Published: August 9, 2019

The following is a statement from Melissa Unger, executive director of SEIU Local 503: 

Today our Union, in coalition with other public unions, filed a lawsuit against the retirement cuts handed down by the State Legislature earlier this year. 

Rosanne Scott, a child welfare worker who is a leader in our Union, is one of several plaintiffs in the case. She is joined by a teacher in Hillsboro, a school secretary from Molalla, a mechanic in Portland, nurses at OHSU and Multnomah County, a firefighter from Salem, and a District Attorney. This diverse group demonstrates the broad harm retirement cuts would have in Oregon, as well as the strength we have when we stick together and fight back. 

Our case is simple. A promise is a promise. A contract is a contract. We were hired to do a job for a specific compensation. We’ve kept up our end of the deal; the State broke their promise. 

The legal battle will likely be long and expensive. That’s the situation the State has put us in by breaking their end of the deal. But we will see this through, all the way to the end. 

In a country where retirement security has steadily eroded, where income inequality grows by the day, and where few people still have collective power at work, our Union remains strong. We will continue to raise wages and benefits, to build a better life for ourselves, our families and our communities.