

“On February 26th,” said Sara after the banner drop in a Facebook post seen by thousands, “Let’s march. Let’s protest. Let’s rise up. Let’s walk out. Let’s let the rich who are trying to destroy this country know we’re drawing a line in the sand.”

Click here to read and share Sara’s original Facebook post.

Featured Benefit:
Aflac Voluntary Insurance

Heroes can't fly without CAPE

Featured Member:
Sara Campos,
Marion County

Early 2018 Legislative Recap

For a “short” session, the Oregon Legislature made a lot of changes that will impact SEIU members at state agencies and public universities. Here’s a quick summary:

  • SEIU members held the line on healthcare and retirement benefits.
  • Legislators failed to fix the double coverage cut.
  • New legislation will allow public employees to decide how their retirement money is invested.
  • DHS will receive an additional 185 positions, focusing on child welfare caseworkers and case aides.
  • DHS’ background check unit will receive additional funding for new staff to lower the average time it takes to run a background check.
  • Legislators passed a bill to improve transparency in drug pricing, which will help manage cost increases in the public employee health plan.
  • The Office of Child Care in the Early Learning Division will receive funding for additional positions to address safety and quality issues in child care, as well as funding for testing for lead contamination.
  • Legislators passed a bill creating a pilot program that will allow anonymous whistleblowing in several state agencies. The bill also creates uniform whistleblowing training for all supervisors and employees.

Click here for a full rundown of what you need to know — including how to continue pushing back against the double coverage cut — as the legislature adjourns until 2019.

Labor Notes Conference: April 2018

From SEIU 503 Statewide President Steve Demarest:

On April 6 to 8, Labor Notes will hold its biennial conference in Chicago. The Board of Directors authorized the attendance of a limited amount SEIU 503 members. Members who have attended past conferences have found it very worthwhile.

This year, “inspiration, education, and agitation” are more important than ever. Contact me at demarests@seiu503.org if you are interested and available to go. Members who have not been to a prior conference will have priority.

Click here for more details.

Updated 3/5/18


Last week the Public Employee Benefits Board (PEBB), which designs and administers benefits programs for SEIU members, held its monthly meeting. Here’s the latest news about your benefits.

We know how important your health care benefits are to you, and we plan to continue sending monthly updates on PEBB. However, we also know that not everyone has the time or interest to read a monthly update, so please click here if you would like to opt-out of these emails.

Rx Price Transparency
Pharmaceutical drug prices go up every year. In some cases, like insulin, prices have increased by 300 percent. This presents a major problem for PEBB. The legislature has imposed a 3.4 percent cap on PEBB cost increases. So when a drug price goes up by 300 percent, it becomes extremely difficult for us to keep costs under the cap.

Today the Oregon legislature passed legislation that will require drug companies to report their profits, their marketing costs, and whether there are generic alternatives available when they want to make a steep increase. We believe this added transparency will help lower drug prices, which will, in turn, improve our ability to effectively manage public healthcare costs.

Of course this is just one area in which price increases impact PEBB members. Nationally, healthcare costs go up by 7 percent per year. Rising hospital and provider costs make it extremely difficult to manage our benefits plan. It’s an issue the entire nation is dealing with.

PEBB Monthly Meeting Update
We want to keep you up to date on your healthcare as we are already beginning to discuss what the 2019 plans will look like.

As in past years, we are hearing from the health insurance carriers that they need to again raise costs beyond the 3.4% premium cap imposed by the legislature.  We know healthcare is complicated and want to share what we are looking into:

  • We want to again look at data around why the health insurers want to raise rates – are PEBB members using more services or are we are getting price gouged?

  • We know that health costs in some areas of the state are much higher than other areas.  We want to look into whether some of the plans are getting a better deal in some regions than other plans.

  • Where we can pinpoint providers that aren’t giving us a good deal, we want to negotiate better deals to stretch our health care dollars further.

We are fortunate to have two SEIU representatives on the PEBB board. Through our union, you have a say in how healthcare decisions are made. We look forward to working with you as we grapple with the problem of rapidly growing healthcare costs.  You can reach us at pebbreps@seiu503.org if you have questions.

In Unity,

Shaun Parkman & Siobhan Martin

Updated 3/5/18


We’ve recently learned that SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry will be joining the Statewide Solidarity Summit in Salem on March 4! Spots are limited, so be sure and register today!

With oral arguments in the Supreme Court’s Janus v AFSCME decision beginning on February 26, there will be much to discuss how unions in Oregon can increase the momentum of our efforts and prepare for the future. At­tacks on unions and working people impact all of our organizations, public and private, and by sticking together during this important time we can chart a course for a stronger tomorrow.

Join members, leaders, and staff from various unions throughout the state on Sunday, March 4 at the Salem Convention Center (200 Commercial St. SE in Salem) from 10am to 4pm to prepare for the next steps in our campaign to continue building strong unions in Oregon. Our agenda will include:

  • Updates from experts on the latest from the Supreme Court.
  • Analysis of tactics used by anti-union organizations in Oregon.
  • Highlights from successful programs to build strong unions.
  • Lessons learned from past experiences.
  • Regional strategy sessions.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR THIS EVENT, even if you do not need lodging.

Click here to register. Space is limited, so be sure and register today!

In unity,

SEIU Local 503, OPEU

Updated 2/27/18


All Classified Staff Invited!

Protect Your Benefits
“We’re All Covered” Rally

Monday, 2/26, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Multipurpose Room (Ground floor)
Memorial Union

Monday the Supreme Court will hear a case that will chip away at our bargaining power, Janus v Afscme.  Find out how you can take action to protect our union power.


Drop in over your lunch!

RSVP helpful but not necessary:

Siobhan Burke at burkes@seiu503.org.

Also please find us on Facebook!! http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-02-24/mszdy/125861898SEIU083/

In unity,

Siobhan Burke, Campus Organizer

Updated 2/25/18



Dear fellow SEIU 503 members,

As you may be aware, we are in the process of hiring a new executive director. As we draw closer to selecting a candidate, we wanted to share an update with you about what we’ve done so far, and next steps moving forward.

Current status
The Committee has chosen two finalists to be interviewed by the Board during a special meeting on March 3in Portland. The two finalists are:

1. Melissa Unger, current political director of SEIU 503.
2. Alexander Tonisson, current director of field services for IFPTE (International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers) Local 21 in the San Francisco Bay area.

The process so far
In November, our current executive director, Brian Rudiger, announced that for family reasons he would not be seeking reelection this year. Following much discussion, our Board of Directors has engaged in a thorough and rigorous search process:

  1. On November 18, 2017, under bylaws article 14(7)a, the Board unanimously adopted a national search process. President Steve Demarest appointed to the Search Committee—and the Board unanimously ratified—every Board member who expressed interest in participating on the committee. The Search Committee was composed of 18 board members, our president and executive director, and four staff members. Nine members are voting members of the committee. We also consulted with legal counsel regarding employment and recruitment matters along the way.
  2. The Search Committee met for about 25 hours over the course of four in-person meetings.
  3. The committee unanimously adopted the posting, locations, and timelines.  The job was posted on dozens of local and national forums, including unionjobs.com, LinkedIn, and Idealist.  
  4. We received 55 resumes. The Search Committee unanimously chose six candidates to interview. One of the six withdrew; one never responded.
  5. Candidates did a timed scenario to help evaluate their knowledge of the work and their ability to think quickly about strategic issues. We then conducted phone interviews of each of the remaining four.
  6. The Committee unanimously agreed to interview the two chosen candidates.  There was discussion of whether to select a third candidate as a finalist, but the majority chose not to do so.

What’s next
At the Board Meeting on March 3, our Board of Directors, other SEIU 503 members, and SEIU 503 staff will conduct finalist interviews both in small group and large settings. The Board will also convene to take up the matter of selecting our next Executive Director. 

As a statewide officer, any candidate selected by the Board must stand for election by the membership this summer in order to continue in the position past November.

The search for a new executive director has been exhaustive, and we’re nearing the end of the process now. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 844.503.SEIU.

In unity,

Steve Demarest
President, SEIU 503

Updated 2/25/18



With oral arguments in the Supreme Court’s Janus v AFSCME decision beginning on February 26, there will be much to discuss how unions in Oregon can increase the momentum of our efforts and prepare for the future. At­tacks on unions and working people impact all of our organizations, public and private, and by sticking together during this important time we can chart a course for a stronger tomorrow.

