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Important Links
AFSCME International
OHSU
Council 75 (OR AFSCME)
What's New at AFSCME 328
Employee Tuition Benefit (ETB) program
Did You Know? All AFSCME-represented employees working 18.5 or more hours per 80-hour pay period are eligible for reimbursement of up to $300 per quarter for qualified professional-development expenses. Funds are distributed on a quarterly basis, subject to approval, based upon the number of applicants and funds available. Read More...
Paycheck Delay? Problem Solved
Paycheck Delay?  Problem Solved Before she even got to work on the morning of Friday, December 5, AFSCME Staff Representative Diane Lovell had been contacted by a Local 328 member, who informed her that direct deposit paychecks had not posted, meaning employees did not get paid on time. Read More...
Attention Swing and Graveyard Workers!
This message is intended for members of our bargaining unit working evening, night and weekend shifts on a regular basis.  Payroll was only able to provide names of individuals who receive shift differential, so we apologize if this message doesn’t apply to you.  The following message has been widely distributed in various  ways to all of our members. Read More...
Rally for $15.00 Minimum Wage
AFSCME Local 328 has endorsed a $15.00 minimum wage, which has now been endorsed by an ever-growing number of Oregon labor groups. Several Oregon unions gained the $15.00 minimum demand in their latest contract negotiations. Oregon State Senator Chip Shields will be introducing legislation for a $15.00 minimum wage during the 2015 legislative session. There is expected to be a robust discussion at the state legislature about the minimum wage -- labor and community groups have an important role in this conversation. To help ensure that we steer the conversation in favor of workers, 15 Now PDX is organizing a rally on the Capitol steps in Salem on Saturday, January 24, 2015, just before the start of the legislative session. Read More...
Chief Steward's Activity Report
We’ve had a great response to our steward recruitment; we will be training nine new stewards on Dec. 9. We hold steward training every month, so if you are interested, please contact Chief Steward Mike Bandy at bandym@ohsu.edu. Below is a count of recent steward activity. Read More...
Plugging into Bargaining

NAVIGATOR: The Navigator’s role is year-around, but pretty low key -- distributing and posting union information within your work unit and distributing stickers and other materials to your immediate co-workers during bargaining

BARGAINING CONTACT: The bargaining contact’s role is time-limited -- we only need you to be active during preparations for bargaining and during bargaining itself. That entails working with the other bargaining contacts in your department/sector, AFSCME staff and the Local 328 bargaining team to identify bargaining issues, survey questions specific to your group and make sure that there are frequent and clear communications both within your work unit and between your work unit and the bargaining team. The bargaining contacts will be a point of contact during bargaining -- expected to discuss bargaining proposals and strategy with coworkers and the other bargaining contacts and provide feedback to the Local 328 bargaining committee. The bargaining contact will be encouraged to engage their coworkers in fun, bargaining-supportive activities that fit with the culture of their team.

VOLUNTEER: Contact Local 328 staff representative Kate Baker at kbaker@oregonafscme.com if you want to volunteer for either of these roles.

What Do Members Think of the Union?

Local 328 Surveys Its Members

What do members think of Local 328 - the third in a series of five articles

AFSCME’s online poll produced results in four areas

  • The perception of OHSU by our members
  • The perception of Local 328  by our members
  • The attitudes of members toward upcoming contract bargaining
  • The best way to communicate with members about bargaining

In our last article we focused on the perception of OHSU by our members and the challenges OHSU faces. Today we will be concentrating on “The perception of Local 328 by our members.”

We have been surveying members’ attitudes about AFSCME Local 328 using a scientific methodology and reputable polling firms for well over a decade.

 During that time AFSCME Local 328 has received consistently high approval ratings from members, though there have been fluctuations. 

Currently, approval ratings continue to be high, at a level that is about average for the last ten years. Disapproval levels have increased by about 10% over the last five years, with the sharpest uptick occurring right after the last contract bargaining in 2012. This indicates that there are fewer members with moderate opinions. The fact that there are fewer moderate members means that the  membership is slightly more polarized than previously.

