For all Higher Education workers: Bargaining Chair Rob Fullmer is here to give you an update on what we proposed to the universities yesterday, and how they responded.
Posted by SEIU Local 503 on Friday, May 3, 2019
Our higher education bargaining team met with management in Corvallis on May 2 & 3 to put forth our economic proposals. These are the “meat and potatoes” of our contract — wages, benefits, and paid time off — all of the things that involve money.
Our proposals are reasonable and important, but dependent on what the Legislature does on Higher Ed funding. That’s why showing up to the May 20th rally in Salem is so important.
Universities have the choice to prioritize front line workers without putting schools into financial trouble or requiring tuition increases. Most importantly, our proposals would mean keeping up with the rising cost of living for employees in our Union who struggle to get by as well as keeping us ahead of the rising minimum wage.
Here’s what you need to know:
Term of Agreement: We are proposing a two year contract that runs from July 1st, 2019 through June 30th, 2021.
Wages: We are proposing a 10% cost of living adjustment over the next two years. 5% on July 1 and another 5% on July 1, 2020. We are proposing regular step increases through the term of the contract. In addition, we’re asking to eliminate the bottom step and create a new top step, and repeat that step escalation again in 2020. Even employees currently at the top step would receive two step increases.
Health Insurance: We are proposing that we follow the state worker model by increasing the incentives to employees who use a lower cost plan. If you have a choice between two plans and use the lower cost plan you would pay 1% of the premium rather than 3%.
Retirement: Seemingly every year, lawmakers consider cuts to our retirement. It’s one of the many reasons our Union’s political program is so important. But we can also address these attacks at the bargaining table. This year, we’re proposing a rule that says if the Legislature or a ballot measure cuts any portion of the 6% employer contribution to our retirement, that reduction will be offset by a salary increase.
Vacation: We are proposing to increase our vacation cap from 250 to 350 hours as well as increasing the cash out from 40 to 80 hours.
Personal Leave: Improve personal leave for all employees. Currently, we get 24 hours per year. Our proposal would increase that to 32 hours, and stipulate that leave can be used in any increment with supervisor notification.
Here’s what you can do to make a difference:
We win by showing management that we’re united and strong. That means showing up at work and at events around the state.
Download the United For A Better Oregon sign and display it at work. Show the boss that we mean business!
May 20: Attend the United For A Better Oregon rally, where SEIU 503 members from across the state will go to Salem and demand a strong contract. RSVP here.
May 30: Attend a worksite action on campus. Sign up to receive details here.
SEIU 503 Higher Education Bargaining Team
Rob Fullmer, Chair
Jo Hickerson (EOU)
Nilda Peña (OIT)
Gloria O’Brien (OSU)
Bill Harris (PSU)
Colleen Martin-Low (SOU)
Johnny Earl (UO)
Trisha Guy (WOU)
Catherine Stearns, Notetaker (SEIU Retiree)
Keith Quick, Spokesperson (SEIU Staff)