Join members, leaders, and staff from various unions throughout the state on Sunday, March 4 at the Salem Convention Center (200 Commercial St. SE in Salem) from 10am to 4pm to prepare for the next steps in our campaign to continue building strong unions in Oregon. Our agenda will include:

  • Updates from experts on the latest from the Supreme Court.
  • Analysis of tactics used by anti-union organizations in Oregon.
  • Highlights from successful programs to build strong unions.
  • Lessons learned from past experiences.
  • Regional strategy sessions.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR THIS EVENT, even if you do not need lodging.

Click here to register. Space is limited, so be sure and register today!

In unity,

SEIU Local 503, OPEU

Updated 2/25/18


Dear Classified Staff:

HR Shuts Down Union Meeting last week, Feb. 6.

On January 31st, Union leadership met with OSU management and made a request to resolve ongoing worksite issues at the 35 St. UHDS HDMC

building. Management set a deadline of 3 months to resolve the issue. When union members tried to meet on February 6th in the break room to discuss the issues, like we’ve done for years, HR told us it was not allowed. When it was relocated to outside, two HR/Labor Relations representatives came to stop the meeting. Stop the retaliation for union workers and leadership trying to address worksite problems!

Allow UHDS Trades Maintenance workers to hold union meetings where they work!

If you can pass a petition please download here or respond to this email.

Petition: goo.gl/pQ8sWA
Want to support the workers’ next meeting Wednesday at noon? Respond to this email for details.
Please email their manager at Patrick.Robinson@oregonstate.edu and copy our stewards at osustewards@gmail.com. Using email for union activity is both protected by labor law and specifically protected in our contract.

January 31st we met with President Ray and HR. Here are the notes.

OSU Management denied our grievance to get you access with paid time off for meningitis immunizations. If you are concerned because you do not have sick time to take, or are facing other obstacles please contact us and we will help.

If you have been hired in the last six months on step 1 and believe that you should be placed on a higher step based on experience or other qualifications,  contact us. We are working on a various ways for you to advocate for higher wages, but this will take self-advocacy, worksite organizing, and ultimately we need to lift wages for all at the bargaining table. We know you are committed to lifting the lowest paid and those topped out at the 2019 table.

HR shared with us at our request a very hard to find link on the website. This is the information about the “merit increase,”

Thursday, February 15th
11 am – 12:30 pm
Memorial Union 206
How to Deal with a Bully Boss

Also please find us on Facebook, LIKE and share. http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-02-13/mbwqm/123264150SEIU083/
In unity,

Siobhan Burke, Campus Organizer

Updated 2/14/18


SEIU Union Strong

February Session Brings Politically Motivated Attacks on Benefits

Homecare Bargaining Team

We’re entering 2018 in a very good place. Last year we held off the draconian attacks on our retirements. Now PERS investment returns are double what we expected thanks to an uptick in the stock market, which, while not reducing the current-budget costs to employers, has reduced the unfunded liability. PEBB — the board that manages workers’ healthcare plans — is starting the year off in great fiscal shape.
These positive signs won’t stop politicians from launching politically motivated attacks on our benefits. Fortunately, through our union’s strong political program, we are in a good position to punch back. Click here to learn more about these attacks, as well as two bills we support.

The February legislative session begins today, February 5, and is legislatively mandated to end by March 11. We’ll keep you up to date on these issues as they develop.

Fair for a Fair Economy

Featured Benefit:
Northwest Community Credit Union

Heroes can't fly without CAPE

Featured Member:
Leonora Rianda, OSU

SEIU 503 Higher Ed Leader Wins Frances Dancy Hooks Award at OSU

OSU’s annual Peace Breakfast honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and features guest speakers, the presentation of legacy awards to community members for exemplary service, and caps off the morning with the Peace March from the LaSells Stewart Center to the Student Experience Center Plaza in Corvallis. 2018’s Peace Breakfast took place on January 15 and featured a keynote address from political commentator and Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest Melissa Harris-Perry.

OSU’s Frances Dancy Hooks Award was established after longtime civil rights activist Frances Dancy Hooks delivered 1994’s Peace Breakfast’s keynote address. The award recognizes Oregon State students, staff, or faculty who exemplify Frances Dancy Hooks’ work: building bridges across cultures, showing courage in promoting diversity, and proudly “Walking the Talk.”

2018’s recipient of the award is SEIU 503 Sublocal 083’s President Leonora Rianda! Leonora has been an Office Specialist at OSU for over 15 years and her continued leadership and commitment to diversity and inclusion lead to a handful of nominations by faculty in OSU’s Ethnic Studies Department. Congratulations to Leo and the entire OSU Sublocal 083!

The Challenges of Working in An Open Shop

On February 26, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Janus vs AFSCME, the latest attack against working people by wealthy, anti-worker interest groups. The results of Janus vs AFSCME could alter the state of unions in Oregon as we know it — but attacks on labor are nothing new. Moneyed corporate interests come after us because we’re effective and committed to building good jobs and a vibrant community for everyone. The last time we faced this challenge was 2014’s Supreme Court case Harris vs Quinn. Not only have we survived these attacks in the past, we’ve flourished with membership growing stronger every year. Here in Oregon, we’ll remain Union Strong because we’ve been here before, we understand the stakes, and we have power in our worksites.

Medford DHS workers Patrick and Alicia Vejar understand the stakes all too well. “I worked for the State of Nevada for over 12 years,” said Patrick. “I worked for the DMV, the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services, and I spent the most time with Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC).” NDOC is where Patrick saw first hand the consequences of working in an open shop worksite.

“Bullying was rampant. Favoritism and nepotism were blatant with no attempt to hide it ever being made. Most employees who were fired by the department won their position back after obtaining the services of an attorney. This was always done on the employee’s dime as there was no union to assist in these matters. When I worked at the Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center, we were consistently over-worked and chronically short staffed. At one point I was only one of two Caseworkers for the entire institution, which — at that time — was home to 700 inmates. No overtime was permitted, most days I worked through breaks and lunches.”

The recession hit Patrick’s family hard. Pay was frozen without warning, retirement packages were altered without employee involvement, and benefit packages went up in cost and down in services provided. Because of Nevada’s open shop laws, Patrick’s union wasn’t strong enough to provide the resources needed to fight against these changes in total compensation. “At that time my wife had cancer and my daughter had several neurological issues,” Patrick recalled. The copays and premiums were so high that we often had to choose between paying for medical procedures or paying the mortgage.”

In Nevada, Patrick’s coworkers were afraid to speak up for their rights because they knew retaliation was imminent. Patrick and his wife Alicia sought work elsewhere, ultimately settling in Southern Oregon, where the couple now both work in the Medford DHS office.

“Working for the State of Oregon is different,” said Patrick. “Employees have a voice and have somewhere to go to when problems arise. It’s important that we state employees do not allow our unity to be broken. A weakened union will lead to decreased benefits, pay, and overall quality of life within the workplace. That is a fact I have personally lived.”

Hear Patrick’s story first hand at two Southern Oregon Town Halls taking place in the coming weeks in Medford and Grants Pass. Patrick will join a panel of workers and activists who will share first-hand accounts of the differences between working in a union shop and working in an open shop.

Grants Pass
Date: Tuesday, February 27
Time: 5:30 ends at 8:00 pm.
Location: The Lodge at Riverside — 955 SE 7th Street — Oak Room II

Date: Thursday, March 1
Time: 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Location: Medford Library — 205 S Central Ave

AARP & NRTA’s PERS Snapshot

Oregon’s PERS program is among the strongest public employee retirement plans in the country. AARP’s National Retired Teachers Association recently released a study that captures the facts, values and impacts of Oregon’s PERS program on the state it’s ability to recruit and retain a strong and diverse workforce. Click here to download a snapshot copy of AARP/NRTA’s report.

Updated 2/7/18



Tonight Oregon said YES on Measure 101! Click here to share the good news.

SEIU members have led the fight to expand Medicaid in Oregon. Tonight’s results show that the voters are with us. Healthcare is a human right, and we must continue pushing until every person in our state has access high quality, affordable care.

Here’s what a win on 101 means:

  • 1 million Oregonians – including 400,000 kids – can rest easy tonight knowing that Medicaid funding will be protected.

  • Homecare workers and other SEIU members who get healthcare through the Oregon Health Plan will be protected from cuts.

  • Our state budget will be protected from yet another crisis.

  • 20,000 healthcare jobs will be protected from cuts.

175 organizations were part of the YES coalition, and our union stood above the rest as a leader. Just take a look at what we were able to accomplish together.

Together our union will continue fighting to build a just and vibrant society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and where all people can provide for themselves and their families.