Currently 73% of members approve of AFSCME and Local 328. The all-time high approval rating was 82% in July of 2012 There is about a 5% margin of error in these polls. But clearly, the last contract negotiation, especially the PERS proposals made by OHSU, took its toll.

The increase in unfavorable ratings for the union is mostly among older men and college graduates.  The highest ratings are among self-identified Asian members and women.

Similarly to OHSU, AFSCME’s approval ratings are highest among new employees at 84% but the decline over time is not nearly as sharp or as immediate as the decline in OHSU’s approval ratings. Five year employees show a 75% approval rating and twenty year employees show a 68% approval rating.

“Dr. Joe Robertson” scores 63% and the “OHSU Executive Leadership Team” scores at 42% approval.

The comments members shared were instructive.  Even though members were disappointed with the outcome of the last contract, many members understand that the union’s power is related to the visible support of the union membership. Our steward program took a bit of a hit – several people mentioned that stewards (volunteers) didn’t show up for their investigatory meetings. Members had very positive things to say about the quick response to questions and concerns.  There were consistent comments from members that understand that even with the disappointing results of our 2012 negotiations relating to PERS, without the Union OHSU would take much greater advantage of them.

What can we learn from all this:

  • Members still strongly support their union
  • However, confidence in the union was somewhat shaken by the last contract negotiations
  • Newer and younger members, Asian members and women show high levels of support.
  • Older men and college graduates show somewhat lower levels of support.
  • The demographic with the lowest level of union support – older men – still shows 68% approval. That’s 25% higher than the support which members show for the OHSU Leadership Team.

The Union can feel good about the high level of support shown by its members, but there are warning signs which the union must heed to retain that support: Negotiating good contracts is critical. The union took a hit following the last negotiations in 2012.

Member support drops off slightly over time and among our most educated members.

The greatest support comes from new employees who are making up an increasingly large proportion of the bargaining unit.  Members show great appreciation for the fundamental principle of being union: “Collective bargaining rights” with over 70% positive.

The union needs to consolidate our high levels of support among new employees, women and ethnic minorities. The union will need to shore up support among older and more educated workers.  All of these groups will judge the union on how well it represents their interests in contract bargaining.

The challenge for the union is to balance the need for equity with the need for economic security in a way that is meaningful for all the varied constituencies in Local 328.  The Union is also challenged by our members’ belief that the most important ingredient to successful negotiations is a well-trained bargaining team as opposed to the reality that an informed and active membership is critical to a successful outcome. 

Scholarship Deadlines Approaching

We're now entering the holiday season, but it's also scholarship timeline season, as the deadlines for many scholarship applications are rapidly approaching. Scholarship information is always available, year-round, on the Scholarships page of the Oregon AFSCME website.

Here is a sampling of the national scholarship opportunities available:

AFSCME Family Scholarship — $2,000 for up to four years, for graduating high-school seniors. A downloadable PDF application form and more information is available online. Deadline is Dec. 31.

Gerald W. McEntee Scholarship — $5,000 one-time scholarship for members only. The online application and a PDF fact sheet are available online. Please note that members must apply for the Union Plus scholarship (see below) in order to apply for the McEntee Scholarship. After completing the Union Plus scholarship application, members will be asked if they are AFSCME members; if they click yes, they will be asked to write an additional 500-word essay in order to apply for the McEntee scholarship. Deadline is Jan. 31, 2015.

Union Plus Scholarship — $500 - $4,000 depending on merit of application. The Union Plus Scholarship program, sponsored by the Union Plus Education Foundation, helps union members and their families defray the cost of higher education. Since 1992, the program has awarded more than $3 million to deserving students. Online application only — learn more here. Deadline is Jan. 31, 2015.

Check out additional scholarships at the AFSCME International website.

