We’re thrilled to share that as of July 16th, the contract was settled with big victories for State workers! Scroll down for highlights and additional details.
Throughout a global pandemic and wildfires that ravaged our state, State workers upended their lives and sacrificed their personal safety to keep Oregon safe and running. They have proven how essential they are again and again, and this year, we brought that fight to the bargaining table. When management pushed back on issues that were important to State workers, our members doubled down and demanded to be shown the respect that they deserve.
Finally, their hard work has paid off, and we won 5.6% cost of living raises over two cycles, hazard pay, steps for both years of the contract (that’s over a 9% wage increase for many workers) , expanded telework options, improvements for essential employees and hazardous/inclement conditions leave! The victories we made in raises this year, make the last two contract years some of the most successful in State worker history!
State employees will see up to a 5.6% COLA. We locked in steps so workers that are not topped out will see those increases each year of the CBA. Here’s how that wage increase will work: You’ll receive a 2.5% COLA effective December 1, 2021, and a 3.1% COLA in December 2022.
Management’s initial proposal was a two year contract with a 2% raise in 2021, and a 1.85% raise in 2022. Due to the historic victories that the State saw this legislative session, SEIU members and our State Bargaining Team pressured management to do right by our members and put a better deal on the table. Thanks to the member participation and the actions they took to support bargaining, we won.
Steps both years of the contract!*
Remote Work & Alternate Schedules
State workers have proven they can do their jobs well and efficiently under the most trying of circumstances. The new contract encourages working remotely where it is a viable option that benefits employee and agency; Cannot be arbitrarily denied or rescinded; Employees will have access to inclement weather leave language if a utility outage prohibits working remotely; Agency will provide necessary technology equipment and office supplies to employee working remotely. Employees will also be able to request any alternate schedule that works for them, and if certain criteria is met, the schedule will be approved.
No increases to health insurance premium shares, and our union made sure no additional health care costs were pushed to members through plan design, while also expanding access and affordability to fertility coverage and making advances in health equity
COVID Hazard Pay
One-time payment for workers with at least 12 weeks of mandatory, non-telecommuting hours between 3/8/20 and 6/30/21.
- 480 – 1039 hours: $1050
- 1040+ hours: $1550
Management’s initial proposal including no recognition of the risks essential workers took during the pandemic.
Adds Juneteenth as a holiday, and expands use of “Special Day” to the entire calendar year; employees required to be on-call on a holiday will receive on-call pay at the holiday rate of pay.
Essential Worker Differential
$1/hr for employees required to work in person when situations exist that would otherwise allow employees to utilize inclement weather/hazardous conditions leave**
Inclement Weather/ Hazardous Conditions/Wildfire Protections
Improvements to essential employee and hazardous/inclement conditions leave; Adds protections for unsafe air quality; Protections for workers who lose access to their home due to natural disaster, and more!
In a year where healthcare has been on the mind of every individual and family, we held the line and fought to maintain member benefits as they are. Considering that the cost of healthcare goes up by 7% every year, keeping that benefit in place is a big victory.
For PERS, we held the line this year and were able to maintain the status quo. As for PEBB, we pushed to keep costs under 3.4% for 2022 and are expanding fertility coverage to include IVF and IUI procedures at the low cost shares our members benefit from on their plans. As fertility coverage is frequently not covered by health insurance plans, this is a big win for families, and those trying to conceive.
Payroll Process Updates
Management heard from many of you about concerns around changes to payroll processes, we shared those concerns at the bargaining table as well. Ultimately, management realized they can’t move forward to bargain any changes until they have input from members. We’ve agreed to form a joint labor/management committee to explore impacts of any potential changes to the payroll process. If management wants to move forward they would have to bargain for those changes in our next contract cycle.
At employee’s request a steward may be present at meeting to discuss a worker’s ADA accommodation request
Response due 30 days after all necessary documentation received by management
Agency may notify employee of need for extension
*Employees who “topped out” will not receive steps; Employees who become “topped out” during the first year of the contract will not receive a step in the second year of the contract.
**This differential will not apply to employees whose primary job functions include responding to inclement weather or hazardous conditions or who live at their work site.
Photo above: The State Bargaining Team hard at work!