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OHSU-AFSCME collective bargaining enters week 17

OHSU-AFSCME collective bargaining logo


The OHSU and AFSCME bargaining teams met July 5 in an agreed-upon mediation session, which is a routine part of collective bargaining where a neutral third party works with both teams to facilitate reaching an agreement. The teams have agreed to four more days of mediation later this month and in August.

The teams reached several tentative agreements:

  • 2.10 Negotiating team.
  • 5.25 Reclassification.
  • 14.1.7 Pre-retirement counseling leave.
  • 14.2.7 Catastrophic event/emergency leave.
  • 22.3 Attendance at educational and training functions.

Both teams agreed to spend a portion of the session in a dialogue about the financial impact of several items within AFSCME’s proposals. This conversation enabled the teams to freely discuss the costing of those items — i.e., how much an item costs.

OHSU presented several responses on open items, detailed below.

Later in the day, the teams reviewed AFSCME’s economic proposals, which included an employee well-being package and holiday package, as well as other economic matters, outlined below.



The OHSU team presented several responses:

  • 12.4.3 Vacation: The OHSU team revised their original proposal about making vacation requests available to more bargaining team members with language that would disallow recurring vacation requests (e.g., every Wednesday, for example). Additionally, they responded with language that would expand the initially-proposed blocks of time off that may be requested in the second round of vacation requests.
  • 13.2 Attendance recognition: The OHSU team responded with language ensuring pre-scheduled absences or absences for protected reasons don’t count against attendance recognition.
  • 15.2.1 Full-time employees (insurance): The OHSU team responded with current contract language.
  • 21.1 Reorganization: The OHSU team responded to AFSCME proposed language related to reorganization and job reclassification.
  • 21.3 Upward reclassification: The OHSU team responded with current contract language.
  • MOU #UX9 Community service leave: The OHSU team clarified the process related to the proposed eight hours of release time for community service.
  • MOU #UX11 Employer-assisted Child Care Task Force: At this time, the OHSU team has declined AFSCME’s proposal based on recent experiences attempting to implement child care at OHSU. At the start of the pandemic, OHSU did a deep dive into this issue, and investigated many of the same topics that this proposed task force would be doing. As a result, it doesn’t make sense to form a task force to do much of the work that has already been done.

The OHSU team also brought forward two packages:

  • Based on AFSCME’s feedback, the OHSU team made revisions to its package of items from articles 23 and 24 related to discipline and grievances. Specifically, the OHSU team revised its grievance proposals with language to further encourage problem-solving between a supervisor and an employee, with union assistance if wanted, prior to filing a grievance. The OHSU team accepted language proposed by the AFSCME team allowing for grievances regarding complaints of discrimination or harassment to be filed at step two, and added language about when such grievances could be advanced
  • The OHSU team presented an additional work and overtime package, simplifying the process for requesting this type of work and introducing “first-come, first-served” language while still respecting seniority. This package includes the following items:
    • 7.4 Availability of work.
    • 9.1.4 Scheduling and assignment of overtime.



The AFSCME team proposed several tentative agreements for consideration:

  • 8.4.1 Annual review.
  • 8.4.2 Survey.
  • 8.4.3 Upward adjustment.
  • 8.5.3 Promotion.
  • 8.7.1 Upward reclassification.
  • 10.5 Lead work.
  • 10.UX5 Float differential.
  • MOU #8 Transportation assistance.

These proposed tentative agreements were taken from OHSU’s economic package. OHSU is considering whether it is willing to tentatively agree these items outside of their economic package.

The latter part of the session focused on AFSCME’s economic proposals, including an employee well-being package, a holiday package, and their counter economic items. Items within a package cannot be agreed to individually; rather, the whole package must be accepted.

Responses to prior proposals include:

  • 6.5 Work-life balance: The AFSCME team responded to this item.
  • 6.EX.1 Return to work: The AFSCME team responded to the OHSU proposal.
  • 6.UX2 Telework: The AFSCME team responded to this item.
  • MOU #3 Telework: The AFSCME team responded to the proposed MOU related to creating an ongoing telework committee.
  • MOU #UX8 Out of state telework: The AFSCME team responded to this item.

Items included within AFSCME’s employee well-being package include:

  • 13.1 Accrual of sick leave: The number of sick hours proposed was reduced to 136 (previously 176).
  • 14.1.9 Mental health leave: The AFSCME team withdrew their initial proposal.
  • 14.2.4 Bereavement leave: The number of bereavement hours proposed was reduced to 40 (previously 56).
  • 14.2.5 Denial of additional bereavement leave days: The AFSCME team accepted OHSU’s changes to the language.

Items included within AFSCME’s holiday package include:

  • 11.1 Recognized holidays and associated MOU: The AFSCME team withdrew their request to add Veterans Day and the day after Thanksgiving, and maintained adding Juneteenth and Indigenous Peoples’ Day, as well as retaining President’s Day.
  • 11.2.1 Compensation for holiday closures: The AFSCME team responded with language related to union members’ compensation during closures falling outside of OHSU’s recognized holidays.

AFSCME’s counter economic proposals include the following items.

  • 8.1 Across-the-board increase: The AFSCME team responded with their initial proposal of a 9% across-the-board increase for the first year, followed by an 8% increase for each of the following two years of the contract.
  • 8.12 Retention bonuses: The retention bonuses were reduced to $1,000, $500 and $250 (previously $2,000, $1,000 and $500) for each five years of service.
  • 8.2.2 Longevity rate: The AFSCME team responded with their initial proposal of maintaining five consecutive full years rather than resetting dates, and applying the longevity increase every five years
  • 8.3 Merit based adjustment: The AFSCME team responded with their initial proposal that employees may request a merit-based wage adjustment or annual bonus.
  • 10.11 Weekend differential: The AFSCME team responded with their initial proposal 10% of the employee’s straight rate of pay, to a maximum of $3/hour.
  • 10.UX4 Preceptor pay: The AFSCME team maintained their original proposal related preceptor pay in the amount of 10% of the employee’s straight pay for each hour worked as a preceptor.
  • 12.1 Accrual of vacation time: The AFSCME team responded with a revised proposal of increased vacation accrual rates.
  • 23.8 Transmission to union: The AFSCME team maintained their proposal.
  • MOU #7 Services for employees who speak English as a second language or who speak ASL: The AFSCME team responded with revised language around translation services for the collective bargaining. The proposal also includes a new O2 page with translated materials, along with forming a new joint committee for ongoing improvement in language services.
  • MOU #19 Employees employed prior to Sept. 11, 1998: The AFSCME team’s response indicates full-time, part-time and relief employees employed prior to Sept. 11, 1998 will earn 0.1077 hours of vacation time for each hour paid, up to a maximum of 224 hours per year.



AFSCME has requested next week’s July 12 session be a working session and the OHSU team agreed.


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