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JCSS Bargaining Update

April 30th your bargaining team met with JCSS management’s team for the second time to negotiate our new contract.  Many articles were opened by management. Both sides have until the 4th bargaining session to open new items.

Management opened

 

Union Opened

#2- definitions  #9-Sick Leave
#11-Insurance #5- Union Security
#14 Wages New- Student loan forgiveness
Addendum D- Drug & Alcohol 
#22- Shift & work assignment

Next schedules sessions are as follows: 5/11 at JCSS starting at 1pm, 5/28 at JCSS starting at 1pm, 6/8 at JCSS 1pm and every other Monday thereafter until we are done.  Please remember that these sessions are open for every member to attend as an observer.  This is your contract so please feel free to participate, just know that attendance needs to be on your time like before/after work, day off or on break.  Special thanks to those who have already sat in on the initial sessions. 

In these sessions new issues have come up that your bargaining team needs to know how you feel about them.  Please take this survey by 5/15/15 so we can represent your opinion at our next bargaining session.

Go here for the Surveyhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2-JCSS

Thank you,
Kim Hernandez
John Miller
Ramona Junta
Kim Nguyen
Jaimie Sorenson, AFSCME Staff

OREGON SUPREME COURT PROTECTS RETIREES’ CONTRACT RIGHTS

Supreme_Court_Building_(Marion_County,_Oregon_scenic_images)_(marDA0036b)In a big victory for union retirees, the Oregon Supreme Court has struck down cutbacks to retirees’ annual cost-of-living adjustments.

The decision in the Moro case, issued this morning (April 30), rejects the vast majority of the 2013 Legislature’s so-called “Grand Bargain” that saw lawmakers trade cuts to PERS for some higher taxes aimed at education. The PERS Coalition, of which AFSCME is a founding member, immediately filed suit contending the actions were unconstitutional. To a large degree, the high court agreed.

Read the full decision.

The key point of the court’s decision is that no changes may be made to the benefits of PERS members that were accrued before the 2013 legislative action. That means:

• For those already retired when the legislation took effect in 2013, they will receive a full 2 percent COLA on those benefits annually. PERS will now need to administer a repayment process for increases missed the past two years.

• It’s more complicated for those currently working. Those yet-to-retire will be eligible for a 2 percent COLA on any money accrued in PERS up to the legislation date. Money accrued after that date will be subject to the new standards. For example, someone who retires this year with 30 years of service will see a 2 percent COLA on the first 28 years of their earnings and the new, lower amount on their final two years of employment.

In total, the “Grand Bargain” took approximately $5 billion away from PERS members. The Moro decision restores $4.6 billion of that amount. With this decision and others from the past two decades, Oregon AFSCME and the PERS Coalition have now returned over $8 billion into the pockets of PERS retirees.

“The state made a good-faith deal with these employees, who devoted so much of their working lives to serving their communities,” said PERS Coalition lead attorney Greg Hartman. “The Supreme Court let them know that they can count on a secure retirement, and will be able to afford groceries, medical bills, car repairs and other day-to-day living expenses which rise with inflation.”

As part of the decision, the court ruled legislators were correct in taking away the out-of-state tax offset to retirees who do not reside in Oregon. That practice stopped with the 2013 legislation. Retirees who received such payments over the year will not have to repay those benefits.

The Moro decision would appear to close the door to major future “PERS reforms” by the Legislature. The Strunk decision, issued regarding the 2003 reforms, protected the benefits — in particular, the assumed earnings rate — for Tier 1 PERS members. Moro has clearly told lawmakers that they cannot retroactively change the benefits of those already retired. Those two areas represent the bulk of the money in PERS. While lawmakers could make any number of changes prospectively — create a lesser Tier 4, for example — the system would not see cost savings from such actions until years down the road.

“This decision is a victory for working families,” said Hartman. “Oregon continues to carry the lowest corporate tax burden in the nation. The state needs to find a way to honor its contracts, so that means it’s time to have a meaningful conversation about real economic solutions that will help protect all vital services and build a better Oregon.”

Summer Institute for Union Women: Register

Please fill out the Application Questions if you are interested in attending the Summer Institute for Union Women (SIUW) June 23-27, 2015 on the Reed College campus in Portland, OR.

Applicant election will be confirmed at the May 20th General Membership meeting.

