2019 Together We Rise: State Worker Bargaining Survey

Together, We Are Stronger
The best way to win a strong contract is to stay united around common issues. As always, our ability to win a fair contract comes down to these three things: strength at the bargaining table, solidarity in worksites, and power at the Capitol. In order for us to win, it is essential that we continue being a strong and engaged union. We know that PERS and PEBB are likely to again be the source of attacks in the legislature. We must take our contract fight both to our worksites and to the Capitol in order to maintain the future that we’ve worked endlessly to ensure and protect.
In order for our bargaining team to effectively represent our issues at the bargaining table, it is vital that every front line employee of the State of Oregon complete their bargaining survey. Please take a few minutes to complete and provide feedback.

Worksite Communications
We need a strong communications structure to ensure that all represented workers have the opportunity to provide feedback on bargaining and stay up to speed on important developments. We must be ready to fight hard for what we deserve. 

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. 
Rank the following wage and benefit issues in order of their importance to you (1 = most important, 6 = least important):
1 2 3 4 5 6

We don’t bargain what our retirement looks like or how our health care plans are structured at the table. We only bargain the premium cost of health care. Our union defeated over 41 attempts to weaken PERS in 2017 and we will work to do that again, but history also tells us we should be prepared for Legislative changes to our benefits. Member leaders have suggested directly linking any cuts to retirement or health care to total compensation increases at the bargaining table. Ideas include a salary increase to make up any loss and offsetting a PERS cut by establishing a mandatory employer contribution to the Oregon Savings Growth plan, and offsetting a health care cut by establishing a mandatory contribution to a health savings account. 

Workplace Issues and Having a Voice at Work
Wages and benefits are important, but they aren’t the only factors that make our work manageable and satisfying. Having the resources we need to do a good job, a voice in policies and procedures, and a respectful workplace are also important.

Below are some workplace issues that have been suggested to our bargaining team. Pick 5 of the following items and rank them in the order of their importance to you   (1 = most important, 5 = least):
1 2 3 4 5

Recommendations for Proposals
Do you have other ideas to recommend for 2019 contract negotiations? Make them here!
The bargaining team may contact you for follow-up information about your proposal.
Proposal 1

Proposal 2

*The bargaining team may need to contact this individual

Proposal 3

*The bargaining team may need to contact this individual

Proposal 4

*The bargaining team may need to contact this individual
If you have more proposals, please reach out to your sublocal bargaining delegate or worksite organizer.
Building Public Support
Public support will be essential to winning a good contract. We need to build and maintain coalitions with individuals and groups, while also connecting our bargaining proposals to issues that impact not only us, but also our friends, neighbors and communities. We are all in this together.

Together, we can win a stronger contract
As we've said, our strength at the bargaining table is directly related to our unity, the actions we take on the job and in our communities, and fighting for issues that will improve the lives of every Oregonian. Over the next year, we will need to make our voices heard at the ballot box, in the Capitol, and in our worksites. This means we ALL have an important part to play.

Which of the following can we count on you to do (check all that apply)?
Build worksite power to support our bargaining proposals:
Build political power to set the best possible budget, pass supportive legislation, and defeat attacks on our jobs and services:
Build public power to bring everyday people to our side:
Will we need to strike in 2019?
Even if we are organized and wage a strong campaign, it is possible that the State will refuse to agree to a fair contract. In that case, we would have to consider going on strike.
Our SEIU 503 bargaining team is committed to making sure that preparations for such an action are in place well before any strike vote occurs. A strike would only occur if a strong majority of members vote in favor of such action.

As we’ve seen across the county this year, a strike — or the credible threat of a strike — is a powerful tool to win fair a contract. This means we must work toward strike-readiness to win the best contract possible.
What kinds of preparations do you think are most important to ensure we could conduct a successful strike? Pick 3 of the following items and rank them in the order of their importance to you (1 = most important, 3 = least important):
1 2 3

Additional Suggestions

Optional Demographic Information
SEIU Local 503 is committed to honoring the diversity of all members. This optional demographic information helps us understand the social identities of our membership. If you prefer to skip this page, scroll to the bottom and click on the "Next Page" button.

Stay Connected
To ensure that you have access to critical updates and the opportunity to offer feedback and input during contract negotiations, please make sure your contact information is up to date.

†By providing my phone number, I understand that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), its local unions, and affiliates may use automated calling technologies and/or text message me on my cellular phone on a periodic basis.