Tuesday’s rally at OSU was a big success!
We concluded our latest bargaining session with management at Oregon State University yesterday, and there hasn’t been much movement at the table. Your SEIU 503 bargaining team is standing strong for the priorities we outlined in our bargaining petition: respect, raises that keep up with inflation, safe and healthy workplaces, and a strong union. And we are loving the engagement we’re seeing from our coworkers. You are the wind in our sails, and we appreciate the solidarity and support. Then there’s management…
Management is stating that they would like to complete negotiations by the end of this year, but we didn’t receive an economic proposal from them at OSU that would allow that. Until we receive an updated proposal, all we have is their first economic offer of a 6.75% COLA for the last three years of our contract. Keep in mind that our members haven’t had a COLA since July 1, 2022. We included some movement in economics but continued to emphasize that we are bargaining a 5-year contract – and that there are three more years remaining.
Both sides exchanged a series of proposals at OSU. Our bargaining team passed a package that pushed back on management’s attempts to reduce our union’s right to have a voice in the contracting out process, protecting our personal leave and overtime benefits by passing back current contract language on both items. We also continued to push back on longevity premiums for 5 years and 10 years. On the second day of bargaining, we passed our safety and health counter proposal and continued to push our goal to create healthy and safe workplaces by making sure workers have the information they need to make good choices for their own health.
Management passed back small changes to union security and hardship leave, but did not respond to the substance of our concerns. They were not interested in any changes to safety and health. Despite citing that they wanted to find collective interests in this bargaining process, management continually cited that they have no interest in many of our priorities. They did commit to getting us an economic proposal by the end of next week. We will inform you when/if we receive an updated economic proposal.
While we wait for an updated economic proposal, we need to amp up the pressure on management. Thank you to everyone who turned out to our rally at OSU on Tuesday before we kicked off the bargaining session. We had more than 70 SEIU 503 members, community allies, and members of other unions on campus there supporting us. Management definitely took notice, and we need to keep this up.
Here’s what you can do to help:
Purple Up Tuesdays
Classified workers at Oregon’s seven public universities are wearing purple every Tuesday until we win the contract we deserve. Make sure to wear purple every Tuesday and send a photo of you and your coworkers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talk to your local Contract Action Team (CAT) members and elected union leaders to find out when each campus is holding membership meetings. Our biggest strength in bargaining is a strong, informed, engaged membership. Please show up to these meetings and do your part.
Watch Bargaining Sessions on Zoom
Our next meeting is November 29 at PSU, and we’ll send out the Zoom link before then so you can witness our bargaining sessions, and so management can see that you’re watching and care.