Published: May 1, 2023

Central Table Bargaining Update

In the last two weeks, we have had two meetings with management. While there have been moments of productive work, such as the presentations on selective salary increases this week, overall we are disappointed with the pace of negotiations and the fact that it is taking a long time to get proposals back from management.

At our last session, management offered a package proposal that included a variety of topics, including union rights, contracting out, filling vacancies, overtime and others. Some parts of their package proposal represented improvements to our contract, others were a step backwards. (A “package proposal” means that a set of contract articles are presented together and must be accepted or rejected as a whole package—we can’t just agree to what we like without also taking the stuff that’s bad.)

Here’s what was in the package management offered:

  • Sick time would be counted toward weekly overtime
  • Minor improvements to the union rights language
  • Reducing the required internal job posting period from 10 calendar days to 5
  • Eliminating the requirement that the state conducts an analysis prior to contracting out union jobs

Additionally, both bargaining teams spent time this week hearing from union members who presented strong, compelling arguments for selective salary increases for their classifications. Nearly 100 members observed during 24 presentations. A huge “thank you” to everyone who participated in these.

PS. Download this virtual meeting background that helps your coworkers RSVP for the June 8th Rally and be sure to join the SEIU Local 503 State Employees Facebook Group!

State Worker Raises Under Attack

With less than 2 months remaining in Oregon’s 2023 legislative session, funding for state employee raises are under attack. Watch Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp’s floor speech urging lawmakers to make less money available for bargaining. We need to do everything we can to win the contracts we deserve.

Here’s what you can do right now:
1. Tell your lawmakers to fund agencies with enough money for the contracts we deserve.
2. Register for the June 8th rally at the Capitol to demand a budget with the salary pots our members need.

Healthcare Survey

We bargain over how much you pay on your health care premiums and we know that an increase in premiums means a cut in pay, which is why our bargaining team is committed to holding the line to ensure our premium share doesn’t go up. Additionally, the quality of the plans that PEBB offers really matters – if you can afford the premium but then go to the doctor and can’t afford the care, that impacts the ability for you and your family to stay healthy.

The PEBB board determines the “plan design” of our health care plans – how much we pay in co-pays, deductibles, and other costs and what services are covered. By law, PEBB health care premiums must not increase more than 3.4% year to year when all plan costs are combined. This is an incredibly high bar to meet given overall health care inflation has averaged 6-7% per year over the last decade. Coming out of the pandemic, we are seeing costs go up dramatically.

This means the PEBB board must consider some plan design changes to reign in costs. We need your feedback! Complete the survey today to make your voice heard!

Join us for May Day on Monday!

May 1st is International Workers Day! Join partners and community at the annual gathering and celebration this Monday, May 1st, starting at noon at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem to celebrate May Day and show support for all essential workers. SEIU 503 is a proud sponsor of this event alongside our partners PCUN and Alianza Poder. SEIU members are encouraged to attend and show solidarity. Click here to volunteer!

Missing Murdered Indigenous Relative Event for Justice and Healing

Join us for our 2023 Missing Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR) Event hosted by our SEIU 503 Indigenous People’s Caucus on Saturday, May 6, 2023, from 10 am to 1 pm at Family YMCA of Marion and Polk Counties. You can support Native women and relatives and our Indigenous People’s Caucus by participating in this nationwide event. We will have speakers, interpretation, lunch, and refreshments for all who register. Register here.