5.30.23 Updates from our May 25 bargaining session on Paid Leave Oregon
Your bargaining team met with the administration team for an hour on Thursday, May 25. The administration team presented a counterproposal that once again excised the key provisions we proposed. While we were not surprised that they again refused to pick up the employee’s contribution to the new PLO program, we were alarmed by their other excisions.
The administration crossed out important language in our proposal that protects the 120 hours of paid family and medical leave that we won in our collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Deleting this language implies that the administration could require bargaining unit members to use PLO (even though most bargaining unit members already have enough paid leave to cover twelve weeks through the provisions we won in our CBA). This matters because the administration has contracted The Standard Insurance Company to administer OSU’s PLO program and will not provide us with any information about how that program will operate, the process for accessing it, or what would happen if The Standard denies a bargaining unit member’s claim.
There is some good news from the session. If you’re expecting to need leave in Fall term, all the leave time we secured in our CBA (Article XX) is available to you. The administration team repeatedly affirmed that point during our session. Despite that assurance, we have not yet convinced them to confirm in writing that these existing leaves will work in conjunction with PLO and remain available as an alternative to PLO. Bargaining unit members retain the right to take up to 520 hours of paid leave using the 120 hours of paid family leave, accrued sick leave, and borrowed sick leave.
After seven months of bargaining, we are frustrated that the administration refuses to agree to common-sense proposals that are beneficial to bargaining unit members and to the University. They will not even agree to language that reasserts what we have already won in our CBA. They continue to insist that they cannot agree to any specifics as to how the new leave will interact with existing leave because the final rules for PLO have not yet been issued and because each employee’s situation will be unique. They refuse to provide sufficient details, examples, or proposal language that inform faculty how PLO will work, even though some faculty are planning now for qualifying events in September when the program starts.
Our next session is Wednesday, May 31 from 10am to 11am (register here). Faculty are encouraged to observe. We appreciate the support of those who have been in attendance and hope to see more of you in future sessions. Our power in bargaining is related to the strength of our membership. If you haven’t had a chance, you can join your union at uaosu.org/join.
Your bargaining team: Kathleen Stanley (UAOSU President and Lead Negotiator), Louisa Hooven (UAOSU Grievance Chair), Marisa Chappell (UAOSU Executive Vice President), Lori Cramer (UAOSU Representative), H Rakes (UAOSU Representative), Megan Dickison and Dan Andersen (UAOSU Executive Directors)