Our fight is Oregon’s fight. When our union members fight for fairness and justice, all working Oregonians benefit. Here’s how:
Better wages for all Oregonians – 2015
As the U.S. economy slowly recovered from the recession, the cost of living in Oregon rose quickly, but wages weren’t keeping up. In 2015, we led the Fair Shot For All coalition to raise Oregon’s minimum wage to $14.75 in the Portland Metro Area, $13.50 elsewhere, and $12.50 in some non-urban counties. Higher wages will help more workers in Oregon share in the the economic gains our state is experiencing.
Homecare workers win $15 wage – 2015
In 1999, Oregon Homecare workers had no union, no voice on the job, and no ability to make a living. Many of us earned minimum wage. We were considered “domestic servants.” Sixteen short years and lots of collective action later, our work is coming out of the shadows.
In 2015 our union made history by negotiating a path to $15 per hour for homecare workers. Our consumers have increased support to live their lives with dignity and autonomy, and we workers can survive and provide for our families.
Paid sick leave – 2015
No one should have to choose between taking care of their sick child and keeping their job. In 2015, SEIU 503 members worked to pass a law guaranteeing paid sick leave for hundreds of thousands of low-wage Oregon workers. Making sure Oregonians can accrue a reasonable number of paid sick days each year gives us all time to recover from illness and to take care of sick kids and other family members when we need to.
Retirement security – 2015
Everyone should be able to provide security for themselves and their families, regardless of where they work. The Oregon Retirement Security Bill guarantees every worker in Oregon the right to plan for a secure retirement after a lifetime of work. SEIU 503 members, working with the Fair Shot Coalition, won access to a simple, easy and effective way to save for working Oregonians.
End profiling – 2015
People shouldn’t live in fear simply because of what they look like, where they come from or what religion they practice. Profiling by law enforcement happens here in Oregon, whether it’s based on race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, language, housing status, sexual orientation or gender identity, and until 2015 there was no statewide system in place for reporting it. Already more likely to face arrest, people in typically-suspect communities are already struggling to make ends meet and risk harsher penalties and extra fees when they can’t afford to pay the fines that result from unfair profiling. In 2015 SEIU members worked with the Fair Shot Coalition to pass the End Profiling bill, which prohibited this practice, and established a system to report unfair profiling.
Equal opportunity for people with prior arrests – 2015
Qualified job applicants with prior convictions and arrests are regularly shut out of jobs, regardless of how minor or long ago the crime. In 2015 SEIU members helped pass a bill to give people a second chance at a fair shot. The new law removes questions about criminal history from job applications, and helps Oregonians get back on their feet once they have served their time.
Freedom of choice for homecare workers and consumers – 2017
Until 2017, homecare agencies often used non-compete clauses when a consumer wanted to leave for another company but keep their care provider. Unscrupulous companies threatened legal action to prevent consumers and workers from finding better service, better wages, and more support. SEIU 503 members worked to pass a bill in 2017 to prevent homecare agencies from requiring workers to sign non-compete contracts. This victory was an important step toward improving the quality of homecare services available in Oregon and protecting the rights of care providers.
Preserving health care for the poorest Oregonians – 2017
300,000 people were at risk of being kicked off the Oregon Health Plan and losing their coverage in 2017. SEIU 503 members fought to pass a tax on hospitals and health care providers that cut the state budget deficit by $550 million, ensuring funding for OHP through 2019.