The last few months have been a whirlwind as Covid-19 has changed the lives of most Oregonians. As we continue to adjust to the ways COVID has impacted our lives
On July 1st a 2.1% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) went into effect, and you will see that raise on your next paycheck. We negotiated this raise in bargaining last year, which seems like a decade ago, and while we celebrate that victory, we also know that some of our members on campuses are experiencing extreme hardships including hours reductions and layoffs, as well as problems with unemployment insurance payments. It is critical that all workers are able to provide for themselves and their families during this crisis, and we are working to make sure anyone impacted by layoffs or hours reductions gets the benefits and support they need. We have worked with the Employment Department to ensure full staffing and resources so that they are able to support Oregonians who are facing layoffs.
Upcoming Special Session
In a few weeks the State Legislature is likely to call a special session over the impacts of the COVID-induced budget shortfall. It’s extremely important that we are united, to fight to protect the gains we’ve made in our last contract.
Some people – including The Oregonian – are calling for salary freezes or roll backs on the victories in our last contract. We believe strong public services and good union jobs are the best way to pull Oregon out of the pandemic and the economic recession. Cuts should be the last resort.
Together we are protecting public employees and the resources that Oregon thrives on, and we can only do that because we are united. We are fighting for the HEROES Act to be passed, which is a $3 trillion COVID-19 recovery package to help support workers and local communities. Union members around Oregon, and around the country, are “adopting states” to call constituents and support them in urging their elected officials in supporting the passage of this act. You can volunteer to phone bank around the HEROES Act, which will help to keep our state services funded.