Bargaining Update 5/30

This week:

  • Join our rally June 7th at noon by the fountain in front of Mac Hall! Free pizza!

  • Management agrees to our demand to bring SoN, SPH stipends up to same level as SOM.

  • Progress on PTO and contract education/misinformation.

We are excited to announce that this week, management agreed to our proposal to raise the stipend for School of Nursing and School of Public Health to the same level as the School of Medicine! This has been a goal for our union since its formation and we know this will make a big difference for our members in these schools. But overall, management has not increased their offer of ~$37,000 a year–-there was no movement for the rest of us, leaving the two teams still far apart on this crucial issue. Their current offer would give us about $38 more a week. With the massive increase in cost of living since the union was formed, this small increase they are proposing is not enough. If we only worked 40 hours a week, this would equal less than $18 an hour. The minimum wage in Portland will be $15.45 as of July 1st, but we do not get any overtime. If you were to work over 46 hours in a week, which most of us do, you would make less than minimum wage. Union solidarity is important for us to be effective, so please see below for information about how to support your bargaining team. We are asking OHSU to increase our stipends, and to cover the difference between what we earn and what the grants are allowed to cover. GR’s are the lowest paid employees at OHSU and the pay increase we are asking for is less than 0.5% of OHSUs annual staffing budget. They have the capability. They have the funds. Our research moves society forward and is a major part of what gives OHSU its prestige. It’s time for them to show us they value our work.

We also countered on time off and holidays, and we believe we are getting closer to agreement on this topic. OHSU was receptive to our proposal for front-loading time off in the summer when students are more likely to be able to take some much-needed vacation, but indicated they would deny any cash out of paid time off. We await their counterproposal.

To combat mistreatment of students and misinformation about the union and the contract, we proposed the formation of a team that would allow GRs to provide input on OHSU’s training and guidance for PIs about the contract. OHSU has now agreed to this in concept, but continues to deny making it a requirement for PIs.

As always, the support of our members is what gives GRU power to make progress in these negotiations. Come to the rally on June 7th at 12:00 pm on the MAC Hall lawn as we demand a fair wage and job security for GRs and other research workers at OHSU. Thanks in part to generous donations from AFSCME Local 328 and AFSCME Council 75, we’ll be providing pizza and drinks! Can’t make it? Please take a moment to support our union by signing up if you aren’t already a member, and sharing the news about the rally on social media using our #fightfor40 hashtag.

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team,

Austin Wright, Adrian Baris, Raphael Kirchgäßner, and JD Russo