Negotiations Update: Bottom Line Issue 2

=====>> The Bottom Line issue 2 – 04-18-2018 

Please read this update on what has transpired recently.  Big thanks to all of the team, and to Natalie Summerlin for getting this ready so quickly.

The Noontime Show of Support is this Friday the 27th at the area in front of City Hall.  Please stop by for a takeaway lunch, wear green if you like, bring your AFSCME 2975 lunch sack, and show your support of our contract.

I’ve updated the Find a Time  form with May’s negotiation dates. Feel free to sign up for a time as a negotiations observer. Signing up is optional!  You may come as you are on your own time. You are welcome!

Please show your support for Your wages, benefits, and fair contract in whatever way you can.

Sincerely in Solidarity, Ruth Rose Hennessey, Contract Action Team Captain



Lunch & Your Wages

AFSCME Local 2975 Lunch Sack Day

On Friday April 27th, your Local will be providing lunch outside the Madison Avenue Meeting Room across from City Hall.  This is your opportunity to show your support and your interest in wages for our next contract.  Your colleagues will be reaching out to you this week to sign you up for a sandwich and a time that you’ll be by to pick it up.

We are not asking for anything else other than for you to stop by MAMR, come grab a lunch and leave. (Reminder: take your personal rig unless you  are working in the area). We’ll also be asking for an email address to send info about bargaining and nothing else.  We will need to know what time you take lunch, so we can have someone available to hand out lunches, if you do not want a lunch, an email is great too – no pressure. If you want to help with this effort, just let us know!

Sweep Away? No way!

Fellow AFSCME members:
As you know, contract negotiations with the City are underway.
The City started with what they call ‘housekeeping’ to our current contract by attempting to remove our medical stipend benefit.
Want to know what other benefits the City wants to just ‘sweep away’? Sign up to spend a few minutes at the next negotiation session to show the City we are watching them and supporting our union negotiation team. Fill out this form to sign up for a time slot on April 18 or April 27. Observe for 10 minutes during your break or during your lunch or on your day off. Bring your lunch or a snack!

Sincerely in Solidarity,

~ Ruth Rose Hennessey – Contract Action Captain


Greetings City of Corvallis AFSCME folks

If you want to know about the current contract negotiations for your contract, wages, and benefits; if you want to know who is representing you and if you want to have a voice in that representation, then keep reading.
Straight up words for a very straight up time. Hi, my name is Ruth Rose Hennessey and I am a Reference Librarian with the City of Corvallis, and the captain of your Contract Action Team. The next bargaining sessions are April 18th & 27th, and your attention is needed! Please consider which of these actions interests you. You can choose more than one!
Attend a bargaining (negotiations) session as a guest during your lunch period (bring in your lunch) or on your 15 minute break
Rally with your colleagues during bargaining sessions out side of City Hall
Write a blog post for our webpage which is nearly ready at a new wordpress site
Let me know if you are interested in purchasing a t-shirt ($7.) that shows your support for our Local and your job
Adopt a negotiations team member to show your support of their struggle in a person to person way
Let me know if you want a yard sign showing your support of your job and your contract – ie your wages and benefits
Take photos of the team and fellow workers during rallies and other events
Generate ideas for informing your colleagues of the latest negotiations news
We are on Facebook so please follow
Please attend a Local meeting – 2nd Weds of the month at 5:30 – location varies.

Hoping and waiting to hear from you!

The Bottom Line Negotiations Newslwetter

Welcome to the first issue of The Bottom Line, 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.

Who’s Who:

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.

Help Wanted

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 and volunteer!