On Wednesday Local 88 presented one new proposal and one counter-proposal. The new proposal offered changes to Article 20 Workload & Standards. The first sentence would read “It is the County’s right to establish a reasonable workload for employees.” The addition of the word “reasonable” is an attempt to address situations where numerous duties are added to an employee’s workload while their co-workers’ workloads remain the same. The employee can feel overwhelmed and may think they have to work through their breaks and lunches in order to meet unrealistic expectations.
Another proposed change is that employees be provided with an updated job description within 30 days of either starting a new position or experiencing a significant change in duties.
The counter proposal was on Article 22 Shift Work & Assignment. Local 88 made the initial proposal on this article, asking that when a permanent vacancy is being filled, internal applicants must be considered before there is an external process. In the last session management presented a counter-proposal that did not include our idea but proposed that when a vacancy is opened up to those in a work unit, only one transfer may occur, and the position that is left open by the transferee could then be filled by an external recruitment if management chose. They also asked that employees only be allowed to transfer once every twelve months.
We countered that with a proposal that continued with our internal recruitment language, limited the number of work unit transfers to three iterations, and included their one-year transfer limitation. These are not concessions we made lightly, but in order to get the internal recruitment language we will have to give in some areas. Management did not give any indication as to whether they would agree to our counter.
Management brought two new proposals and one counter-proposal to the table. One of the new proposals was Article 14 Compensation. They proposed a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 2.7% for this year, which is the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Portland area. For the next two years they offered a COLA at the CPI rate with a minimum of 1% and a maximum of 4%.
The other new proposal was on Article 11 Health & Welfare. They proposed adding a third health coverage choice, the Moda Major Medical Plan (does not include vision) which would be 100% employer paid for full-time, three-quarter time and half-time employees. They also asked for a re-opener on health care, meaning we would continue to bargain health care as the Affordable Care Act changes are implemented. Finally, the proposal would give management the discretion to join either the Public Employee Benefits Board (PEBB) or the Oregon Educator Benefits (OEB) state-wide insurance pools.
The counter-proposal was on Addendum J School Based Employees. It included the language from our proposal about the maintenance of seniority for 10-month employees and added lateral transfer language that was part of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
The next bargaining session is June 4, and it is the last opportunity to being new issues to the table. The Local 88 bargaining team has been working on new proposals for that session and we look forward to having everything on the table so we can start working toward tentative agreements.