AFSCME Local 328 - OHSU Employees
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    Executive Board meeting
    Jan 18, 2017
    CDRC 3200
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    Jan 25, 2017
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    Feb 15, 2017
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    Lead Steward Meeting
    Feb 22, 2017
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    Steward Meeting
    Mar 08, 2017
    Old Library 217
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    • What's New at AFSCME 328
      Matt Hilton, President of Local 328 of the American Federation of County, State and Municipal Employees, said a "tone-deaf" university administration seems to have brushed off the incident, which he calls disturbing in light of other racial and class tensions that have been surfacing. The public institution is Portland's largest employer. Read More...

      How Safe Is OHSU?

      Almost everyone would agree that employees deserve a safe workplace, but there are always questions about how to define “safety” and problems in how to achieve it.

      Local 328 has been surveying our members since 2000. Early on, we found that one of our members’ top priorities has always been workplace safety. We have to admit — that puzzled us. There are always accidents, exposures and ergonomic issues that arise in any workplace; however, these problems were not common and were mostly addressed effectively by OHSU.

      It wasn’t until our union took a deeper look in a later survey that we learned that what members were talking about was emotional safety. We tried to respond to that with solutions addressing workplace conflict and hostile work environments — programs like BridgeBuilders and the Career and Workplace Enhancement Center (which has conflict resolution programs/training as one of its focus areas).

      It has become clear to us, though, that while our previous efforts were well-intentioned and effective as far as their stated goals, the problems our union should have been trying to solve were far larger.

      Race and Class at OHSU

      These are going to be difficult paragraphs to write, because when discussing the impacts of race and class at OHSU, the finger we point needs to point inward as well as outward.

      It is clear, in hindsight, after last year’s EVS campaign and after more recent incidents on campus, that we as a union need to do better at effectively drawing attention to and resolving incidents of marginalization, discrimination and racism directed at our members and sometimes, sadly, by our members. We have allowed ourselves to fall into the trap of privileging the experiences of the dominant white culture over the experiences of people of color and other underrepresented employees — people who have not been silent, but whose voices also have not been heard.

      When we learn to listen, do we then fall into the trap of paternalism and passivity, of assuming the best path to follow, of selectively filtering what we hear? Of subtly discounting experiences that are unfamiliar to us and of congratulating ourselves for our own good intentions? Of telling people who are in pain what we can or cannot do for them without asking them what we should be doing in concert with them?

      Yes. Yes we do.

      Good Intentions, Doing Better

      Our union has good intentions — intentions to pursue a path of equity, racial and economic justice and basic fairness for all our members. We also know that we fall short of those goals.

      We believe that at the highest levels of the organization, OHSU shares those goals. And we know that, as most organizations do, OHSU falls short of those goals — sometimes subtly, sometimes spectacularly.

      Over the next few weeks, Local 328 is going to talk about some negative experiences our members have had at OHSU — experiences that place in bold relief the differences that race, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexual and gender identification,  and economic and educational status make in how employees are perceived and treated and how those differences seem to operate within the very OHSU systems designed to protect employees from those injustices. How employees who make money appear to be privileged over employees who cost money and how the acts of employees in authority are minimized while far less egregious acts by rank-and-file workers result in terminations for cause.

      We need to do better. Our union needs to open the doors of problem solving and engagement to all our members, especially members who are subjected to aggression, discrimination and microaggressions every day. We can’t solve this problem without you — in fact, “we” aren’t “we” without you. Our union needs more of us at the table — if necessary, we will build a bigger table.

      OHSU needs to do better. It needs to listen to its employees and listen to our union when we talk about injustice faced by our members. OHSU needs to worry less about being exposed to lawsuits and protecting the revenue generators and more about living up to the ideals that an institution dedicated to the public’s well-being must embody, not just pay lip service to.

      Our union will work with anyone who wants to help us become a better union and with anyone who wants to help bring transformative change to OHSU — including OHSU.

      The following email was sent to members on Thursday December 8th:

      We are writing to let you know that OHSU has advised our union that our members, along with other OHSU employees, will be receiving an email from OHSU about replacing our current sick leave/vacation system with a PTO (personal time off) system.  Any proposals which may affect accruals and the ability to access sick leave and vacation are, by their nature, very concerning.

      Unfortunately, some managers at OHSU have already begun telling their employees about this, before the union was even informed by OHSU of its intentions, and have been presenting it as if it was an accomplished fact. We have been getting concerned communications from our members.

      Therefore, we believe we must immediately inform our members that this communication will be coming from OHSU. It’s unfortunate that OHSU has chosen to proceed in this manner rather than taking a more collaborative approach.

      OHSU cannot implement any changes in our contract or our vacation/sick leave process without our union’s agreement, and we do NOT have to agree.

      Communications to you from OHSU may say that PTO will be implemented and it may be presented as if it were a done deal.

      In fact, it is not a done deal.

      OHSU intends to make this change for their unclassified employees, and they intend to propose it to ONA during the nurses’ contract bargaining, which is currently under way. We do not yet know precisely what the proposal looks like.

      There will be more information from us in the near future but we want to assure our members that no agreements of any kind will be made that affect Local 328 members without thorough and inclusive discussions with our membership.

      We are not pleased with the way that this has been presented to our union and to our members.

      Trying to push our members into accepting a change which hasn’t even been discussed with our union is not a good way to start discussions.  We have asked our legal counsel to look into the way OHSU has conducted themselves in this matter.

      Our Council is participating in the Toys for Tots program to help needy kids this holiday season. Drop off new and unwrapped toys to any Oregon AFSCME Office by Dec. 17th.


      Toys will be given to children from 0 to 12 years old, so donate accordingly. When you drop your toys off, make sure to let us know what Local you are from so we can thank them for their participation.


      Download: Holiday Toy Drive -- Final 2.pdf
      Read and comment on an analysis of measure 97 and some of the myths which surround it by Local 328 member Nana Nash here.
  • Local 328, Oregon AFSCME Council 75

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