OHSU bargaining continues, and so does picketing

AFSCME Local 328 held a picket in Portland’s South Waterfront on July 27. | PHOTO COURTESY OREGON AFSCME

by COLIN STAUB

The bargaining team for AFSCME Local 328 spent about 32 hours in negotiations with management of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) during the week of July 25. Workers also held a picket in Portland’s South Waterfront, and union officers reported reaching several tentative agreements with management.

The two sides have not come to an agreement on wage increases. As of press time, AFSCME was still proposing raises of 9%, 8%, and 8% raises over a three-year contract, and OHSU was proposing 3.5%, 3%, and 3%.

Still, during the recent bargaining, OHSU made some movement on economics, including proposing to increase the minimum wage for Local 328-represented workers from $15 to $18 per hour. In mediation July 28, the two sides reached agreements that increase an inclement weather differential from $10/hour to $12/hour and establish a new differential of $1/hour for employees in float-pool-department positions.

The two sides will hold another mediation session Aug. 19, where they will likely discuss across-the-board wage increases. In the meantime, they’ll meet every Tuesday to negotiate on other proposals.

Despite temperatures in the high 90s, OHSU workers and supporters picketed at OHSU’s South Waterfront location on July 27.

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