In Unity,

Steve Demarest, President
SEIU Local 503

Updated 1/24/18



Local 083 Jan. Meeting

Dear Classified Staff:

Please attend our next Member meeting:
Thursday, 1/18
11 am – 12:35 pm
Marketplace West
Northwest Room

Lunch served

Salary on Hire
Training Days
Your Issues
Measure 101
Other Labor Management Issues

Nominations are open for our local 083 elected positions!! To be union strong we need candidates and officers from all over campus so please consider stepping up!! Nominations opened on January 2nd and close at 5 pm January 30th. All the details of how to nominate yourself or another member are at this link http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/wp-content-/llqgm/118412938uploads/2018/01/L083-Nom.pdf.

Please consider running!

You can find the nomination form online http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/wp-content-/llqgm/118412938uploads/2018/01/L083-Nom.pdf. This includes the full description of all positions that are open.

You can nominate yourself or another member. Candidate statements are optional but encouraged. We would like to post all our candidate statements and pictures (with permission) at our website http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-01-16/llqg5/118412938

Ballots will be mailed in February to ALL classified staff. More information on ballots can also be found at the link.

Organizer Siobhan Burke at burkes@seiu503.org.

Our elections are governed by our local bylaws, found here http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-01-16/llqg5/118412938constitution-and-bylaws-of-local-083-at-osu/

Also please find us on Facebook!! http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-01-16/llqgw/118412938SEIU083/

In unity,

Your Elections Committee

Bryan Feyerherm, Amber Ahlgren, and Brenda Rodriguez

and Siobhan Burke, Campus Organizer
Updated 1/16/18


Yes on 101 is the best way to protect healthcare for Oregonians

We’re in the final stretch on Measure 101. Our union family has turned out big to rallies, phone banks, and canvasses all across Oregon, and I hope you’ll join other SEIU members by voting in this critical special election. If you haven’t voted yet, please make sure to get your ballot in the mail as soon as possible. You can also drop it off at one of the many official drop sites around the state.

The deadline to vote is January 23.

Reputable organizations and the vast majority of newspapers in the state agree: Yes on 101 is the best way to protect healthcare for Oregonians.

If you would like to do more than just vote yes, please click here to sign up for volunteer opportunities in many parts of the state.

In Unity,

Steven Demarest, president
SEIU Local 503

Updated 1/16/18


I’ve got some big news. YES on Measure 101 now has 160 endorsers. That’s huge!

Click on the video below to see why the League of Women Voters, AARP, Oregon Nurses Association, and the Oregon Medical Association – 160 groups in total – are asking voters to say YES on Measure 101.

Click here to see the video

In addition, newspapers across the state have endorsed a YES on Measure 101.

I’m also happy to report that SEIU members and community supporters are volunteering their time to get the word out about Measure 101. I’m so proud of our union family – we are pulling together to protect healthcare for thousands of our members, and also hundreds of thousands of other Oregonians. If you would like to volunteer, please click here and let us know.

With only 14 days until Election Day, it’s vital that we get every ballot in. Make sure you’ve got your ballot filled out, signed, stamped, and back in the mail as soon as possible. If you have any questions about voting or about Measure 101, please email measure101@seiu503.organd staff will try to answer them as quickly as possible.

In Unity,

Brian Rudiger, Executive Director
SEIU Local 503

Updated 1/10/18

SEIU Union Strong

Special Election Directly Impacts SEIU Members

Homecare Bargaining Team

On January 23, Oregon will hold a special election on Measure 101, which asks voters to uphold funding for our state’s Medicaid program. There’s a lot at stake for SEIU members and all Oregonians.

Measure 101 started as a bill in the Oregon legislature. Republicans and Democrats, along with representatives from the healthcare industry, came together to place an assessment (or fee) on hospitals and insurance providers. The revenue generated by the assessment will help fund Medicaid and protect the nearly one million people who get their healthcare through the program.

It’s a good deal for Oregon because the revenue generated by the assessment is matched by federal dollars by as much as $16 to $1. This is one of the reasons the measure received such broad support. Oregon will now have a chance to vote on the bill during the special election on January 23. A YES vote on Measure 101 will uphold funding for Oregon’s most vulnerable – kids, seniors, and people with disabilities.

Measure 101 also has a big impact on the state budget. If Measure 101 fails, state funding will be cut by between $210 and $320 million, resulting in the loss of potentially $5 billion in matching federal funding. Such a dramatic shortfall would throw the budget into yet another crisis. Opponents of Measure 101 have specifically said that they want to cut public employee healthcare, and with a shortfall this large, who knows what other cuts they would make.

A YES vote on Measure 101 guarantees healthcare for SEIU members and protects healthcare for the one million people on Medicaid in Oregon. Voting yes will also protect the state budget from yet another crisis. That’s why SEIU Local 503 member leaders are asking you to vote yes on Measure 101.

Click here and pledge to Vote Yes on Measure 101 today!

Fair for a Fair Economy

Featured Benefit:
Motivano Smartsavings

Heroes can't fly without CAPE

Featured Members:
SEIU 503 Immigrant Members

Supporting Members in Need

In 2017, our union has dedicated over $30,000 in funding for members facing uncommon disasters or hardships. Our Fire & Evacuation Assistance Fund provided $7000 directly to members with an additional $4000 donated specifically to local organizations providing on-the-ground disaster relief during one of Oregon’s most intense wildfire seasons in recent history. Through our Immigrant Member Assistance Fund, we have set aside $20,000 in funding for members who are seeking to address their or a family member’s legal status.

The Chetco Bar and Eagle Creek fires are just two of nearly 30 fires that burned hundreds of thousands of acres, displaced thousands of Oregonians, and impacted nearly everyone living in the state. SEIU members were among many of those living and working in communities directly impacted by these fires.

Gold Beach DHS Case Manager Rhonda Morgan contacted 503 President Steve Demarest in the heat of the Chetco Bar Fire, which would become the largest fire of the summer. Our Board unanimously agreed to set aside $5500 in hardship funds to be provided to SEIU 503 members directly impacted. “[My family and I] were level 3 evacuees due to the Chetco Bar,” states a member in Southern Oregon who was displaced for four days. “The stress that was added to my family’s life was horrible. Having access to help was amazing.”

Just a few weeks later, our Board unanimously agreed to double the amount of assistance funds, to open up eligibility to members directly impacted by any wildfire in the state, and to make a donation to the Oregon Volunteer Firefighters Association and the Hood River County Mike Anderson Search and Rescue Fund. By the end of fire season, $7000 in assistance had been provided to 48 members throughout the state. Though new requests for fire assistance stopped in early October, our Board of Directors is now considering the establishment of a dedicated “Disaster Relief Fund.”

While many members have been seriously impacted by these fires, we have other members facing a different kind of hardship. Nearly one in ten Oregon residents is an immigrant. And while immigrants are an integral part of building a just and vibrant society, many members of immigrant communities have been pushed into the shadows in the current political climate.

“I felt like we were participating in the conversation, but I wanted to know what we could do to create space and support for members in these communities,” said DHS Compliance Specialist Carmen Morales Mayoral. “If a primary breadwinner gets deported, what could happen to the family?” The American Immigration Council reports that 90,000 citizens in Oregon live with at least one family member who is undocumented.

Knowing that our union can be an avenue for hope and change, Carmen met and worked with community leaders to figure out how SEIU 503 could best provide direct assistance to members in need of support. Joined by a diverse group of members, Carmen reached out to the Board of Directors to establish an Immigrant Member Assistance Fund in March 2017.

Our Board unanimously adopted the Immigrant Member Assistance Fund, allowing members in good standing to apply for modest, one-time grants in case of a status-related emergency, which members can use for themselves or a parent, spouse, or child. “My spouse is a US citizen, and Oregon has been our home for decades,” states a Willamette Valley member who received assistance. “But just the application fees alone cost about one week’s worth of pay. It can be overwhelming without any help.”

Since its formation, the Immigrant Member Assistance Fund has awarded over $6500 in grants to members working to secure legal status for themselves or a family member.

SEIU 503 members can complete the Immigrant Member Assistance Fund’s online application for themselves or members of their family at http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/503IMAF/lfk7c/117054278

Updated 1/8/18


Dear Classified Staff:

Happy Friday! You made it through the first week back! We will be sharing general union information next week about issues we are working on but for today, an important update from our Elections Committee!!

Nominations are open for our local 083 elected positions!! To be union strong we need candidates and officers from all over campus so please consider stepping up!! Nominations opened on January 2nd and close at 5 pm January 30th. All the details of how to nominate yourself or another member are at this link http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/wp-content-/ld77p/116635872uploads/2018/01/L083-Nom.pdf.

