Next bargaining sessions is Friday April 27th.
Corvallis AFSCME The Bottom Line
Contract Negotiation Newsletter Issue #2 – April 18, 2018
Welcome back to The Bottom Line, our Local’s contract negotiations newsletter! This issue covers the April 18 negotiation session.
What happened at the April 18 session?
Team AFSCME was very pleased that Management came with a lot of proposals on April 18. Highlights of their proposals
Remove the option for the union to be involved on your behalf in complaints about disrespectful work
environments, workplace violence, and sexual harassment, and discrimination based on a state or federallyprotected
Limit the number of people on AFSCME’s negotiation team to four (not a good option for a diverse bargaining unit
with people in seven different departments).
Restrict the number of stewards per department to three (currently, the limit is one steward per 14 employees).
Ensure that casual staff cannot automatically become union-represented by working 1,040 hours or more in a year.
Restrict the union from taking a grievance filed due to an oral or written to binding arbitration.
Limit the accrual of overtime and compensatory time by not allowing approved leave to be counted as part of the
Require anyone who has availability for callback in their job description to respond to requests for callbacks at least
50% of the time or be disciplined.
In the event of a reduction in force, only allow “bumping” into another position within the affected department.
Allow probation to be extended for up to 3 months (especially helpful if someone had to have a leave of absence
during their probation period).
Eliminate the requirement for your supervisor to allow you to use floating holiday time to cover taking half of
Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve off.
Remove the requirement that Spanish language proficiency be eligible for bilingual pay, allowing the City to solely
define which languages are eligible.
Require anyone who is receiving bilingual pay to perform translation duties upon request. Failure to do so could
result in loss of eligibility for bilingual pay.
If bilingual proficiency is listed as a requirement in a job description (thus receiving the highest level of bilingual pay),
the City can remove this requirement at any time without notice and without any option to grieve their decision.
Because management provided a number of proposals touching on so much of the contract, Team AFSCME only
submitted one proposal:
Require the City to pay the full cost of any physical exams required to maintain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL),
if a CDL is required for your position (the City currently only reimburses $120 of the cost).
As you can see, many of Management’s proposals aim to limit, remove or restrict some of our current contractual rights
and protections. However, remember that this is just Management’s opening wish list, so don’t panic. Team AFSCME will
be working hard to make sure there is movement from the rather extreme positions Management started with.
What is the current negotiation session schedule?
The next session will be on Friday, April 27; this session will be the last chance either side will have to open sections of the
contract for changes. Future sessions are scheduled for May 16 and May 22. We’ll notify you as more sessions are added.
Help still wanted!
Help Management remember that Team AFSCME isn’t just the people at the table; we represent all 220+ members of our
proud union family! Here’s how:
Friday, April 27, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm: We invite you to stop in during your lunch time at a rally at the City offices in
support of a fair contract. Bring your AFSCME lunch sack, wear green, and have lunch on us – Team AFSCME will be there
to answer questions and get your feedback.
Any negotiation session: Visit the negotiation sessions during your non-work time (i.e., breaks or outside of your regular
work schedule) and check out the process. Sessions usually start at 8:30 am and are held at the Madison Avenue Meeting
Join the Action Team: The Action Team works on ways to keep everyone engaged with the negotiation process AND
remind Management that Team AFSCME is NEVER alone when we’re at the table. More people are always welcome to
help plan and execute the good times ahead! It’s a fun way to meet more Corvallis AFSCME people (free child care can be
made available if that’s a barrier to participating). Contact RuthRose Hennessey at firstname.lastname@example.org and
Here are a few ways to get the latest news – and share feedback too! Have a question, need support, or want to cheer a
success or share a concern? Here’s how:
o Web: http://www.afscme2975.org
o Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/afscme2975
o E-mail: email@example.com
Contact a member of Team AFSCME directly:
o Adam Womack, Carlos Lopez, Shilo Anway (alternate), and Tim Bates (Public Works)
o Bonnie Brzozowski (Library)
o Luke Cotton (IT)
o Jon Pywell (alternate) and Natalie Summerlin (Parks & Recreation)
The Bottom Line Issue #1, our Local’s contract negotiations newsletter. This issue provides an introduction to the people, process, and issues that will be touched on as our new contract is negotiated.
