Bargaining Update 5-7-14

By admin / On / In Contracts, Local 88, Members

In the May 7th bargaining session both sides brought more proposals to the table.  We now have two more sessions to introduce new subjects.  The Bargaining Team will meet Monday May 12 to continue working on proposals.  After June 4th, we will be working to refine counter-proposals as they go back and forth.

Members have asked for an explanation of an earlier proposal we made regarding Special Adjustments to pay.

This comes up where a classification’s pay scale is below the market rate so that a vacancy can only be filled if the applicant is offered a high step to start.  So you can have a new county employee starting at higher than step 1, for instance at step 5, while a co-worker who has been with the county for years and is in the same classification, doing the same work, is in a lower step, say step 3.  The veteran employee may even be training the new person, so it is not equitable that they would make less for the same work.  The special adjustment language would allow the veteran employee’s pay to be increased so that there is equity with the new hire.

Local 88’s May 7 proposals included the following:

Article 3 section I (F) – We proposed bringing back into the bargaining unit all the positions listed on page 5, lines 24 to 27.

Article 8  section III – We proposed that employees with over 200 hours of accrued vacation leave be allowed to cash out 40 hours of leave once per year.

Article 21 section II (B) (3)– We proposed that if an employee is out on unpaid leave for more than 30 days and their absence is due to an FMLA or OFLA condition, they would not lose seniority.  The current language states that any time an employee is out on unpaid leave for more than 30 days, for any reason, all that time is subtracted from their seniority when they return.

Addendum B section II – We proposed that every year Lead Worker positions must be posted for five days so staff can express interest in being considered for the position.

Addendum C, DCS subsection, section I (C) –  we proposed that Roads workers who receive a boot allowance be given flexibility in how they spend the allowance so they can put it toward other work-related gear.

Addendum E section III (B) – We proposed that employee be given a choice between a Tri Met pass or a C Tran Express pass. Although C Tran recognizes the Tri Met pass for local bus routes, it is not good for the express bus which runs from Vancouver to downtown Portland.

The County’s May 7 proposals included the following:

Article 5 – this was a counter-proposal to our proposal from last time.  They are willing to give us monthly reports of on-call hours and of new retirees.  They did not include the maintenance of membership language we proposed, but are not strongly opposed to it; they asked us to provide information on other contracts that have similar language.

Article 13 – Management wants to create another exception to the language on schedule changes.  Currently they must give ten days’ notice before changing an employee’s schedule.  The only exceptions are if the employee waives the ten days or there is a true emergency.  Management would like to be able to avoid the ten day notice “for infrequent, single-day instances.”

Article 22 – Management wants to limit the number of transfers that can occur within a work unit when a vacancy exists.  Under the current language, the transfer process repeats itself until no one in the work unit puts in for the available vacancy, and at that point it is opened up to outside transfers and other applicants.  Management wants to avoid the “domino effect” where one person transfers into the vacancy, which leaves their old position vacant, then another person transfers into that vacancy, which leaves their spot open, etc.  They want to have just one iteration of the transfer process and after that they can open for outside transfers and other applicants.

Addendum H section III (B) (1) – This proposal would make it a violation of the drug and alcohol policy for employees who are on county time and/or on county property, to ask their co-workers to provide them with alcohol or illegal drugs.  In this context, “illegal drugs” would include asking a co-worker to share their prescription medication with you.

Addendum H Section VI, Last Chance Agreement – An employee who is proven to violate a Last Chance Agreement would not be entitled to a pre-termination hearing.