With 1500 classified staff on campus, our strength is built on taking action together to improve our wages, benefits and working conditions through bargaining, representation, and most importantly, members working together every day in their worksite to help themselves and each other out with support from all of us, leaders, organizers, stewards. We are our UNION!! Please consider running!

You can find the nomination form online http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/wp-content-/ld77p/116635872uploads/2018/01/L083-Nom.pdf. This includes the full description of all positions that are open.

You can nominate yourself or another member. Candidate statements are optional but encouraged. We would like to post all our candidate statements and pictures (with permission) at our website http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-01-05/ld777/116635872

Ballots will be mailed in February to ALL classified staff. More information on ballots can also be found at the link.

We would also like to have candidates speak at our next general meeting, mark your calendars!!

If you have your nomination in by that time you will be invited to speak. (All candidates will be treated the same).

Thursday, January 18th, 11 am – 12:30 pm

Marketplace West Conference Room

Lunch Served

Questions? Contact the elections committee at elections083@gmail.com or organizer Siobhan Burke at burkes@seiu503.org.

Our elections are governed by our local bylaws, found here http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-01-05/ld777/116635872constitution-and-bylaws-of-local-083-at-osu/

Also please find us on Facebook!! http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/2018-01-05/ld77y/116635872SEIU083/

In unity,

Your Elections Committee

Bryan Feyerherm, Amber Ahlgren, and Brenda Rodriguez

Updated 1/5/18



Measure 101 Help Needed!

We need your help calling and canvassing for Measure 101!!

In Corvallis we will be phoning and texting Saturday January 6 starting at 9 am  – come at 10 no problem – Julian Hotel Apartments 107 SW 2nd St.

Same on Saturday January 13th starting at 9 am

Saturday January 20th canvass/phone bank same location starting at 9 am
Coming late is ok –  10 am — or whenever you can – contact me for end time.
Please check your calendar and pick at least one of these days to help out. We will only be contacting YES voters to GET OUT THE VOTE!!
All are invited- kids who can text are also welcome! We will bring extra cell phones if needed – let me know!!
Siobhan Burke
Public Services Organizer
SEIU Local 503, OPEU1-844-503-SEIU (7348)
Direct Dial: 503-540-8479
Cell Phone: 630-699-0281
Updated 1/3/18

SEIU Union Strong

Measure 101

Tomorrow Oregon elections officials will mail ballots for the January 23 special election on healthcare. At issue is Measure 101, a fee on hospitals and insurance companies that will fund Medicaid for the nearly 1 million Oregonians, including 400,000 children, who rely on the program for healthcare.

Measure 101 also impacts nearly every SEIU member. Please click here to learn more about Measure 101 and why SEIU is joining a large coalition of organizations endorsing a YES vote in January.

Measure 101 has a direct impact on thousands of SEIU members who get their healthcare through Medicaid, in addition to public employees who are impacted by the state budget, and many more members who have friends or family on the Oregon Health Plan. That’s why our union family is volunteering time to spread the word about 101.

The best thing you can do to help support a YES on Measure 101 is to call, knock or text to get the word out. Click here to sign up.


Steven Demarest, President
SEIU Local 503

Updated 1/2/18

SEIU Union Strong

To fill an expected vacancy for our union’s Executive Director office, the Board of Directors has established a search committee. The Board directed the committee to do a wide dissemination in its search. The committee is committed to a fair and transparent process.

A posting for the position is at SEIU 503’s website. Here is the link:


Please contact me or Maureen Crawford with inquiries.

In solidarity,

Steven Demarest
President, SEIU Local 503
844.503.SEIU (7348)

Updated 12/15/17



Special Day Improvements

During our 2017 bargaining reopener, the SEIU Local 503 Higher Ed bargaining team was able to win some improvements in the contract language relating to the “Special Day” (Article 42, Section 2). The Special Day is an extra paid day off that employees receive during the Christmas holiday season, in addition to the recognized holidays listed in Section 1 of Article 42.

Under the pre-existing contract language, employees did not become eligible for their Special Day until December 24, and were forced to use it either on the work day before or after Christmas, or on the work day on or after New Year’s Day. The only way around this was in the event that “these days are not available to an employee,” in which case, classified staff could use the Special Day on another day between December 27and June 30th of the following year.

Our revised contract language that we won in bargaining — over management’s initial objections — provides employees with greater flexibility in using the Special Day. Under the new language, employees become eligible to use the Special Day as of November 15 and “may request the option of using this paid leave on any mutually agreeable day between and including the day before Thanksgiving and January 31.”

In other words, even if the workday before or after Christmas or the workday before or after New Years’ Day are “available” for use, an employee can choose to take the Special Day on another work day between the day before Thanksgiving and the following January 31 (with supervisor approval).

In either case, the Special Day must be used by June 30th of the following year or it is forfeited.

The bargaining team wanted you to be aware of the increased flexibility that you now have in using your Special Day.

Have a Great Holiday Season!

In Unity,

SEIU Local 503 Higher Ed Bargaining Team
Marc Nisenfeld, Bargaining Team Chair
Johnny Earl, UO
Trisha Guy, WOU
Bud Hill, EOU
Bob Klem, OIT (Alternate Chair)
Colleen Martin-Low, SOU
Gloria O’Brien, OSU
David Shapiro, PSU

Updated 12/11/17



Benny Buy: Flash Poll

Do you use Benny Buy? Yes or No, click through on the link above and let us know. It is a 1 minute poll. We are gathering (your anonymous) information to share with HR about the issues facing members. Thanks!

Meninigitis update:

Be aware of meningitis!! If you are 25 or under you are in the risk group. You may also be at risk if you work in the dorms (per the university’s email).  Please check with your health care professional if they think you should be vaccinated. We are filing a grievance on this contract protection because HR has continued to be non-responsive. You should receive paid time off to go get a vaccine. If you do not have time off to use, please contact me. Our Union president also asked that if people have any financial cost to contact us asap.
Here’s more information on the disease from the Oregon Health Authority.

Join Us December 14!

Classified staff, family, friends welcome at Holiday Social!

Holiday party invitation (1) (Poster to advertise at your worksite)
Thursday night, December 14th, 5-9 pm
Memorial Union Basement, OSU
Free dinner, games, raffles, fun for the whole family!
Please rsvp with #s to organizer Siobhan Burke at burkes@seiu503.org

Save the Date: Next Member meeting is January 2nd. New officer elections on the agenda. Join us in Room 104 at the Memorial Union 11am – 12:30 pm.

In unity,

Siobhan Burke
Campus Organizer, OSU
630-699-0281 (call or text anytime)

updated 12/8/17


SEIU Union Strong

Executive Order 17-01 —
State Agency Employee Wellness

Earlier this year, Governor Kate Brown took an important step toward improving public worker well being by signing Executive Order 17-01 – State Agency Employee Wellness. This initiative is designed to create supportive workplace structures, systems, and policies that will make state worksites healthier by creating a PEBB Wellness Manager tasked with assembling a State Agency Coordinating Council to develop and implement two-year state agency wellness plans.

We are happy to announce that the State has completed the first phase of this Executive Order by hiring PEBB’s Wellness Manager Theresa Cross out of our own SEIU 503 membership. We are excited to see how the next phase will develop—including the creation of the State Agency Coordinating Council, which will include a representative from SEIU 503 to ensure that frontline staff have a voice on the Council.

This Executive Order is the result of years of work by our PEBB Member Advisory Committee (PMAC), which is made up of rank-and-file SEIU 503 members. PMAC released the following statement in response to the hiring of the Wellness Manager:

“This process started with a survey on how our worksites could be healthier. We responded by outlining the many ways state and higher education campuses could be healthier places — from making sure there was flexibility in the work day, to relieving stress, to making sure workers could get the correct ergonomic equipment. Executive Order No. 17-01 and the Wellness Manager will promote supportive workplace structures, systems, and policies that should make our workplaces healthier spaces.”

Congrats to PMAC and all employees and clients who will experience healthier spaces as a result of Executive Order 17-01 — State Agency Employee Wellness.

Fair for a Fair Economy

Featured Benefit:
Union Plus Discounts

Heroes can't fly without CAPE

Featured Members:
OSU’s Linn-Benton Food Share Volunteers

OSU’s Linn-Benton Food Share

The recession of 2008 continues to have an impact on communities throughout Oregon. In Linn and Benton Counties, the unemployment rate has nearly doubled since 2008. With a commitment to a just and vibrant society for all, the members of SEIU 503 Local 083 at OSU took a weekend to volunteer and take an active role in supporting underserved and vulnerable communities in Linn and Benton Counties, helping families head into the holidays knowing they have access to a healthy meal.

