Published: April 21, 2021

With healthcare on many of our minds, we’re excited to announce that SEIU 503 members at the City of Pendleton and the Central Oregon Irrigation District just scored big wins, improving the health and financial wellness of members and their families.

In Pendleton, members settled a contract in early April with a big win; an agreement to move our bargaining unit into Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Health Insurance. This contract makes Pendleton the very first City in Oregon to move into PEBB. Before bringing this issue to the bargaining table, members had a high deductible healthcare plan with an HSA. Despite a few curve balls thrown from management, the bargaining team stood their ground and it paid off in the members favor.

In addition to this healthcare victory, we also locked in a three year contract for the City of Pendleton, with built-in raises of 2%, 2.5%, and 2.5%. We know those raises and healthcare contact improvements will go a long way to ensuring the health and financial wellbeing of City of Pendleton workers and their families.

In the Central Oregon Irrigation District, members settled a contract in early April. It was an uphill battle for the bargaining team, but a great outcome for members. The biggest fight was around health care, as members faced a 19% increase in their plan over the last plan year. To combat this steep cost increase, member leaders and management collaborated to put together a health insurance committee to explore plan options that would benefit everyone. In the end, the District agreed to provide a $2,000 per month stipend to each member, who are now given a choice to use the District offered health plan or buy their own plan on the marketplace. This deal was sweetened further by the fact that members can keep any leftover money each month as cash or a pre-tax retirement contribution.

Besides that big win for member healthcare in Central Oregon, a three year agreement was reached, ensuring raises in each year of 2%, 2.75%, and 2.75%. The victories in Central Oregon and Pendleton couldn’t have happened without the unity and combined strength of our members and bargaining team. Together we are stronger, our voices can be heard, and we can be respected and fairly compensated.