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OHSU-AFSCME collective bargaining enters week 10

OHSU-AFSCME collective bargaining

The OHSU and AFSCME collective bargaining teams met on May 17. This was the last collective bargaining session prior to mediation, where negotiations will continue. Today’s session focused on OHSU’s economic proposals, and additional details about OHSU’s current economic status are outlined below.

OHSU INITIAL ECONOMIC PACKAGE:

Today, the OHSU team shared their initial economic package — meaning no item can be agreed to individually, rather the whole package must be accepted — in response to AFSCME’s previously submitted proposals. Though the AFSCME economic proposals were submitted about a month ago, the OHSU team felt it important to take time to carefully review all aspects of the proposals; discuss items with various OHSU stakeholders; and, take a deliberative approach to OHSU’s responses. Collective bargaining continues in the weeks ahead, and the parties will exchange economic proposals over the course of negotiations before reaching agreement. Highlights from the OHSU economic package fall into three categories:

Wages:

  • 8.1 Across the board increases: OHSU is proposing across-the-board wage increases of 2% for each of 2022, 2023 and 2024. When combined with quartile increases, this means most AFSCME-represented employees will receive between a 3.5% and 6% increase annually, depending on the quartile in which the employee falls.
  • 8.4.3 Upward adjustment: OHSU agreed with the AFSCME proposal that employees receiving upward adjustments retain their original work anniversary date.
  • 8.5.3 Promotion: The OHSU proposal increases the minimum pay increase for promotions from 4% to 5%, and promoted employees retain their original work anniversary date.
  • 8.7.1 Upward reclassification: An increase in the minimum pay increase for upward reclassifications from 4% to 5%, with reclassified employees retaining their original anniversary date, which was proposed by OHSU.
  • MOU UX3 Recommendations to market-based wage committee: In this MOU, the OHSU team proposed:
    • Adding an upward range adjustment when benchmark data are 3% or more above the OHSU median for the position for three years.
    • Decreasing the likelihood of downward market range adjustment.
       

Differentials and premium pay:

  • 9.3 Change in reporting time: When an employee’s reporting time is changed more than two hours without required notice, even if only for one day, OHSU agrees to AFSCME’s proposal that the employee receive 1.5x time until the notice period is reached.
  • 10.8 Inclement weather team: OHSU’s proposal increases the premium for the inclement weather team from $10 to $12 per hour.
  • 10.11 Weekend differential: The proposal from OHSU doubles the weekend differential, from 50 cents to $1 per hour.
  • 10.UX.4 Trainer pay: This item expands and renames preceptor pay to include many new eligible positions and allow premium pay for training new employees (rather than just students).
  • 10.UX5 Float pool: A new differential of $1 per hour for Float Pool Department employees was proposed by the OHSU team.
  • MOU Task force for advanced professional certification differential: The OHSU team proposed creating a task force to explore adding a certification differential, with task force recommendations provided by end of 2023.

 

Leaves and time off:

  • 11.1 Recognized holidays: The OHSU team agreed to AFSCME’s proposal of adding floating holidays for both Juneteenth and Indigenous People’s Day, in return for removal of President’s Day as a holiday.
  • 14.1.1 Jury service: The OHSU team proposed increasing release time for evening and night shift employees who are called for jury duty.
  • 14.2.4 Bereavement leave: The OHSU team proposed adding 12 hours of paid bereavement time each year. They also agreed to add the loss of a pregnancy to reasons for using bereavement leave.
  • MOU UX9 Community service leave: This new MOU adds eight hours of community service release time, which does not require using accruals.

 

The OHSU team’s proposed economic package takes into consideration the latest OHSU financial data, which shows an operating loss of $58 million for FY 2022. Over the past three years, expenses are up 32% while revenues are up only 23%. Several factors contributed to significant increases in expenses: A combination of a backlog of surgical procedures and capacity constraints — caused by COVID-19 and a nursing shortage — required hiring contract labor; additionally, overall workforce shortages and increased prices for medical supplies further contributed to the current financial status. Learn more about “The Why” behind OHSU’s financial plan in this message from Dr. Jacobs, or watch this finances whiteboard video.

OHSU is set apart from other local hospitals because it has a way to ensure its wages don’t fall behind the market between union contract negotiations. The market-based wage committee, with OHSU and AFSCME as contributing partners, makes changes every year to ensure wages are adjusted to the market rate.

For reference, AFSCME’s original economic package included across-the-board increases over the next three years, many new leaves, overtime at triple time, four new holidays, on-call pay, inclement weather pay, float pool, reclassification, promotion, enhancements to paid time off, education expense reimbursement, modified operations pay, meal/rest pay and child care stipends. Considering all of these items together, the AFSCME proposed package would cost nearly $1 billion over the next three years, equivalent to roughly a 60% wage increase each year.

 

AFSCME COUNTER-PROPOSALS:

The AFSCME bargaining team did not submit any counter-proposals this week as the session was focused on the OHSU team's economic package.

 

NEXT MEETING DATE – MEDIATION:

Mediation will begin May 24, as agreed by both parties since the beginning of collective bargaining. It is a routine part of the collective bargaining process where a neutral third party works with both collective bargaining teams to facilitate reaching an agreement. Because of the often-confidential nature of mediation, we may have fewer bargaining updates once mediation begins.

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