The Summer Institute for Union Women celebrates the solidarity of union women across boundaries of age, race, and nation. This summer, it brings us together in Portland, Oregon for skill building, education, and fun. Rank-and-file members, staff members, and officers from across the West will gather to share strategies, information, experience, and skills.

Highlights of the week include in-depth classes to hone skills and deepen knowledge. Workshops and plenary sessions examine current issues, ranging from politics, to health care, to international solidarity. Cultural events and workshops add richness to the Institute and inspire us to creativity in our union work.

2015 AFL-CIO Summer School: Register

Summer School Applicants will be approved at the June 17 General Membership meeting

The 2015 AFL-CIO Summer School will again be held on the University of Oregon campus, in the Global Scholars Hall — located at the corner of East 15th Avenue and Moss Street

Throughout the Summer School weekend, participants meet to share insights and ideas in . . .
• Educational core courses & workshops
• Small group discussions
. . . with lots of opportunities to connect with union members
from around the state.

Upcoming Fair Trade Campaign Actions

Oregon Fair Trade Campaign logo designed 5/2010Let’s do our part to keep the pressure up during the upcoming legislative recess May 2-10.

Below is a list of upcoming actions we hope you can join in and support:

Fri. 5/1 at 1:00pm
Picket and leafleting outside Sen. Wyden’s Linn County Town Hall Meeting
South Albany High School gym at 1:30pm, 3705 SE Columbus St., Albany, OR

Sat. 5/2 at 1:30pm
Picket and leafleting outside Sen. Wyden’s Douglas County Town Hall Meeting
Umpqua Community at College, Jacoby Auditorium at 2:00pm
1140 Umpqua College Rd., Roseburg, OR

Mon. 5/4 at 6:00-8:00pm
Phone-bank to urge ORFTC members to call Rep. Schrader & invite to rally
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign Bldg (Conference Room on 4th Floor): 310 SW 4th Ave, Portland

Tues. 5/5 at 12:00pm
Rally at Schrader’s office
621 High Street, Oregon City, OR 97045
Phone: (503)-557-1324

Tues. 5/5 at 6:00-8:00pm
Phone-bank to urge ORFTC members to call Rep. Bonamici & invite to rally
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign Bldg (Conference Room on 4th Floor): 310 SW 4th Ave, Portland

Wed. 5/6 at 10:00am-5:00pm
Drop-in Hang-out at Bonamici’s office
12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 220, Beaverton, OR 97005

Thurs. 5/7 at 10:00am-5:00pm
Drop-in Hang-out at Schrader’s office
544 Ferry Street, S.E., Ste. 2, Salem, OR 97301

Fri. 5/8 at 10:00am
Rally at Bonamici’s office
12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 220, Beaverton, OR 97005

Hearing Set for the “Health Care for All Oregon Act”

Health Care for All Oregon (HCAO)Legislators in Oregon and Washington are considering bills that would provide every resident with comprehensive health care. In Oregon, Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, chair of the Health Care Committee of the Oregon Senate, has scheduled a hearing for a bill titled the Health Care for All Oregon Act, for Monday, May 4, at 3:00 in Hearing Room A in the Capitol in Salem. This bill, SB 631, outlines a plan to provide publicly funded universal health care for all Oregon residents. Washington’s legislature had a hearing on a similar bill on Feb. 20, 2015. When enacted, it (HB 1025) would create the Washington Health Security Trust and establish universal health care for all Washington residents.

These two northwest states are not alone in considering universal health care. Across the country, activists in 17 states are working with state legislators to introduce bills that will provide publicly funded, universal health care to residents. This type of health care financing is often called single-payer because all of the funds to pay health care providers and cover related medical costs are deposited in a central institution created to manage the funds. These may be called a “trust” (Washington) or “fund” (Oregon) or “trust fund” (New York).

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Local 88 Contract “Red Book” Delivery Update

dog-with-redbookToday I learned the printing of Local 88′s 2014-2017 Contract should be completed next week and delivered to Central HR by month end.

Once the books are at the county, the department HR units will work to see them distributed to the membership.

A delay in sending the document to the printer occurred when during the final pre-print review, the union and labor relations identified outdated language not identified during bargaining.

Once both sides verified the proposed correction was ‘housekeeping’ and not a change to the contract or intent of language, it was released to the printer.

We appreciate the patience of members waiting for the hard copies to be delivered and willingness to access the document online at the Local 88 website or Multco Commons.

- President Deirdre Mahoney-Clark