Oregon Health and Science University’s wage offer: 0%


Bargaining with a newly unionized unit of about 250 postdoctoral researchers, Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) has been stuck on a remarkable wage offer: a three-year contract with raises of 0% each year. No, that’s not a typo. 

The postdoc researchers are employed on projects funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, and currently they’re paid according to a federal formula. But research universities in Washington and California have stepped up to supplement those wages, said Oregon AFSCME spokesperson David Kreisman. On April 16, members of the unit picketed outside the building where the union and employer bargaining teams were meeting with the help of a mediator.

“OHSU needs to know that you are not willing to take their dumpster fire of a proposal,” AFSCME Local 328 President Jenny Olson told picketers.

Raises of 0% were not what researchers had in mind when they turned in union cards in April 2023. Having earned a doctoral degree, they currently earn about $54,000 on average, Kreisman said.

OHSU’s no-raise proposal comes even as it proposes to acquire Legacy Health for $1 billion.


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