For over 30 years, the Linn-Benton Food Share has been committed to the idea that no one in Linn or Benton County should go hungry. The Food Share partners with nonprofits such as emergency shelters, food pantries, soup kitchens, child and senior care centers, and more throughout the region to identify communities, families, and individuals who may not have the resources to provide food for themselves. Just last year, the Linn-Benton Food Share provided over 5 million pounds of food to their partner organizations through the Oregon Food Bank Network. By volunteering at the Food Share, SEIU 503 members at OSU established our commitment to supporting the Oregon Food Bank Network’s goal to “eliminate hunger and its root causes” in our region.

Click here to learn how you can donate to the Oregon Food Bank Network.

December Partnership With the Oregon Food Bank

This December, we’re partnering with the Oregon Food Bank and local food pantries to help provide food for our communities. SEIU 503 members from across Oregon have come together to organize donation sites, collect funds, and distribute donations where they are needed most. During the entire month of December, we’ll be collecting canned goods at the SEIU 503 offices in Portland, Salem, and Eugene.

Click here for more details!

Thank You, Senators Merkley and Wyden

Last week the U.S. Senate passed a tax bill that will harm most SEIU 503 members and most Oregonians. The bill will ultimately raise taxes on families with incomes under $75,000, strip healthcare away from 13 million people, and add a trillion dollars to the national debt. Meanwhile, the bulk of the benefits go to the wealthiest 1 percent. This week Congress is expected to send the bill to the President’s desk where it will be signed into law. We oppose this in the strongest terms possible. Oregon’s leaders, including Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, fought hard to stop this disastrous legislation from passing.

Click here to take a moment and thank our Senators for standing up for us and encourage them to continue fighting to protect Oregonians.

Have You Heard About Measure 101?

There’s a special election on healthcare in January that will have a direct impact on every SEIU 503 member. Click here to learn more.

Updated 12/4/17



Leadership update: Protecting our Members

Our leadership and chief steward are in communication with HR about protecting our members from the meningitis outbreak on campus. Here’s more information on the disease from the Oregon Health Authority. We need to hear from you. If you are 25 or under or work in the dorms or food service can you join us in working with HR to get this issue resolved? OSU is currently requiring all students 25 and under to receive the vaccine or face a records hold.  While difficult to transmit, meningitis can be a serious illness. We are advocating for free vaccines as outlined under the contract Article 56, Section 3 for impacted workers. This is an important contract protection.

Please respond to this email or contact organizer Siobhan Burke at 630-699-0281 or burkes@seiu503.org if you can help with an email, phone call or on site meeting to advocate this week for yourself and your fellow classified staff. We are specifically reaching out to anyone who works in the dorms, food service or is 25 years or younger. Other members who are concerned please feel free to contact us!!

Join Us December 14!

Classified staff, family, friends welcome at Holiday Social!

Thursday night, December 14th, 5-9 pm
Memorial Union Basement, OSU
Free dinner, games, raffles, fun for the whole family!
Please rsvp to organizer Siobhan Burke at burkes@seiu503.org

PEBB: Is your family double covered?

We defended member benefits during the legislative session despite major attacks. But the legislature did make changes, namely the elimination of double coverage, that will take effect in 2020. If you are impacted by this, please share their story to help us push back. Members who have questions about healthcare can email pebbreps@seiu503.org for answers.

 Save the Date: Next Member meeting is January 2nd. New officer elections on the agenda. Join us in Room 104 at the Memorial Union 11am – 12:30 pm.

In unity,

Siobhan Burke
Campus Organizer, OSU
630-699-0281 (call or text anytime)

Updated 12/4/17


SEIU Union Strong

Members of Congress and the Trump Administration are moving at reckless speed to pass a tax plan that will harm SEIU 503 members and the nation as a whole. We oppose this plan in the strongest terms possible. Here’s why.

First, the bill would raise taxes on most SEIU Local 503 members. By the time the provisions are fully phased in, families earning less than $75,000 per year would see their taxes go up. The legislation contains temporary provisions to curb that impact, but those provisions will expire and there’s no guarantee they will be made permanent. As it’s written, this bill is a tax increase for working families that will hit most members of our union.

Second, the Senate version of the bill would repeal important parts of the Affordable Care Act, resulting in the loss of healthcare for 13 million Americans and raising healthcare premiums for many more. SEIU members spoke out against the previous attempt to repeal healthcare, and we will fight this new threat with equal vigor.

Third, the bill will lower taxes for corporations and the wealthy. 80 percent of the savings from this plan would go to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. The corporate tax rate would be cut substantially. Let’s call this what it is: redistribution of wealth from everyday Americans to wealthy elites.

Finally, the bill would add $1.4 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. This would be paid for by cuts to programs everyday Americans rely on. What’s worse, proponents of the plan are misleading the public on this point. But a recent analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office confirms the bill will massively increase the national debt.

We urge SEIU 503 members to call their member of Congress and demand they vote against the tax bill. You can call 1-855-713-0060 to take action.

In Unity,

Brian Rudiger, Executive Director
Steven Demarest, President
SEIU Local 503

Updated 11/30/17


Dear OSU Classified Staff-

We wanted to let you know we have some new officers for our local. Roxy Tacy of Sea Grant has stepped up to be the interim Treasurer since our last Treasurer left the University after years of service as a steward and officer.

Gloria O’Brien has stepped up as Chief Steward and will replace Tim Borgen, who will continue to lead in the UHDS Dining Services so Dining Services. Gloria can be reached at the same Steward Hotline, 541-602-3154. You can call or text her at that number.

Please take our classified staff survey so we know what YOUR priorities are and can find out what we are working on.The survey will take about three minutes to complete. http://www2.seiu503.org/e/171302/r/k5g56/109781331/OSUYourVoice

Save the date! 

We are celebrating the holiday season with a kid-friendly, family-friendly event. RSVP form coming soon, but please save the date so you can join us for dinner, games and raffles.

Classified Staff Party (families welcome)
Thursday December 14th 5-9
MU Basement
Dinner & Cash bar
Games, Raffles
Facebook Event

Have a wonderful holiday, you deserve it!

In unity,
Leonora Rianda


Paul McKenna Performance

Wanted to let all of you know that I will be performing at the Best Cellar Coffee House in Corvallis at 7:30 pm on Friday December 1, along with two other Corvallis-based singer-songwriters, Cassandra Robertson and Ralph Penunuri.  I will be performing songs from my CD, “Come Join Us In A Union Song,” plus one or two recent songs.

The event is sort of a showcase of Corvallis singer-songwriters, with each of us taking a turn on the stage, and with all three of us joining together at the end of the program for a rousing sing-along.  It promises to be a great event.  I’m excited about this performance and I hope you will be able to come to Corvallis and check it out.
The Best Cellar Coffee House is located in the First United Methodist Church at 1165 NW Monroe Ave in Corvallis.  The Coffee House is in the community center part of the church on the southwest corner of 11th and Jackson.  There is a large parking lot.  Admission is on a sliding scale of $2 to $10 (kids are free) with coffee, juice, teas, and sweets available at a nominal charge.
I hope to see you there!
Paul McKenna
Research Director
SEIU Local 503, OPEU1-844-503-SEIU (7348)
Direct Dial: 503-540-8477

Cell Phone: 541-602-8573

SEIU Union Strong

Executive Director News

Following months of reflection and conversations with my family, I’ve made the difficult decision not to run for reelection next year. I’m announcing this decision now (rather than during nominations next summer) because I want to work with our Board and staff to carefully and strategically think through the transition.

After a year as Executive Director, I’ve come to realize that this role is not the right one for me at this stage in my life. Specifically, I have found that the amount of time I need to be away from my two young sons is not tenable. I want to emphasize that this has been a difficult decision unique to my life circumstances. Many past executive directors have had family commitments, and I’m confident that future executive directors will as well.

The confidence that members have shown in me by electing and supporting me as Executive Director is humbling, and serving in this role has been a great honor. In the last year and a half we’ve made incredible progress together, winning strong contracts, expanding member leadership opportunities, fighting for the common good, and growing our union — all while simultaneously fighting back attacks from anti-worker groups and legislators. I love our union and won’t walk away from our vision of a just and vibrant society. At the same time, I think it is essential that no one remains in a particular role that, for whatever reasons, is not a good fit. While I won’t run for reelection, I hope to return to a staff position at Local 503, and continue to contribute to the important work we must do to make our union an even stronger vehicle for justice.

