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OHSU, AFSCME Agree On Wages And Health Benefits

   Portland, Ore.

Union members ratify terms for final year of three-year contract

Oregon Health & Science University and AFSCME Local 328 have reached an agreement on wages and health care benefits for the final year of an existing three-year contract. The union’s membership voted during a two-day period, June 29 - 30, to accept the agreement after a two-month negotiating process. Ninety percent of union members voted in favor of the agreement.

“Health insurance costs were the major concern for our members. Both negotiating teams worked to understand the other's interests and worked diligently to meet their goals,” said Philip Curtis, AFSCME Local 328 president and bargaining chair. “In the end, I believe we constructed an agreement that benefits both sides and lets AFSCME and OHSU continue to work together.”

The agreed-upon package maintains current health care benefits for AFSCME members. The agreement also secures a 2.7 percent wage increase for AFSCME members effective on November 29, 2004. In addition, increases were made to the salary ranges of many job categories to make the pay for those jobs more competitive with market rates. The contract expires on June 30, 2005.

“Everyone involved in this process did an excellent job of working together,” said Steve Stadum, chief administrative officer of OHSU. “The end result is a good agreement we can all support.”

AFSCME Local 328 conducted the ratification vote and members cast their ballots on a secure Web site. Union members without home-based Internet access were able to vote from computers at the AFSCME/OHSU Career Center.

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