Here is the recap of the most recent negotiations session on July 18th.
What happened at the July 18 session?
The following articles were tentatively agreed to:
Article 12 – Uniforms. Ultimately, it was agreed that the 50% reimburse would increase to $175 every 2 fiscal years, a $25 increase from current contract. We fought for more but at some point we had to take the small win and move on to other Articles. We fought to have Parking Enforcement included but Management argued that Parking Enforcement personnel are only required to wear black shoes – it doesn’t matter what type of black shoe it is. So, go ahead and spray your tennis shoes black, Enforcement folks.
Article 19 – Job Classification and Wage Adjustments. This is going to revert to current contact language.
Counterproposals and Proposals
Submitted by Union:
Article 1 – Recognition. This has to do with post-Janus bookkeeping stuff.
Article 6 – Union Representation. This has to do with New Employee Orientation. The Union strongly feels that we need to have an opportunity to make contact with new AFSCME members at Orientation. A very reasonable request, right? Well, Management for some reason thinks this is a really big deal and isn’t budging. Stay tuned. The Union is going to keep at it.
Submitted By Management:
Article 2 – Union Security and Checkoff. As stated above in Union’s submission of Article 6, the Union is adamantly opposed to the Union having contact with new AFSCME employees at Orientation. Because then the Union can describe all the awesome benefits of Union membership? EXACTLY.
Article 5 – Employee Rights. Apparently, Management does not agree with Union that making folks within protected classes will feel comfortable seeing in the contract that they are welcome as employees. Hence, the hangup.
Article 6 – Union Representation. Both sides are close on this one. Stay tuned.
Article 14 – Leaves. The main issue here is Section 14.8 Hardship/Sick Leave Exchange.
Article 15 – Vacation Accumulation. The main issue here is that the Union is asking for the option to cash out vacation whereas Management feel that employees NEED to take vacation and not cash it out. We’re not quite sure how Management knows for sure what is best for employees. But, apparently they feel they know better.
Article 16 – Holidays. Both sides are really close to TA’ing this Article.
Article 18 – Wages. Management proposed keeping the Stipend whole for 2018-19 and providing one-half of the current stipend for 2019-20 ($375 for Single and $500 for Family), then completely eliminating the stipend for the final three years of the new contract. Not only that, Management also proposed a reduction in COLA’s that they previously proposed in order to make up for the stipend add-ins. Crappy? Yes, crappy. The proposed COLAs now are 1.0% for year one, 1.0% for year two, 1.5% for year three, 2.0% for year four and 2.0% for year five. Obviously, the Union did not even consider this ridiculous proposal. Speaking of ridiculous, Management threatened that if the Union did not accept their offer at this meeting, there would be no retroactive pay because it would take too much of Payroll’s time and because Tyler Munis is the nightmare that everyone has heard about. The rest of the industrial world can figure out how to deliver retroactive pay, but apparently not Corvallis.
Article 20 – Special Pay. The Union proposed an increased in shift premiums for 3pm – 11pm shifts and for 11pm-6am shifts. These amounts have not been adjusted for over 20 years. Also, Bilingual Pay was discussed and each side discussed language changes to bridge the gap.
Article 22 – Health and Dental Insurance Benefits. This is very much tied to Article 18 Wages. Management is proposed to increase payment of premium difference to 10% for employees choosing family coverage. The current amount is 7%.
Article 23 – Other Benefits. The Union proposed life insurance be funded by the City for two years of employee’s salary. Management is sticking to one year of employee’s salary. There was discussion about a single dollar amount for all employees. This would negatively affect higher earning employees more than lower earning employees.
Article 24 – Posting Job Vacancies. The Union proposed that whenever more than four bargaining unit members who met minimum qualifications for an open bargaining unit position applied for a position, the City shall hire from among these applicants. Management rejected this proposal.
Article 31 – Require Driver’s License. Negotiations will continue.
Article 36 – Term of Agreement. Both sides agree that the best outcome would be a five-year agreement. But this can’t be agreed to until a contract is fina.
It may seem as though Management did the bulk of the heavy lifting at this meeting. But keep in mind that all of their submittals were in response to Articles the Union had already presented. Up until now, Management had not submitted squat.
On the issues of wages and stipend, Management moved a little bit but not very much.
What happens next?
We have reached agreement on three future bargaining dates in July and August. July’s meeting is scheduled for July 26. There are two sessions scheduled for August, August 8 and August 23. We encourage you attend some or all of these sessions. We are changing our team actions from lunch time events during bargaining days to something along the lines of a block party that includes a lunch. Possibly in front of City Hall? We would like your input on future member actions. Thank you for your continued support.
Attend a Bargaining Session – As stated above, visit the sessions during your non-work time (i.e., breaks or outside of your regular work schedule) and be a presence for the Union. Big shout out to Library staff who have been representing at the sessions, and have brought food to Union bargaining team members. Much appreciated, as your presence has made a great imapct.
Become a Full Member of AFSCME – Now is the time for all bargaining unit members to come together in unison. Everyone has their own opinion of what the Union means to them. But it is indisputable that the wages and benefits and protection that you enjoy as an AFSCME member comes from the fact that we are united. Please consider becoming a full member of AFSCME
You can also contact a member of Team AFSCME directly.
Adam Womack (alternate), Carlos Lopez, Shilo Anway (alternate), and Tim Bates (Public Works)
Bonnie Brzozowski (Library)
Luke Cotton (IT)
Jon Pywell and Natalie Summerlin (Parks & Rec)