After years of working hard for revenue reform, Oregon just passed a bill raising $2 billion in new revenue from large corporations. The bill will improve education and other public services throughout Oregon, put our members in a better position to win at the bargaining table, and bring balance to a tax code that has long asked regular people to pay more than their fair share, while big corporations got away with bottom-of-the-barrel tax bills.
Thousands of SEIU 503 members came together to make today possible. Over 6 years, we changed the narrative through our support of Measure 97, advocated for bills during the 2017 legislative session, and helped elect a State Legislature that prioritized revenue reform.
This game-changing $2 billion investment in education will stabilize the budget and create opportunities to invest in the vital services our members provide. In March, the Oregon Legislature told agencies to expect 5% cuts across the board if there is no new revenue. Now we have to hold legislators and management to their promise to reverse these cuts and instead make investments in public services across the state.
Winning big at the legislature puts us in prime position to win at the bargaining table. 9 of 10 SEIU 503 members are bargaining this summer. Additional revenue translates to higher State agency budgets, a better position for University funding, and more resources for the homecare and personal support worker program.
What happens to the state budget over the next several weeks will determine how much agencies have to compensate workers for our next contracts. We still need to push to make sure we capture this moment.
Turning out to the United for a Better Oregon Rally on May 20th will send a strong message to legislators that our work is not done, their work is not done, and it’s now time to adequately fund the essential services our members provide.