Oregon AFSCME Council 75 also offers several scholarships. Note: All Council 75-generated scholarships are administered through the Oregon state scholarship commission, officially the Office of Student Access and Completion. All OSAC-administered scholarships have an official deadline of March 31, 2015, but applicants are encouraged to complete the application process as close to Jan. 1 as possible. Council 75 scholarships available are:

Donna Danner Memorial Scholarship — The Donna Danner Memorial Scholarship Fund is named after one of Council 75's most beloved members. Donna Danner was one of our own Local 328 activists for many years before her premature passing from complications from a brain tumor in 2000. There are two $1,000 scholarships and five $750 scholarships awarded annually. Apply online at the OSAC link above; use Code 315MX.

Cornelia Valentine Murphy Scholarship — The Murphy scholarship was established in the name of the former Council 75 Political Coordinator by her brother, Paul Murphy. Cornelia Murphy died from cancer in May 2006. There is one $500 scholarship awarded annually. Apply online at the OSAC link above; use Code 500MX.

Bill Lucy Scholarship — This new award was established in 2014 in the name of AFSCME International's Secretary-Treasurer from 1972 to 2010. His decades of service include collaborating with Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis during the 1968 sanitation workers' strike. (It was during this strike that Dr. King was assassinated.) There are two $1,000 scholarships awarded annually for students of labor studies or political science. Apply online at the OSAC link above; use Code 690.

IRB/IACUC Union Members Work with OHSU Management to Implement Revised Class Specs

I enjoyed being part of the team that came together to collaboratively problem solve some pretty big issues and I was glad to be able to help.  - Kaija Maggard, union committee member.

Over the last year union members of the IRB/IACUC work units worked together to reach agreement with their management and OHSU on several important workplace issues

Starting last December, employees reached out to the Union to express concerns that changes being proposed in their classification specifications might cause them to lose their jobs and be forced to reapply for them, or require them to be taken out of the bargaining unit or both.

In a series of meetings which were attended by a majority of the work unit members, we reached a decision to propose working jointly with their management in a labor management committee to work on the communications issues which lead to the members' concerns and to work on transitioning to the new class specs in a way which preserved job security for current employees.

The Labor/Management work group idea was proposed to HR and the IRB IACUC management team, who agreed to proceed. Following the lead of the members, Union staff came to several initial agreements with HR and the work unit management: the group would have specific agenda items which would be agreed upon prior to meeting - we didn't want the labor/management meetings to become a forum driven by complaints. We also agreed that we would schedule a limited number of sessions so that we didn’t embark on an endless process. We wanted some pressure to get on with and conclude our business.

We began meeting in late Spring of 2014 and had scheduled six one hour meetings. This schedule was later revised to seven 90 minute meetings.

We began the meetings with a training on how to use the problem solving process and continued by using the process to set ground rules. When we reached agreement on the ground rules we began working on the problems we had identified: 1) communication and 2) transitioning to the new Class Specs.

We were able to come to agreements on how communication would be handled in the work unit, including improving communication between the management team and union members. We were also able to come to significant agreements about how to transition to a new Class Spec including training, staff development, salary status and job security.

Wendy Stang, one of the Union representatives on the committee commented: “I was very thankful to have guidance from the Union during this issue.  The outcome of the committee work was to everyone’s benefit.”

This process is a reminder that OHSU and Union members can work collaboratively very effectively when the members stand together to bring their interests and concerns forward and fully participate in creating change.

As Kelly Kidner said: It was great to be part of the process and rewarding to see the final results.”

Support Unions This Thanksgiving
Before you put together your Thanksgiving dinner shopping list, check our list of union-made in America food and other items that are essential to a traditional family Thanksgiving feast. Read More...
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Upcoming Events
Lead Steward Meeting
Dec 24, 2014
Location will vary
PEOPLE in Action Committee Mtg.
Dec 24, 2014
Mac Hall 2136
Local 328 Investigative Steward Training
Jan 13, 2015
AFSCME Local 328 office -- 4006 SW Barbur Blvd.
Steward Meeting
Jan 14, 2015
Marquam Room, 1st floor Mackenzie Hall.
Internal Communications Committee (ICC) Mtg.
Jan 14, 2015
DCH 9301
Local 328, Oregon AFSCME Council 75
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