Wages and Benefits
We had some successes in 2017. We were able to once again fend off all attacks on PERS — nearly 50 altogether. At the bargaining table, we
- Held the line on healthcare by maintaining the 1 percent premium share for lower cost plans and 5 percent for costlier plans
- After months of actions and lobbying in the capitol we were able to win $120M for state worker wages and benefits, securing two step increases and a meaningful cost-of-living raise despite a very challenging budget environment
- Established a minimum monthly salary of $2600. After years of work on this, we can finally say that all state workers in Oregon make a living wage
- Negotiated increases to shift differentials, the creation of a multilingual differential, and other increases for specific classifications
But we had setbacks, too. Our victories in 2017 came on the heels of a years-long deep recession causing a budget hole in Oregon. Which meant that over the past several bargaining cycles we’ve seen furloughs, cost of living increases that didn’t keep up with the cost of living, and cuts to healthcare.
And in June, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that people could stop paying their fair share, but still receive representation and benefit from the salary and benefits we all bargain for, making it easier for anti-worker extremists to rig the economy further by driving a wedge between working people.
The good news is that our members know the value of being in a strong union. We see it every time we win at the bargaining table, stand up for what’s fair through our grievance process, take on a bully boss, or show up thousands strong at the Capitol to fight for a better Oregon. And we know our economy is strong now — we deserve a contract that makes up for what we’ve lost and we’ve got to be ready to show up and be clear about what we deserve.
- As long as we stick together, no court can take away our power. We have an opportunity to make real economic gains this bargaining cycle. Please take time to fill out this survey in order to guide our bargaining team toward your priorities.