This week the first of Cogen’s three days of meetings with FREDS was rescheduled; instead of meeting with members next Wednesday, April 27th in Yeon, he is pushing that meeting back til May 17th, at 1:30pm. We have not been told of any additional changes to the two other meetings scheduled.
On Wednesday, we had our 4th day of contract bargaining at AFSCME head quarters. Bryan, our FREDS staff rep, proposed new language to be added into the contract to help accomodate FREDS members in the worst case scenerio of the county implementing the Coraggio cuts. Currently, about 1/3 of all Multnomah County employees who are laid off are able to find another job within the county by working with the union and H.R., through an inititive for laid off workers called Project SAVE. Bryan’s proposals were intended to loosen the language in it to create greater flexibility so that FREDS workers could, if needed, transition into another county job more easily than in the past.
The full proposals in regard to expanding Project Save in case of FREDS cuts are as follows:
1) When an employee is laid off and cannot successfully bump, they have the right to fill a vacancy in a classification they have not previously held, as long as they meet the qualifications and the pay is not greater that the position they lost
2) If an employee is denied a bump into a position because they do not qualify for the KSA (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities) on the job, the County must show that the person in that position meets all the terms of that KSA.
Management did not respond to any of these proposals yet; negotiations are scheduled throughout the end of June, so they still have several more session before they are required to directly address them. Remember, we are working to stop the cuts from being implemented at all – this is only preparation for a worst case situation – and if and when the county does decide to not cut FREDS, the language could be used to protect other union workers down the road years from now.
The county has had no new FREDS meetings this week, and the Implementation Team is still working on finding an RFP. Again, because we are a potential bidder, we have limited access to information on how the RFP process is going, for ethics reasons. We do have access to the information of when the meetings happen, and can continue to let you know when they do, and updating you on how they are going.