For months, the OHSU and AFSCME bargaining teams have been working toward a new agreement. Now, since AFSCME has declared impasse, the OHSU team has submitted its Final Offer to the state mediator.
OHSUs Final Offer includes many key enhancements to the current contract:
- Increased across-the-board wages of 6% the first year (split into two payments), 4% the second year and 3% the third year.
- A ratification bonus.
- Additional COVID-19 sick bank time.
- Increased opportunities for preceptor pay.
- New bereavement leave.
- Increased vacation time.
- Increased weekend differential.
- New Additional Need Incentive (ANI) — improved from existing Letters of Understanding.
- Increased shift differential pay.
- Increased education and training hours.
- Improvements to on-call, including callback pay for more people.
Additionally, more than 200 tentative agreements were reached over the course of the last several months, including:
- Increasing the OHSU-paid Hardship Fund to $200,000 per year.
- Increasing the inclement weather team premium from $12 to $15 per hour.
- A new float pool department differential of $1 per hour.
- A 5% increase in funding of the Labor Management Committee, with the total funding coming out to nearly $4.3 million over the three years.
Despite OHSU’s financial challenges — specifically, a nearly $90 million operating loss in the last fiscal year for the institution — the OHSU team worked hard to prioritize items that would benefit the most employees while remaining fiscally responsible in this extraordinarily difficult time.
OHSU’s Final Offer is valued at roughly $112 million in new funds above AFSCME’s current total payroll of $668 million, and would be nearly double the cost of the most recent 2019 – 2022 contract.
DIGGING DEEPER INTO THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM OHSU’S FINAL OFFER:
It’s important to understand the key components within OHSU’s Final Offer.
Increased across-the-board wages: The proposed increase would be 6% this year, split into 4% the second full pay period after the contract is ratified and 2% the first full pay period after Jan. 1, 2023. Then, AFSCME-represented employees would receive another 4% increase after July 1, 2023, and a 3% pay increase after July 1, 2024.
The across-the-board wages are in addition to market-based wage adjustments that can occur via the Market-Based Wage Committee, which is a partnership between OHSU and AFSCME. This committee is responsible for reviewing wages for every classification on an annual basis to ensure that wages are at market.
In addition to across-the-board wages, 92% of AFSCME-represented employees would receive an anniversary increase of 4%, 2.75%, 2%, or 1.5%, depending on their placement in the classification pay quartiles.
The offered across-the-board wage increases, coupled with anniversary quartile increases, mean that the average wage increase over the life of the three-year contract would be 21% — 8.5% in the first year alone.
Ratification bonus: All AFSCME-represented employees would receive a ratification bonus. The amount of this bonus is determined by FTE, with employees receiving $1,000 for 0.5-1.0 FTE and $500 for 0-0.49 FTE.
Additional COVID-19 sick bank: There would be a one-time refresh of the COVID-19 sick bank, up to 40 hours.
Enhanced preceptor pay: The number of positions eligible to receive the $1 preceptor pay would increase from 14 positions to over 50. Additionally, preceptor pay would no longer be just for training students.
New bereavement leave: OHSU recognizes that it’s important to be with loved ones during difficult times, and so OHSU’s Final Offer adds bereavement leave, allowing employees to take up to 20 hours of paid leave, in addition to additional discretionary time.
Increased vacation: OHSU recognizes vacation is important for well-being and is offering an increase in the rate of accrual for vacation. The Final Offer includes two additional vacation days for employees in the 0-5-year tier and one additional vacation day for employees in the 6-10-year tier. Additionally, all employees would continue to receive Juneteenth as a floating holiday.
Increased weekend differentials: Employees would receive $1.50 per hour as a weekend differential, an increase of $1 over the current premium.
Enhanced Additional Need Incentive (ANI): In addition to offering ANI before any mandatory overtime is assigned, the ANI minimum rate would increase to 25% of the relevant employee’s wage or $10, whichever is greater. This would be payable for designated shifts of four hours or longer, and part-time, relief and flexible employees would be eligible if those employees provide required availability and work their committed shifts.
Increased shift differential pay: In OHSU’s Final Offer, employees working at least three hours between 4 p.m. and midnight would receive an evening shift differential, paid at 7% or $1.50, whichever is greater. Employees working at least three hours between midnight and 8 a.m. would receive a night differential, paid at 12.5% or $3, whichever is greater. The increase in the minimum shift differential would impact approximately half of the AFSCME workforce.
Increased education and training hours: OHSU recognizes that education, training and certification maintenance are critically important. This is why OHSU is proposing to increase the guaranteed training opportunities from 10 hours to 24 hours. These hours could also be used to maintain certifications.
Improvements to on-call: All call-back hours worked would be paid at 1.5 times straight time. And if an employee immediately starts an on-call shift following a scheduled shift due to patient care needs, that employee would qualify for callback pay.
Final Offers represent the next phase of bargaining. A submission of a Final Offer is required by law after an impasse is declared. AFSCME is also required to submit their own Final Offer. The posting of the offers is followed by a 30-day “cooling off period,” as required by law. During this “cooling off” period, OHSU and AFSCME bargaining teams will continue to meet. Continued mediation has been scheduled for Sept. 15 and 26.
OHSU hopes that the bargaining teams will be able to come to agreement. OHSU values its partnership with AFSCME and remains committed to all employees, and is looking forward to returning to the bargaining table soon and moving forward with a new contract.