Frontline health workers are some of the most critical essential employees in Oregon, and are often the people who bear the brunt of particularly difficult public health crises like the Coronavirus pandemic. The employees at the Oregon Supported Living Project (OSLP), a group-home that supports clients experiencing disabilities, had been fighting hard over an economic “reopener” that would determine their wages and benefits for the coming two years.
After a hard fight, the employees of OSLP were able to win big pay raises, protections around the Coronavirus, and other forms of compensation for the critical work they perform daily. These additions include:
- Significant pay increase for each classification including on average a 9.72% increase for Direct Service Providers (DSPs) (8.93% pay increase on average for all classifications).
- Creates a COVID contingency bonus ranging from $200-$1600 based on the length of the employee’s service and the average hours they worked over the previous six months.
- Creates a hiring bonus of $100 upon completion of trial service.
- Adds a new tier for the yearly longevity bonus of $750 for those with 15 years of service.
- Adds an additional tier of Earned Time Off (ETO) accrual after 15 years of service (1 hour per month or 1.5 days per year).
This victory was only possible because of the committed work of members and the bargaining team, who came together to show management that we are essential. We were able to understand exactly what our members’ priorities were because we had a record number of bargaining surveys delivered, showing how member participation can help us win a contract that reflects our lived experiences and needs.
OSLP presents a dynamic part of Oregon’s long-term health system, and so this is an important step to showing DSPs the respect they deserve for the work they perform.