A few weeks back we asked folks to participate in a survey that would help bring us insight into our membership. At the same time, we were also attempting to get feedback on what folks were willing to move on in negotiations. After collecting as many personal E-mails as we could, the survey was sent out. From those 167 E-mails we received around 90 responses as of the 12th of September. This is about 40% of our membership. Not bad for our first attempt at a survey. Here are some numbers from the questions we asked the group:

  • 87% of those who took the survey felt our union provides us with enough information to keep us updated on negotiations and our contract.
  • 88% did not agree with management’s attempt to take away our stipend. Most noting financial hardship and the feeling of promises being broken when we moved from the HMO to the HDHP.
  • More than half of us thought that a 3% COLA was fair for us. The rest were down the middle on whether 2.5% or 3.5% was the more ideal wage increase. (Thank you Lee Lazaro of Transportation for providing us the numbers.)
  • Regarding our monthly premiums for healthcare with dependents, 49% of survey takers were for staying at the current 7%, whereas 43% thought 0% premiums would be better for everyone across the board.
  • 64% were against the monthly distribution of the HSA throughout the year as opposed to the lump sum at the beginning of the year. 20% did not have a preference. The smaller percentage of members who were okay with having it distributed monthly thought it would be something fair to give up if we were to have equality across all city groups.
  • We provided a list of ways that you could help support our union in the efforts to maintain our current benefits. Here’s what you said:
    • 69% would wear something to show support for the negotiation team
    • 59% would attend an event such as: Monthly membership meeting, Negotiation Lunch, City Council Meeting, Informational Picket, or Candidate Interview/Endorsement
    • 31% would help staff organize an event
    • 64% would attend an information session on the strike process
    • 61% would strike with their coworkers

Many of you chose all of the above. Thank you.

  • 76% said that they would be willing to attend an educational training to learn more about their contract
  • 63% were okay with their dues being spent on bowling parties, lunch rallies and T-shirts. 21% did not have an opinion either way, whereas 14% did not want their dues going towards such things.

The comments that accompanied some of the answers were very important to us. We thank you for spending the time to provide us feedback so that we know how to strengthen our union. We hope that we can move forward with the responses given to us so we can make the best decisions for the entirety of group. If you were not able to participate in the survey this time around, shoot an e-mail over to Shilo so that you can get in on the next survey opportunity. We strongly feel this will be the first of many attempts to ensure our memberships engagement in the future.

On a final note, we are moving in to an important moment in negotiations. Last weeks marathon session was positive, but also helped us realize that we need to ask you the more important questions if we need to declare impasse. The next mediation session between City of Corvallis AFSCME Local 2975 and management is scheduled for September 24th. This is a big day because we will be down to the nuts of bolts of our contract and we will not accept anything less than being made whole. The recent Bottom Line issue #9 shows the alternatives our group presented management to get this going since they were not budging on keeping the stipend. Please make yourselves available as Carlos comes around on your lunch breaks next week to explain what impasse will look like and be sure to vote on supporting your union/retention of benefits if a worse-case scenario rears its ugly head.

In solidarity,

Shilo Anway

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