| December 5, 2008 Volume 109 Number 23
AFL-CIO prioritizes ‘09 legislative agenda
The Executive Board of the Oregon AFL-CIO on Nov 18 approved five
legislative concepts that it will introduce when state lawmakers
convene in Salem in January 2009.
The state labor federation will lobby for bills that:
Change the definition of “managerial employee” back
to its previous definition of “supervisory employee”
in the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act. The definition
was changed in 1995’s Senate Bill 750 to exclude some employees
from being eligible to join a union.
Require state governmental departments to demonstrate an actual
overall cost savings that is not based solely on lower pay and
benefits, before public-sector jobs can be contracted out to private
for-profit and non-profit companies. Under the proposal, displaced
workers would be offered jobs with the contractor at current pay
Establish labor standards for business energy tax credits and
renewable energy. The 2007 Legislature increased business energy
tax credits for renewable enterprises, but the statute did not
define labor standard requirements. The AFL-CIO bill would specify
that 80 percent of jobs covered should be full time, local jobs
that pay a living wage of at least 300 percent of the federal
poverty level for a family of four, and should include health
insurance and paid leave. Businesses receiving energy tax credits
would have to file an annual report showing they are meeting the
Make it illegal for employers to hold “captive audience”
meetings relating to religion, politics and union organizing and
give employees the right to sue their employers if they are disciplined
or fired for not attending such meetings.
Reform Oregon’s Products of Disabled Individuals Law. The
current law, written in 1977, allows non-profit qualified rehabilitation
facilities to take public contracts without competitive bidding,
and requires them to replace the current workers doing the job
with workers who are disabled. The law is administered to allow
literally anyone with any type of disability to qualify, regardless
of severity or degree. The state labor federation’s proposal
would redefine severely disabled.
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