The I Am Essential bargaining campaign is well underway. Both the Central Table and the ODOT Coalition Table are meeting regularly to bargain for a strong contract. While the bargaining team is representing the needs of membership to the best of their ability, their voices are stronger with evidence and examples that you can provide! Keep reading for opportunities to provide your voice in this bargaining effort.
Here’s the latest from the ODOT Coalition Bargaining Team, your member-elected representatives who negotiate on behalf of workers at ODOT, DMV, ODFW, ODF, OPRD, OWRD, ODA and DOGAMI.

On April 28, the bargaining team met again with management to discuss proposals on the table, identify areas of agreement and pass counter proposals. Among our top priorities are supporting a better work-life balance, improving stewards’ rights and increasing workplace safety.

You might remember hearing from our previous session that we were frustrated that management responded to some of our new proposals with simple rejections. Your bargaining team remains committed, strategic, unified and strong, and will push forward to win the best contract possible. We are making some progress, but we need your help.

If you have information on the following, please email Lesley Adams or one of your bargaining delegates. This information may help us with some proposals at the table:

  • Unsafe interactions with hostile clients/members of the public that you felt were not appropriately handled by your agency.
  • Lack of access to stewards.
Management’s Response

Management responded with some movement.

  • ​​They proposed a package that includes 32.3 AB, 60.3C, and 90.3.
  • Article 32.3 AB (Overtime): Management seems to have heard us that we need a better balance in comp time cash out at ODOT.
  • Article 60.3C (ODF – Leaves of Absence with Pay): Management is finally acknowledging, after years of us bringing the issue forward, that the ODF Standard Assignment policy isn’t working as currently written.
  • Article 90.3 (Work Schedules): As part of the package, management included that we drop our proposal that would add a five-minute break per continuous hour of work on a computer to meet safety recommendations and avoid frivolous disciplinary actions.
Management response was a mixed bag on the following.

Article 122.3 (Uniforms, Protective Clothing and Tools)

  • We proposed to increase the tool allowance for ODOT and ODF from the current $700 to $2,000; management countered with an increase to $900.
  • Management does not support a boot allowance increase for ODOT or OPRD.
  • We proposed to change the current ODFW language from a uniform reimbursement to having ODFW provide required uniforms; ODFW management rejected that and wants to keep the current contract language.
  • Management remains hesitant to support standardized language across agencies in this article.
  • After management rejected earlier, we continued to push for:
  • Article 10.3 (Union rights): We countered after incorporating changes that address some of management’s concerns while advocating for more flexibility and steward accessibility.
  • Article 131.3E (ODFW housing): We countered with more information showing maintenance issues and substandard housing, and a proposal for a system to track maintenance issues.
  • CDL Letter of Agreement: We countered after taking into consideration management concerns.
  • Article 90.3E (LOA on Work Schedules): While management wants to sunset this LOA on flexible but predictable work scheduling within the Columbia River Program, we countered to expand the benefits of this to more ODFW programs.
  • Article 123.3E: (LOA on Inclement Weather/Hazardous Conditions Leave): While management asked us to withdraw this proposal, we continue to push for clarification on responsibilities while working in hazardous conditions.
Next Steps
We will continue to meet every other Wednesday through May, and we need your support at your worksites to make your bargaining team as strong as can be at the table. Get more information on campaign actions and events.

Activate the ODOT Coalition
Members from the ODOT bargaining team will host a virtual update gathering on Thursday, May 27 from 5:30-6:30pm. Join us to hear progress and ask questions about our negotiations on wages, benefits and other workplace issues. Access your current contract and Letters of Agreement here.

ODOT Coalition Bargaining Update Gathering
Thursday, May 27 from 5:30-6:30pm
Zoom Link

From the Central Table
The Central Table is a separate bargaining process that determines wages and other statewide issues. There is a lot moving here, including raises, steps, hazard pay, essential worker differential, teleworking and hazardous conditions. Central Table continues to meet weekly to advance economic proposals and you can read Central Table updates here. You can find the entire current contract including existing Letters of Agreement through this link.

In solidarity,

Your ODOT Coalition Bargaining Team
SEIU 503