As the New Year has started to settle in our Contract negotiations with Management are on the horizon. On February 28 we are planning on meeting with Management to give them our opening proposals.
The Union Bargaining Team has been going over the Bargaining Surveys you filled out last fall, narrowing down topics that you wanted us to address at the Bargaining Table. After only receiving a 2% Cost of Living Increase over the past two years, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to most of you that wage increases are at the top of the list. 2% wasn’t much when the statewide average Cost of Living increased somewhere over 2% per year during the same time period.
Keeping our healthcare and pension plans stable with no increases also rose to the top when we asked you, the Members to identify priorities for our Bargaining. Your priorities are our priorities. More details coming soon.
The recent Governor’s proposed budget wasn’t very helpful to our fight for an equitable Contract, although there may relief in sight. With a majority-Democrat Senate and House in Salem, we are hoping to see legislation for an increase in corporate tax to help finance our education system in this state.
If they pass legislation for more revenue, most of the new money projected will only help curb tuition increases, which still doesn’t insure us a fair-wage contract. It will take each one of us to remind our legislators that we need more revenue ear-marked directly into the Universities system for us to get a fair contract.
It’s sad that each and every other year, it’s the same fight. For a change, the universities and the unions are on the same page in Salem. We both recognize the value that higher education brings to our communities: stable economies, fair-paying jobs and advancement opportunities for our kids.
Please plan to join me and other higher education workers from across Oregon at the State Capital in Salem for one of our 2019 Lobby Days: February 18 to support our schools, May 8 for Higher Education Day with the UO, and May 20 for the SEIU Take the Capital for Revenue Rally.
See you there,
Chief Bargaining Delegate
SEIU Sub-local 085