We have a deal with management on a new contract!
We have a deal with management on a new contract! This agreement represents a $150 million investment into the essential work we do, and a recognition of the respect we deserve as care providers. It’s the culmination of two years of hard work, starting with your input in bargaining surveys, your activism during the legislative process, your voices in actions targeting DHS, and the work of your member-elected Bargaining Team over the last few months.
Here are the quick highlights:
- $2,000 hazard pay checks for workers who worked during the pandemic (March 2020 to April 2021).
- A 12.7% raise, bringing the base pay rate up to $17.77 over the next 15 months.
- Faster fix for late pay issues.
- Improved health and safety policies.
- No cuts to consumer hours.
- And more! (See below for a detailed summary)
✅Bargaining surveys to gather member input on priorities
✅ Lobby the Governor and State Legislature to fund homecare and personal support worker programs
✅ Negotiations with state
✅ Tentative agreement
Member ratification vote
SEIU 503 members will vote on the contract over the next few weeks. Only after the ratification vote will the provisions of the agreement go into effect.
Membership Is Key
In order to vote on your contract, you must be a member of SEIU 503. You can sign up online at any time or call us at 1-844-503-SEIU (7348).
Summary of the Tentative Agreement
$2,000 hazard pay checks on December 1
The State didn’t see fit to compensate workers for the additional risks we took on during the COVID-19 pandemic. That wasn’t right. The bargaining team is thrilled to announce that all homecare and personal support workers who worked during the first two waves of the pandemic, March 2020 to April 2021, will qualify for hazard pay checks of at least $2,000. The checks will be issued on December 1.
To qualify, a worker must have worked hours between March 2020 and April 2021, and have an active Provider number of December 1, 2021, the date of the payment.
In every contract, our union fights to raise our wages because we believe that care jobs should be good jobs. This contract will bring the base pay rate up to $17.77 per hour, a 12.7% pay raise.
- 5.7% raise on January 2022 (brings base pay up to 16.67 per hour)
- 6.7% raise on January 2023 (brings base pay up to 17.77 per hour)
In addition, we won an agreement to begin an automatic pay increase system (called a step system), starting in 2023. This will be a transformative change that recognizes workers for their experience and allows us to make a career out of this work. It will also improve worker retention, which means there will be more experienced care providers available to help consumers in need.
Addressing Late Pay
Nothing is more disrespectful than not getting paid on time. In this contract, your bargaining team pushed for and won a solution that would make sure pay errors are corrected quickly. Starting now, the State will process payroll daily, which means if there is an error and you miss a paycheck, you can get it corrected the very next day, instead of waiting until the next payday.
This change, in combination with system improvements and the penalty for late pay we won in our last contract, should go a long way toward addressing this serious problem.
The health and safety of workers is always a top priority, but in recent years SEIU 503 members have focused on pushing the state to provide more protections from harassment and other unsafe conditions that workers may face in consumers’ homes. This contract makes big steps forward, including:
- Allowing case managers to share health and safety issues with workers before the worker begins working with a consumer.
- Improves the reporting process and requires case managers to report back to workers on the outcome of a reported issue.
- Requires the Oregon Home Care Commission to provide a monthly report of issues to SEIU 503, giving our union more information to improve health and safety policies over time.
We won an improved grievance process and clarification around worker rights when someone is facing a potential provider number termination. These changes will improve your union’s ability to protect your rights, in the event that you need help.
- Holiday Pay – Homecare workers don’t always get a day off. Starting in 2023, if you work on July 4, Thanksgiving or Christmas you will be paid time and a half for the first 8 hours you work.
- Mileage reimbursement – Effective 1/1/22 – Increases Mileage Reimbursement to $0.56 per mile.
- Parking reimbursement – Effective 1/1/22 – Would create a bank of money to pay for parking reimbursement (for instance when a consumer lives in downtown Portland and free parking is not available)
Many thanks to our 2021 Homecare and Personal Support Bargaining Team!
SEIU 503 is a member-run union. Members elect a bargaining team of their peers every two years. With legal, negotiation and logistical support from union staff, your bargaining team fought to make sure your priorities are reflected in our final contract. Click a photo for more information.