At our Saturday Board of Directors meeting, we unanimously elected to form a search committee to consider candidates for the next Executive Director who would fill out the remainder of my term. I will remain Executive Director until we find that right candidate.

Lastly, I know a leadership transition such as this can bring up concerns about the future, so I want to make two points: First, I’m committed to making this transition as smooth as possible. Second, I have total confidence in the ability of our members and staff to meet the challenges we face. We will meet those challenges, and we will be stronger for it.

In unity,


SEIU Union Strong

The 2017 PERS UAL Task Force Final Report

Homecare Bargaining Team










On November 1, Governor Kate Brown’s appointed task force to address the PERS unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) released their report. There are two important facts that come from the work of the independent PERS UAL Task Force:

  1. The OPSRP program is not the cause of the unfunded liability. The liability comes from legacy costs of a system that existed prior to 2003.
  2. The responsibility for paying those legacy costs should not be shifted to employees who had no role in creating the issue.

It is encouraging to see the Governor’s proactive stance towards addressing this issue. The PERS UAL is a serious challenge that we will have to overcome together as a state. The task force that Governor Brown assembled has brought forth a number of innovative solutions to reduce employer costs without cutting the retirement packages that we have worked relentlessly to maintain.

Though the suggestions outlined by the taskforce are an important step in the right direction, we look forward to seeing the deeper analysis on which ideas are feasible without negative impacts on other areas of the state budget or everyday working Oregonians. In 2017, we were able to stop over 40 bills attacking PERS. Even with the Task Force’s recommendations, we can expect to see a number of proposed bills set to attack our retirement plan in 2018 and 2019. Now more than ever, we must unite in order to protect our future.

Click here for a downloadable copy of the 2017 PERS UAL Task Force Final Report.

Fair for a Fair Economy

Featured Benefit:
AT&T Wireless via Union Plus

Heroes can't fly without CAPE

Featured Members:
Southern Oregon University Workers


Southern Oregon Coalition Building

SEIU 503 members working at Southern Oregon University in Ashland have been working to build a strong coalition between workers and students in order to build a better university for all. Throughout the summer, classified staff engaged with a small number students to build relationships and networks throughout various student groups, including the Oregon Student Association (OSA), Associated Students of SOU (ASSOU), and the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG).

In late September, members of SEIU 503, ASSOU, OSA, and OSPIRG volunteered to help over 1000 students move into the dorms on campus. Members from 503 shuttled parking, moved furniture, and distributed buttons that declared unity between workers and students. As we’re heading toward midterm elections in less than year, this kind of voluntary teamwork and support is vital in building strong relationships that will bring about positive changes in our communities.

Strong Unions, Stronger Communities

On November 1, SEIU joined with three other public employee unions — AFSCME, AFT, and NEA — to publish Strong Unions, Stronger Communities. The report highlights instances where union members have joined together and used their collective voice to benefit the lives of all working people.

“Because public service workers are united in SEIU,” says Southern California SEIU member Stacee Karnya. “We were able to fight for proposals to help keep our city clean, healthy, and functioning.”

Click here for a downloadable copy of Strong Unions, Stronger Communities.

Updated 11/7/17



OSU Fall Social

Gather with classified staff, allies and family members, for bowling, billiards, darts, shuffleboard, video games, dinner and raffles! Get updates from our union leadership and meet people from across campus.

What: Fall Social for All Classified Staff, Allies & Family
When: Thursday, October 19, 5 pm
Where: Memorial Union Basement (2501 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97331)

Click here to RSVP, or contact organizer Siobhan Burke at 630-699-0281 or burkes@seiu503.org.Spread the word!

In unity,

Siobhan Burke
Public Services Organizer
SEIU Local 503, OPEU

1-844-503-SEIU (7348)
Direct Dial: 503-540-8479
Cell Phone: 630-699-0281


We are happy to announce that the 2017 Economic Reopener has been ratified! Through the hard work of our membership, bargaining team, and many others, this agreement ensures that higher ed workers will:

  • Hold the line on healthcare despite pressure from the universities to make front-line workers shoulder more of the cost;
  • Maintain regular step increases in the face of proposed wage freezes;
  • Receive a 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) effective Oct. 1, 2017, and a 1 percent COLA effective July 1, 2018;
  • Earn nine selectives and differentials, and agreement on a low-cost meal purchasing plan for UO food service workers.

Higher ed members elected to ratify this economic reopener to the collective bargaining agreement with an overwhelming 94 percent of the vote! The worksite rallies we led, the petitions we signed, and all of our meetings with legislators at Lobby Days made the difference between the paltry offer management came to the table with, and the final agreement our team won. Everyone deserves to be congratulated for showing university management that we are indeed Union Strong.

As we stay stronger together, we will create a just and vibrant society. Thank you for your continued commitment to SEIU 503.

In unity,

SEIU Local 503 Higher Ed Bargaining Team
Marc Nisenfeld, Bargaining Team Chair
Johnny Earl, UO
Trisha Guy, WOU
Bud Hill, EOU
Bob Klem, OIT (Alternate Chair)
Colleen Martin-Low, SOU
Gloria O’Brien, OSU
David Shapiro, PSU

 Updated 10/9/17


Worksite ratification meetings for our 2017 contract reopener have officially come to a close, with participation up nearly 40 percent from our 2015 contract ratification! Thank you to all members who came out to worksite meetings and voted on our contract.

If you weren’t able to attend a worksite meeting, you still have an opportunity to vote on this contract! All remaining ballots have been mailed as of this week. If you have not received your ballot by Monday, October 2, please contact your organizer or call 1-844-503-SEIU (7348).

**REMINDER** Ballots are due by 5:00pm on Friday October 6. Be sure to mail your completed ballots as soon as possible. Completed ballots must be mailed, they cannot be hand delivered.

In unity,

SEIU Local 503 Higher Ed Bargaining Team

  • Marc Nisenfeld, Bargaining Team Chair
  • Johnny Earl, UO
  • Trisha Guy, WOU
  • Bud Hill, EOU
  • Bob Klem, Oregon Tech (Alternate Chair)
  • Colleen Martin-Low, SOU
  • Gloria O’Brien, OSU
  • David Shapiro, PSU

Updated 9/30/17



This week the Oregon Investment Council (OIC), which is independently responsible for investing the money in our retirement accounts, is considering a change to the risk-management approach to our IAP accounts.

Currently the IAP, which is the individual retirement account that either you or your employer contributes to, is invested with the same strategies as the PERS Regular Fund. The returns from this fund have been good, with the notable exceptions of the 2001 and 2008 stock market drops. However, the risk these investments carry may not be appropriate for every member at every stage in their life.

In most private investment accounts, funds are shifted into low-risk investments as people get older and closer to retirement. This makes sense. Someone who is 25 and unlikely to need their retirement funds for many years can take on greater risk than someone who is 65 and may need their funds soon.

Tomorrow the OIC is meeting to discuss a plan to incorporate this age-based investment strategy into your IAP. Their plan would shift IAP funds from higher-risk/higher-yield investments into lower-risk/lower-yield investments as a person ages, with the goal of reducing risk for older members in order to protect them against a sudden downturn in the market as they approach retirement.

The proposal appears to make good fiscal sense, but we’ll be watching closely to ensure that any decision from OIC has members’ best interests in mind.

If you have any thoughts or questions about the proposal, please email them to pers@seiu503.org.

In Unity,

Steven Demarest, President
SEIU Local 503

Update 9/19/17



And now it’s time to vote on our tentative agreement! We’ll be holding multiple campus meetings with personalized voting packets over the next two weeks where you will be able to complete and submit your ballot. Voting on campus will allow you the opportunity to ask questions about the tentative agreement before you vote on it.

  • Monday 9/18, Classified Staff Lunch & Vote On Your Contract. 11 am – 1 pm, Memorial Union, Room 213. More information? Contact organizer Siobhan Burke 630-699-0281
  • Tuesday 9/19, Classified Staff Vote On Your Contract. 9-10 am1:30 – 2:30 pm McNary. More information? Contact organizer Siobhan Burke 630-699-0281
  • Wednesday 9/20, Classified Staff Lunch & Vote On Your Contract, 11 am – 1 pm, Market Place West (NW Conference Room). More information? Contact organizer Siobhan Burke 630-699-0281
  • Thursday 9/21, Classified Staff Lunch & Vote On Your Contract, 10 am – 2 pm, Willamette West Conference Room, 3rd Floor, Valley Library.  SEIU President Steve Demarest will join us for Q and A at 11 am. More information? Contact organizer Siobhan Burke 630-699-0281
  • Friday 9/22, Classified Staff Vote On Your Contract, Arnold Dining Hall, 9am – 10 am, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm. More information? Contact organizer Siobhan Burke 630-699-0281
  • We also will be at UHDS Maintenance on 9/19 12 – 12:30 pm but that’s only for that worksite.

