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OHSU-AFSCME collective bargaining enters week 13

OHSU-AFSCME collective bargaining logo is Portland with green and blue overlay colors

The OHSU and AFSCME bargaining teams met on June 7. Both the OHSU and AFSCME teams submitted several counter-proposals for review and consideration. Multiple tentative agreements were also reached.



Three packages — meaning no item can be agreed to individually, but responses can be given individually — of responses to AFSCME proposals were submitted by the OHSU team related to:

  • Education, jury duty leave and inclement weather pay.
  • Emergency leave and bargaining.
  • Waivers.

The OHSU team removed several items from their initial economic package and presented them with no changes to the AFSCME team for consideration. Doing so allows for these items to be addressed individually:

  • 2.10 Negotiating team: Responded partially agreeing to AFSCME’s request to increase the size of bargaining team and release their team for training.
  • 8.11 Overpayments and underpayments: Responded with current contract language — retroactive adjustments for underpayments be limited to 12 months.
  • 9.3 Change in reporting time: The OHSU team agreed with AFSCME’s proposal that, when an employee’s reporting time is changed by more than 2 hours without proper notice, the employee will receive 1.5x pay until the notice requirement is met.
  • 14.2.5 Denial of additional bereavement leave days: The OHSU team largely agreed to AFSCME’s request for a written explanation of the reason if discretionary bereavement leave is denied.
  • 21.1 Reorganizations, 21.2 Classification and reclassification procedure, and 21.3 Upward reclassification: The OHSU team responded with current requirements for reorganizations and reclassifications.
  • 22.1.4 Shared responsibility: The OHSU team responded to the AFSCME proposal that the manager is responsible for seeking out development opportunities with current contract language.
  • 22.3 Required attendance at educational and training functions and 22.5 Education expense requirement: In these sections, the OHSU team responded to AFSCME’s proposal, noting that employees may be reimbursed for expenses incurred for educational and training.
  • MOU UX4 Downward adjustment: The OHSU team agreed with AFSCME’s proposal that letters of agreement raising wages may not be used to support downward adjustments while the letters are active.
  • MOU Task force regarding advanced professional certification differential: This was a response to AFSCME’s proposal for certification differential by establishing a task force to explore differential.
  • MOU 7 Services for employees whose primary language is not English: The OHSU team partially agreed with the AFSCME proposals for translation of contract and associated assistance for employees whose primary language is not English.
  • UX4 Clinical Trainor: The OHSU team proposed an alternate definition for clinical trainer (currently known as preceptor).

Additionally, the OHSU team submitted several other counter-proposals, including:

  • 13.3.3 Notification of sick time: The OHSU team responded to AFSCME’s proposal with some language modifications.
  • 15.1.2 Relief employees: The OHSU team proposed some language for clarity related to benefits for employees changing status to relief or flex.
  • MOU UX7 Employee designations: Most of the language was agreed to, with the OHSU team making a proposal to adjust the timing of reporting designations to AFSCME.
  • MOU 18 OHSU/AFSCME task force on workplace mental health support: A proposal was made to create a subcommittee to work on this away from the full collective bargaining table. This is a common approach when there is a topic both parties want to address, but also want to allow the teams to keep working on other items. OHSU and AFSCME used a similar approach to discuss Labor Management Committee changes in the last round of negotiations.
  • The OHSU team responded to AFSCME’s remote work proposals.



The AFSCME team’s counter-proposals included:

  • Items within Article 2 Union provisions: The AFSCME team made proposals regarding exclusive representatives, access, release hours, activities and training.
  • 6.1.3 Complaints of discrimination or harassment: The AFSCME team proposed that employees file complaints of discrimination or harassment through AAEO or the Union.
  • 6.8.5 Removal of materials: The AFSCME team proposed that managers be advised to discuss this section with employees as part of annual evaluations.
  • 8.6 Upward adjustment: The AFSCME team proposed current contract language that OHSU only be allowed to increase wages for one employee at a time.
  • Article 15.2 Insurance contributions: The AFSCME team responded to OHSU’s proposal related to insurance benefits.
  • 20.1.4 Termination during probationary period: The AFSCME team counter-proposed with additional language.
  • 21.2.1 Implementation of new/revised classification: Current contract language was proposed by the AFSCME team.
  • 23.1 Progressive discipline: The AFSCME team responded, accepting some language posed by OHSU.
  • 23.1.2 Suspension of seniority rights: The AFSCME team proposed removing this language.
  • 23.7 Limits on pay reduction: Additional limitations were proposed.
  • 24.1 Grievance procedure: The AFSCME team responded to the OHSU proposal.
  • 27.6 Work with dangerous materials: The AFSCME team proposed its previous language requiring exposure testing even when there has not been a suspected exposure.
  • 27.7 Exposure to serious communicable diseases: Modifications to OHSU’s proposals were made to expand the benefits under this section.
  • MOU Exit interviews: The AFSCME team proposed an MOU related to when the employer shall offer exit interviews to employees leaving.

The AFSCME team also responded to OHSU’s proposals regarding flexible staff, largely making the same proposals from earlier in negotiations.



The teams will next meet June 14 in an agreed-upon mediation session. During mediation sessions — which are a routine part of collective bargaining — a neutral third party will work with both teams to facilitate reaching an agreement. Because of the confidential nature of mediation, there may be fewer bargaining updates.

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