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The status of OHSU-AFSCME collective bargaining leading into next week's mediation

A high-level overview of collective bargaining since March 8
"OHSU-AFSCME collective bargaining" on a green, blue image of Portland.

Since March 8, the OHSU and AFSCME collective bargaining teams have been meeting weekly, sharing proposals and counter-proposals as they work toward a new contract. The current contract expires June 30.

Progress has been made in some areas, with over 20 tentative agreements signed related to various topics, including: hardship fund of $300,000 over the course of the contract; almost $4.3 million in Labor Management Committee funding, which supports the Career and Workplace Enhancement Center; bulletin boards; employee use of email; various definitions; the vacation donation pool; personnel file contents; and the Employee Benefits Council.

Next week, mediation will begin as agreed upon by both the OHSU and AFSCME teams since the beginning of collective bargaining. During these mediation sessions — which are a routine part of collective bargaining — a neutral third party will work with both teams to facilitate reaching an agreement.

Many items are still outstanding and will be discussed in the weeks ahead. The items below are meant to provide an overview of proposals and counter-proposals from the OHSU and AFSME teams, and are not comprehensive lists. More in-depth information is available in prior collective bargaining updates, available on OHSU Now.



The OHSU bargaining team has offered many proposals and counter-proposals along many different themes. Highlights from the OHSU team’s proposals and counter-proposals include:

  • OHSU’s initial economic package was presented May 17 and includes a proposal for wages, differentials and premium pay, leaves and time off. Read more about the initial economic package in the May 17 bargaining update.
  • A union package bundling union business items into a single counter-proposal, which included a more than 10% increase in paid hours for stewards, was presented May 10. The OHSU team also presented an MOU focused on broadening the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DEI) work to all of OHSU, and an MOU around daily overtime, weekend and shift differential waivers.
  • A package proposal related to coaching and progressive discipline, which responded to a number of AFSCME’s proposals, was presented at the May 3 session.
  • Proposals centered on shift differentials, holiday compensation, insurance rates, on-call shifts and flexible staff were presented on April 26.
  • At the April 19 session, the OHSU team brought forward proposals related to returning to work; additional need incentive (ANI); work with dangerous materials; and an MOU related to pandemic, state of emergency and disaster bargaining. The team also responded to many of AFSCME’s proposals around exit interviews, meal periods, pre-retirement counseling and the MOU related to employee designations.
  • The OHSU team responded to several proposals at the April 12 session related to recognition of classified employees, access to OHSU intranet pages, shift trades, test and interview leave, probationary periods, job change evaluation, and education and training hours.
  • No new proposals were submitted by OHSU during the April 5 session as the team focused on responding to AFSCME’s proposals at that time.
  • Several new proposals were presented by the OHSU team at the March 29 session, including those related to the availability of flex employees, language regarding vacation requests, and systems around availability of additional work and overtime scheduling.



The AFSCME bargaining team has submitted a variety of proposals and counter-proposals along the themes of across-the-board increases, additional paid leaves and paid time off, overtime enhancements, additional holidays, and differentials. Highlights from the AFSCME team’s proposals and counter-proposals include:

  • Counter-proposals related to coaching and discipline were presented by the AFSCME team on May 10.
  • Counter-proposals around exit interviews, meal periods, modified operations and education and training hours were presented at the May 3 session.
  • At the April 26 session, the AFSCME team brought forward a large number of proposals centered on education and training, remote work, salaried employees, new leaves, hazard pay, new and increased differentials, vacation time, sick time and across-the-board pay increases.
  • The AFSCME team brought forward several proposals related to staffing, incentives and premiums at the April 19 session.
  • At the April 12 session, the AFSCME team brought forward proposals around the themes of DEI and benefits.
  • Proposals related to the negotiating team, shift trades, attendance recognition, shared responsibility and the market-based wage committee, along with an MOU to renew the hardship fund memorandum, were brought forward by AFSCME during the April 5 session.
  • At the March 29 session, AFSCME’s proposals centered on increasing longevity rates; increasing the promotion rate minimum; four new holidays; test and interview leaves; the OHSU contribution toward insurance; raising the maximum limit of flex staff; parking rates; TriMet passes; and the number of hours employees must work to qualify for bargaining unit membership.



Collective bargaining continues in the weeks ahead, with mediation beginning May 24, as agreed by both parties. Because of the often confidential nature of mediation, there may be fewer bargaining updates once mediation begins.

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