Siobhan Burke
Public Services Organizer
SEIU Local 503, OPEU

1-844-503-SEIU (7348)
Direct Dial: 503-540-8479

Cell Phone: 630-699-0281


After months of bargaining, our SEIU 503 Higher Ed bargaining team has reached a tentative agreement with Oregon’s public universities! We won this settlement because workers like you have come together in unity to push back against an employer that fought hard for takeaways. Make no mistake: The employer wanted us to settle for much less than we’re worth. Only through members coming together in union were we able to win an agreement that benefits all workers.

Together, we were able to secure cost of living increases, hold the line on healthcare, and maintain annual step increases in the face of potential wage freezes (for full details, click here).

And now it’s time to vote on our tentative agreement! We’ll be holding multiple campus meetings with personalized voting packets over the next two weeks where you will be able to complete and submit your ballot. Voting on campus will allow you the opportunity to ask questions about the tentative agreement before you vote on it.

Please join any of the following membership meetings:

Date Time Location
September 13
12:00pm-1:00pm Facilities Breakroom
(Facilities staff only)
September 18
11:00am-1:00pm MU 213
September 19

Updated Times

9-10 am1:30 – 2:30 pm

Updated Location



September 20
11:00am-1:00pm Market Place West
(East Conference Room)
September 21
10:00am-2:00pm Valley Library
3rd Floor
September 22

Updated Times

9am – 10 am, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Arnold Dining

Hope to see you soon!

In unity,

Siobhan Burke
Public Services Organizer
SEIU Local 503
Cell Phone: 630-699-0281

Updated Sept. 11, 2017


Labor Day weekend means a well-deserved holiday for many workers around Oregon, and recognition of a proud tradition and dedication to a cause – sometimes at the cost of harassment, retaliation, imprisonment, injury and even loss of life – for the betterment of working people everywhere.

Labor Day is a time to emphasize and celebrate the rights and benefits unions have struggled so hard to gain, for they should never be forgotten or taken for granted.

On this special day, we hope you can enjoy a celebration of that struggle and its rewards with your family and friends. Here is a list of Labor Day Picnics sponsored by unions. All picnics are either free or have a nominal cost. Take the opportunity to join with other union families in your community for a celebration of hope and a bright future for all workers and their families.

In Unity,

Steve Demarest
President, SEIU Local 503


Higher Ed 2017 Economic Reopener – Tentative Ageement Summary Draft (pdf)


What the Proposed COLA Means to You

How much does my pay increase over the course of the contract/biennium?

Assume that the baseline is the employee’s base salary as of 6/30/2017.

In terms of increased dollars over the course of the contract, the 1% increase on 10/1/2017 is the equivalent of a 0.875% raise on 7/1/2017.  The 1% increase on 7/1/2018 is the equivalent of a 0.5% increase on 7/1/2017.  Adding those two numbers together you get a total increase of 1.375%.

The total increase in salary between 6/30/17 and 6/30/19 is 2%.

If you want to compare our raises to the DAS settlement, 1.375% on 7/1/17 is the equivalent of 2.75% on 7/1/18.  DAS got an increase of 1.85% on 6/15/2018, a difference of almost a full percentage point.

Paul McKenna
Research Director
SEIU Local 503, OPEU1-844-503-SEIU (7348)


We have a tentative agreement! After months of negotiating, our Higher Ed Bargaining team has reached an agreement with Oregon’s public universities around the economic portions of our contract. Join our coworkers THIS THURSDAY for a union meeting where we will discuss the tentative agreement, and next steps for voting on our contract.

SEIU 503 Local 83 Member Meeting
Thursday, August 17 — 11am -12:30pm
Valley Library — Willamette East Room 3rd floor

We’ll be going over details of the TA and answering questions about our contract. Hope to see you there!

In unity,

Leonora Rianda
SEIU 503 Local 083 President


Dear Sisters and Brothers,

The vision of SEIU 503 members is “a just and vibrant society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and where all people can provide for themselves and their families.”

It is impossible to be grounded in this vision and not talk about the recent brutality in Charlottesville; at the same time, words fall short of describing the sorrow and hopelessness many of us are feeling.

Some of us are shocked by the face of hatred—racists, anti-semites, neo-Nazis—so brazenly brutalizing and murdering peaceful protestors. Others who have lived with racism and the specter of racial violence their entire lives are feeling the ripping open of old, deep wounds.

If you’re among the people who always carry the burden of possible racial violence, please know that our union is committed to your humanity, your dignity, and your safety. SEIU 503 members work through our Civil and Human Rights Committee and in many other ways to advance racial justice in our workplaces and in our communities. We will continue to show up with you.

To those of us who were shocked by the violence in Charlottesville, we’d like to offer a challenge. 

Most of us are not forced to confront racial injustice every day. We have the luxury—or privilege—of engaging in racial justice work on our own terms. We may denounce violence and hatred when a tragedy like the Charlottesville riot happens, but may shy away from addressing smaller acts of racism and oppression we witness on a regular basis.

Our challenge to our white union sisters and brothers is to choose to use your privilege to interrupt oppression every day. Commit to being anti-racist, not just non-racist. Take some time to learn about white privilege. Join together with other SEIU 503 members to educate and organize in your workplace—you can start small by displaying this sign at home, on social media or in your workplace. And if you’re able, make a financial contributions to organizations working to actively undermine oppression, either nationallyin Charlottesville, or right here in Oregon.

Please join us and your fellow SEIU 503 members in denouncing the racist hatred we just witnessed in Charlottesville not just with your words, but with your actions. We may be shocked, and we may feel despair, but we are not helpless in the face of hatred.

In It Together,

Steven Demarest
President, SEIU Local 503

Brian Rudiger
Executive Director, SEIU Local 503

Carmen Morales-Mayoral, Johnny Earl, and Guillermo Romero
Co-Chairs, SEIU 503 Civil and Human Rights Committee

Tenatative Contract Agreement Reached!



We’re very excited to share that—after months of bargaining—our SEIU 503 bargaining team has reached a tentative agreement with the employer!

We won this settlement because workers like you have come together in union to push back against an employer that fought hard for takeaways. Make no mistake: The employer wanted us to settle for much less than we’re worth. Only through members coming together in union were we able to win an agreement that benefits all workers.

Details will be available soon, but we wanted to share some highlights with you right away:

We held the line on healthcare, despite pressure from the employer to make front-line workers shoulder more of the cost, which would have resulted in lower take-home wages;

We maintained steps in the face of the employer trying to freeze steps for the length of the contract;

A 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) effective Oct. 1, 2017, and a 1 percent COLA effective July 1, 2018;

Nine selectives and differentials, and agreement on a very low-cost meal purchasing plan for UO food service workers.

In the coming weeks, we will share the plan for ratification votes at campuses around the state. Please watch your email for a meeting on your campus.

Again, thanks to the hundreds of SEIU 503 members who showed up and won an agreement that lifts all workers. We’re excited about this agreement, and we’re looking forward to seeing you at a ratification vote soon!

In it together,

Your SEIU 503 Higher Education Bargaining Team
Marc Nisenfeld, Bargaining Team Chair
Johnny Earl, UO
Trisha Guy, WOU
Bud Hill, EOU
Bob Klem, Oregon Tech (Alternate Chair)
Colleen Martin-Low, SOU
Gloria O’Brien, OSU
David Shapiro, PSU



On Monday and Tuesday of next week, our higher ed bargaining team will be in Bend fighting for a fair contract with no takeaways! Please show unity with your coworkers by wearing purple on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, join our next unity event to get updates from our bargaining delegate, Gloria O’Brien, and take part in a discussion around the next steps for winning a fair contract!

Unite for a Fair Contract!
When: Wednesday August 95-7pm
Where: Old World Deli — 341 SW 2nd St, Corvallis, OR 97333

Register at this link: https://fastfor.ms/C90AB

Hope to see you there. Click here to see coverage from our last action.

