By Don McIntosh
Nearly 7,000 employees of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) will get raises and other improvements in their new three-year union contract. AFSCME Local 328 reported that members ratified the new agreement by a margin of 98.9% in votes counted Sept. 9.
Under its terms, they’ll get a lump sum bonus payment of $1,000 and an across-the-board raise of 3.25% now, plus 3% raises on July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021. Workers will also get an extra 50 cents an hour for weekend work and $1 an hour for training co-workers.
The contract also provides an additional vacation day each year; annual TriMet passes for $50 a year; and allows for additional stewards to cover evening/night shifts and large departments. OHSU also agreed to contribute $100,000 a year to an employee hardship fund managed by the union that can provide relief to employees for needs related to food, transportation, housing insecurity or education.
Though the contract signifies labor peace, Local 328 is still going forward with a legal case against OHSU: In an unfair labor practice charge filed Aug. 8 with the Oregon Employment Relations Board, Local 328 says OHSU violated its duty to bargain in good faith when HR vice president Daniel Forbes and fellow management bargaining team member Patrick Frengle used fake Twitter and Facebook accounts to pose as employees in an effort to undermine the union on social media. A hearing on the case is scheduled for Oct. 1.