AFSCME Local 328 has declared impasse in negotiations with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). The union represents nearly 7,000 employees there, and has been bargaining since late February. The contract expired June 30.
Despite record revenue and profits, management is proposing replacing the current sick-leave system that protects dedicated time for ill workers, to a “paid-time off” (PTO) system that would force workers to choose between coming to work sick or spending time off with their families.
“OHSU belongs to everyone,” said Karyn Trivette, a physical therapist at OHSU. “We are a vital teaching and research hospital for our region. When patients come to OHSU they deserve to know that those providing their care aren’t sick themselves and that administration at OHSU is focused on patient care, not just profits.”
Local 328 presented a “last, best, and final” offer to OHSU on July 29. At that point, a mandatory 30-day cooling-off period began. If a deal isn’t reached before the cooling off period expires, OHSU may implement its final offer after five days’ notice. The union can strike on 10 days’ notice.
A mediation session between the two sides has been set for Aug. 13.
Local 328 will hold an informational picket Thursday, Aug. 8, from 4 to 6 p.m. at OHSU’s MacKenzie Hall. Family, friends, and the entire labor community are invited.
A strike authorization vote will be held Aug. 19-29 if a settlement hasn’t been reached.