Siobhan Burke
Public Services Organizer
SEIU Local 503, OPEU

1-844-503-SEIU (7348)
Direct Dial: 503-540-8479

Cell Phone: 630-699-0281

OSU Unity Dinner Aug 9-2 copy (1)

OSU Unity Dinner Flyer: Aug 9-2


In the News: OSU Workers Talk Strike

Jul 31, 2017

Upcoming Events

Tuesday August 1 – stewards meeting 5:30 at SEIU office

Thursday August 3 – Bargaining Support Conference Call, 7 –  8 pm

Monday & Tuesday August 7-8: Bargaining at Bend Campus

Monday August 7 – Office Hours at SEIU office, 3- 6

Tuesday August 8 – New Employee Orientation presentation with Leo Rianda & David Slifkin

Wednesday August 9 –  10 am Leadership meeting with President Ray

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 9 – Unity Dinner at Old World Deli, 5 – 7 pm

Will we need to strike over the takeaways?  OR Will Management value and respect us?

Get the bargaining update from Gloria O’Brien from Bend

More information this week in email

Thursday, August 10 – 5:30 – 6:30 pm, Bargaining Support Team meeting – all invited – Adams Hall SEIU Office, 606 SW 15th

Thursday, August 17 – Rally for a Fair Contract 11 – 12:30, Dibble Dell

Thursday, August 24 – Unity Breaks on Campus

7/25/2017 – State Workers (DAS) Reach Tentative Agreement


After back-to-back marathon bargaining sessions, our SEIU 503 State Worker Bargaining Team has reached a tentative agreement on our wage and benefit reopener!

Together through our unity and actions we:

Held the line on healthcare by maintaining the 1% premium share for lower cost plans and 5% for costlier plans. This was a top priority for us, and we prevailed. Management was insisting on a 7% premium share until the final hours. We sent a clear message that we wouldn’t tolerate cost-shifting on healthcare.

Secured 2 normal step increases. Two years ago we pushed management to agree to a four-year contract, and we were able to secure steps for the length of the contract at that time. Having steps secured was pivotal to being able to push management in other priority areas like healthcare and a living wage for all workers.

Won a 1.85% cost-of-living raise on 6/15/18. After months of actions and lobbying in the capitol we were able to get $100M secured for state worker wages and benefits, which means we were able to secure steps and a meaningful cost-of-living raise despite a very challenging budget environment.

Established a minimum monthly salary of $2600, effective 6/15/18. After years of work on this, we can finally say that all state workers in Oregon make a living wage!

Negotiated increases to shift differentials, the creation of a multilingual differential, and other increases for specific classifications. More details on these wins will be on our website soon.

Bargaining Update – Management Contract Offer to Higher Education Classified Employees is a Pay Cut

Your current paycheck + .5% COLA – extra 2% payment for your health care insurance = 1.5% less pay next year.

Current Proposals

SEIU Proposal Management Proposal


3%, effective 7/1/2017

Inflation + 1%, effective 7/1/2018

Wage floor of $2600/month, effective 7/1/2017

Continue Steps


0.5%, effective 12/1/2017

0.5%, effective 12/1/2018

No to $2600/month wage floor

Freeze steps through 6/30/2019

Salary Selectives

34 Classifications

No Salary Selectives

Health Insurance

95/5 split on all plans except the lowest cost plan in PEBB

97/3 split on the lowest cost PEBB plan

Health Insurance

93/7 split on all plans except the lowest cost plan in PEBB

97/3 split on the lowest cost PEBB plan (Status Quo)

Increase to insurance plans do not include the least expensive plan

Differential Increases No
Additi0nal Personal Leave hours No
Additional Campus Closure days – 5 No

Fight for Your Paycheck

Encourage coworkers to become full union members

Email President Ray & Board of Trustees at trustees@oregonstate.edu and let them know that wee want a Fair Contract Now. Feel free to share some of your personal story. We know that around 20% of Higher Ed workers here and across Oregon make less than a living wage. Many OSU classified are topped out. ALL workers need fair wages, NOW. If you email please copy gloriaobrien60@gmail.com, Gloria O’Brien, our Bargaining Delegate.

Contact Governer Brown & your legislators to say Fair Contract Now!!

Governor: http://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/share-your-opinion.aspx

Your legislator: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/findyourlegislator/leg-districts.html

Get more involved! We need bargaining supporters who will distribute information with your colleagues on break. Contact Siobhan at 630-699-0281 or burkes@seiu503.org if you can help!

07/31/2017 – Join Us Monday 11 – 12:30 at Student Experience Center

While many members used their own time to go to Salem and ask for more money for our University, the newest contract offer does not show us respect and is not fair. Other groups on campus have received much better deals.

Management says they really want a deal to be reached AUGUST 7 and 8. We want to close to, but NO DEAL unless it’s a FAIR DEAL. We know that 1 percent (over 2 years!?!) won’t pay the rent. And they’re trying to push us around on healthcare.

Please join us on Monday. The way to show strength in the workplace is by showing unity in actions and on the job. The more people who turnout, the better chances we have of getting a good deal and fair contract.
Join us: MONDAY JULY 31st
Time: 11 AM – 12:30 pm (lunch provide)
Location: Student Experience Center outside plaza.
(right next to the Memorial Union)
We’ll talk about the need for a FAIR contract and have workers share their experiences on why we deserve respect. We value our work at OSU, now it’s time for OSU to value us.

OFFICE HOURS START:  We will open the office at 606 SW 15th from 3-5:30 pm Monday July 31st as well and keep the office open at that time throughout the bargaining. We will also be scheduling lunches in the office to get updates from our bargaining delegate. If this time doesn’t work let us know.

In Unity,

Leonora Rianda
SEIU 503 Local 083 President

PS. SAVE THE DATE: August 9th, Dinner and Bargaining Update at Old World Deli

03/19/2015 – Higher Ed Bargaining Rally OSU – Between MU and Milam Hall

DSC_0383 DSC_0386



3/08/2015 – Higher Ed Bargaining at PSU – see the articles


What if … the University paid every employee a living wage? the University had more front-line workers and fewer bosses? the University provided a respectful workplace for all workers? all workers had a Fair Shot?

 The Higher Education bargaining teams will meet on our campus on Thursday and Friday, March 19 and 20th.

Come meet our SEIU503 Higher Ed Bargaining team and find out how to make “what if” a reality!

Thursday, March 19, 12:15-12:45 pm, on the steps of

the Memorial Union

(light lunch provided)


2/25/2015 Social Justice Teach-In, see the article


Be sure to get your vote in!

Please be sure to get your vote mailed for the change from first 2 months of union dues to union initiation fees if you want your vote to count.  If you have not received your ballot in the mail, contact your union field representative as soon as possible.  The OSU field representative for SEIU503 is Mike Coutley and his email is coutleym@seiu503.org.

Nominations for OSU Board Trustees- discussion in Adams Hall (01/27/15) 5:30-6:30 pm

Anyone who is an SEIU Local083 Classified Employee is welcome to come and speak to the leadership as to their qualifications to fill an OSU Board of Directors position for SEIU. http://www.oregon.gov/gov/admin/Documents/Interest%20Form.pdf

Bargaining Conference – 01/23/15 – Double Tree by Hilton Portland, 1000 NE Multnomah St, Portland, OR 97232, United States (map)

Steward Conference – 01/23/15 – Double Tree by Hilton Portland, 1000 NE Multnomah St, Portland, OR 97232, United States (map)


OUS Timeline Options


1/30/2015  Deadline for 150 days of bargaining to begin.*

6/28/2015 150th day of bargaining.

6/29/2015 Either party can unilaterally request mediation.

* The contract says that bargaining begins no later than 2/1/2015.  2/1 is a Sunday, so the assumption is that bargaining will begin no later than Friday, 1/30/2015. If mediation begins on Monday 7/13/2015:*

Either party can declare impasse beginning: 7/28/2015

Final offers due: 8/4/2015

Union can strike/employer can implement 9/3/2015

* The time between the request for mediation and the first day of mediation is a potential variable, depending on availability of mediators and other factors. If mediation begins on Monday 7/20/2015:*

Either party can declare impasse beginning: 8/4/2015

Final offers due: 8/11/2015

Union can strike/employer can implement 9/10/2015

Strike date options

9/28/2015      Strike date – date that classes begin

8/29/2015      Final offers due

8/21/2015       Declare impasse (8/22/2015 is a Saturday)

8/6/2015        Deadline to begin remediation

9/21/2015      Strike date – Monday of the week before classes begin

8/21/2015      Final offers due

8/14/2015      Declare impasse

7/30/2015      Deadline to begin mediation

Final Summer BBQ – Thursday, Sept 25th 2014

The final BBQ of 2014 will be taking place on Thursday, Sept 25th from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the SW corner of Weatherford Hall greens.  (Just north of the sports fields.)

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