Collective bargaining is a process by which two sides meet and come to an agreement on mandatory and permissive subjects of bargaining. Within that broad outline, there are a number of ways that bargaining may be structured.
First, the parties select their bargaining teams:
- OHSU selects its team based on its own internal process. OHSU’s team usually has nine to twelve members. During the last several bargaining cycles, OHSU has employed an external counsel (lawyer) to act as its spokesperson and chief negotiator. We anticipate that OHSU will have its in-house counsel serve as spokesperson in the 2019 bargaining cycle.
- AFSCME Local 328’s team is elected by our dues-paying members. Our union’s president and staff are automatic members of our bargaining team. Our team may designate multiple spokespeople, depending on which issues are on the table at the time.
Prior to the start of bargaining, both sides will propose and come to agreement on several items:
- What process the teams will use to determine which current letters of agreement and memoranda of understanding will be rolled over into the new contract
- Where, when and how often the teams will meet
- When bargaining will officially begin
- When mediation (if needed) will take place
- How “housekeeping” issues will be handled
- Which bargaining process the teams will use (interest-based, traditional, etc.)
- Whether there will be a joint training for the two teams
- What ground rules both teams will follow
- When the deadline for new proposals will be
Once these pre-bargaining activities have been completed, the parties are ready for their first official bargaining session.
More information on the bargaining process can be found in our Bargaining Timeline and Bargaining-Team Responsibilities articles.