With a pro-worker super-majority seated in the Capitol, SEIU 085 members have a unique opportunity this year to win the kind of contract we deserve. After years of taking concessions and making accommodations for budgetary crises completely out of our control, 2019 is set to be a critical year for the University of Oregon and our union.
According to Chief Bargaining Delegate Johnny Earl, those who are curious about the direction that negotiations will go in may find clues in the history of our last bargaining session.
“Remember our last bargaining campaign in 2017? Management proposed to double our share of the health insurance premium from 5% to 10%. As a union we fought that down and kept our share at 5% (3% for the lowest-cost plan). Management also tried to take away our right to overtime pay after working eight hours in a day. They wanted us to wait until we had worked 40 hours in a week. As a union, we fought that down as well. Management even proposed to eliminate our annual step increases. As a union, we fought that down too. After Janus, management clearly expects our union to be weaker. Each of these wins from two years ago–and more–will be at risk again.”
For those of us working in Higher Ed, we’re facing a proposed budget that won’t cover the cost of making our universities run. If the state is unable to generate new revenue, operational costs will be pushed on to students and workers in the form of tuition hikes and funding cuts. This is unacceptable. If the Governor’s budget doesn’t pass with meaningful revenue reform, we will not see investments at our campuses. And even if revenue is secured, only a unified bargaining campaign waged by SEIU members throughout Oregon can ensure that financial needs of our schools are prioritized.
This year, over 90 % of SEIU 503 members will be negotiating their 2019 collective bargaining agreements for represented workers with the state, higher education, adult foster homes, family child care, as well as homecare and personal support workers. In order for us to win on behalf of all Oregonians, it’s essential that we join together and speak in a coordinated and collective voice. On January 26, members across all segments of our Union will join together for our 2019 Together We Rise Bargaining Conference.
085 members: make your voices heard! Sign up today to take an active role in winning the contracts we deserve in 2019.
“If you haven’t been actively involved in supporting our contract negotiations before, think of what is now at risk,” Earl said. “Paying more for our healthcare, getting a fair cost of living increase, preserving our steps and protecting our right to organize and be represented by our union. Let’s not forget, we are all in this together. Now more than ever, we need to stick to the union!”