The Universities' Bargaining Team firmly believes in transparent negotiations and, therefore, we will post our summaries of the negotiations along with occasional links to proposals or tentative agreements. Hopefully our posts will have the effect of opening negotiations to everyone.
Below is the schedule of negotiations that the parties have agreed to so far and summaries of the negotiation sessions that have already occurred. Please be sure to check back here for summaries of future negotiations.
The parties met for two days on the campus of Portland State University to kick-off the 2019 classified staff negotiations. On the first day of face-to-face negotiations, each party gave their opening statement. The Union’s opening statement focused on three items: 1) seeking a contract that would improve the economic security for all its members by increasing wages and total compensation; 2) achieving greater flexibility in the workplace to improve university sustainability and member work-life balance; and, 3) improving the Union’s access to represented employees in the workplace and during new employee orientation. The Universities’ opening statement focused on the: 1) increasing costs of public employees’ PERS and PEBB benefits; 2) state’s disinvestment in higher education over the past 30 years;, 3) the harsh economic reality the Universities will face if the Governor’s Recommended Budget is adopted as-is; and, 4) the need for the Universities and Union to work collaboratively toward seeking an increase in state funding at the legislature as well as finding common ground to reach an agreement that is sustainable for the Universities, inasmuch as it keeps access to a college education affordable.
The Union proposed language changes to several Articles, most of which were consistent with its priorities set forth in its opening statement, such as improving the Union’s access to represented employees and achieving greater flexibility in the workplace. Other Union proposals included increasing the bereavement leave and adding to the categories of those considered immediate family in both the sick leave and bereavement leave Articles. The Universities’ proposed language changes were aimed at ease of use in reading and viewing the collective bargaining agreement, expanding the opportunity for employees to secure ergonomic equipment beyond what is currently provided, and eliminating the age barrier for one to access pre-retirement counseling leave under Article 45.
In the closing session of the second day of bargaining, the Universities’ Bargaining Team addressed the spirit of collaboration seen at the table during the two-day session, and the team noted that there were productive discussions between both parties at the table during the presentation of proposals. In all, the Universities’ Bargaining Team thanked the Union team for its level of collaboration, which seemed to match that which is occurring between the Universities and Union in their effort to work with legislators in Salem to increase public support for the Universities.
The Universities’ Bargaining Team is optimistic that the work of both bargaining teams, as well as stakeholders in Salem, will result in a successful resolution of any issues brought forth to the table.
The parties are set to meet March 18 and 19 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.