Team AFSCME: AFSCME’s negotiation team is made up of volunteers from our bargaining unit, plus a professional lead negotiator from Oregon AFSCME (your union dues at work!). The negotiation team was selected by AFSCME President Carlos Lopez (Public Works). It includes:
- Adam Womack and Tim Bates (Public Works)
- Bonnie Brzozowski (Library)
- Luke Cotton (IT)
- Natalie Summerlin (Parks & Recreation)
- Alternates: Jon Pywell (Parks & Recreation) and Shilo Anway (Public Works)
- Oregon AFSCME Lead Negotiator: Antonio Gisbert (provided at no additional cost to us)
City Management Team: Members of management’s negotiation team include Mary Beth Altmann-Hughes (Human Resources), Nancy Brewer (Finance) Ashlee Chavez (Library), Mary Steckel and Chad Gordon (Public Works), and Jude Geist (Parks & Recreation). The City has chosen to hire Todd Lyons, an outside lawyer specializing in providing “pro-management labor solutions” to serve as their lead negotiator.
When are the negotiation sessions?
The first session was on February 27 and the second was held on March 21 (more details on these sessions below). April’s sessions will be held on April 18 and April 27. We’ll notify you as more sessions are added.
What’s happened so far at the negotiation table?
February 27: Ground rules were developed to set out to establish clear expectations regarding communication and bargaining in good faith.
March 21: Team AFSCME presented our first ten proposals. Major highlights of our proposals:
- Increase the floating holiday hours to 16 hours per fiscal year.
- Increase the maximum amount of compensatory time that can be accrued.
- Add the deaths of a niece or nephew to the eligible family member list for bereavement leave.
- Allow us to donate vacation and comp time (as well as our sick leave) to another employee in need.
- Expand respectful workplace to include examples of prohibited disrespectful behaviors, and explicitly state your right to file a union grievance about these behaviors.
- Speed up the grievance process by removing two steps (combines the supervisor and departmental director steps into one, and eliminating mediation as an option).
- Preference given to qualified AFSCME employees over casual staff in hiring for AFSCME-represented positions.
- If four or more AFSCME employees apply for an AFSCME-represented position, one of those AFSCME applicants will be hired.
- If you move to a different AFSCME-represented position, you only serve a 3 month probationary period (vs. 1 year).
- Require the City to have a good reason to require a doctor’s excuse for the use of sick leave.
- Make it clear that callback and standby duty are voluntary except during a declared emergency.
- Require a written training plan and a year to obtain City-required licenses and clearances.
- City pays the full cost of required protective footwear every year (currently, the City pays only 50% every two years).
- Clarify what information the City provides to us about our members.
- Add AFSCME participation to the new employee orientation sessions.
- Clearly define federal and state protected employment classes.
After our presentation, it was Management’s turn. To our surprise, they only presented one proposal: a copy of the entire contract with “housekeeping” items. Housekeeping proposals are typically minor error and grammatical corrections; however, the deletion of the medical stipend language was included as “housekeeping”. It seems obvious to Team AFSCME that this is NOT a housekeeping item; it is something that must be bargained fully, not just included in a mass checklist of changes.
Another surprise: for the first time in memory, Management plans to hold off on providing their substantive proposals to us AND they do not plan to respond to the proposals we have provided until they have received ALL of our proposals. Since the last day to submit proposals is April 27, we are baffled by their stance. Past practice has been for BOTH sides to provide proposals and actually bargain contract language from the start of negotiations. April 27 is over a month away, and there is a lot that we could get through in that time. Today’s session ended hours earlier than it would have if Management had held to the past practice. If they refuse to budge on this, it is a troubling signal about their willingness to work with us in the true spirit of fairness that would lead to a timely conclusion to our negotiations.
It seems Management may have forgotten that Team AFSCME is not just a few individuals instead of representatives of a proud union family 220+ people strong. Let’s remind them! Over the next few weeks, our Action Team may be reaching out to you with fun and easy ways for you to help Management remember that Team AFSCME isn’t alone and that when we speak, we speak with a LOUD voice.
BTW, the Action Team can always use more people to help plan the shenanigans! It’s a fun way to meet more Corvallis AFSCME people. Child care can be made available during Action Team meetings at no cost to you as well. Contact RuthRose Hennessey at firstname.lastname@example.org and volunteer!