July 2011

BREAKING NEWS: SEIU reaches tentative agreement, Members recommend ratification

SEIU 503 has reached a Tentative Agreement at the bargaining table. Click below to read the text of the agreement:

2011 Central Table Tentative Agreement

At the bargaining conference today, members voted to recommend to the larger union member group that we vote yes to ratify this Central Table (for all of DAS) agreement.

This does NOT mean that we have already voted yes to make this contract permanent. What it does mean is that members statewide will be voting very soon on whether they accept this contract. Ballots will be mailed to all state workers represented by SEIU 503, but your ballot will only be accepted if you are a union member. If you’re not a union member at the time they are mailing ballots, SEIU will send you a membership application along with your ballot so that you can complete it and then mail in along with your ballot.

If you are not sure whether you’re a member (as opposed to someone who is “Fair Share”), find your local CAT, steward or chair immediately, and we’ll help you figure it out! Check your pay stub and if you see “F/S” in the line items for the union dues taken out of your check then you are most likely NOT a member!

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SEIU Files Charges with ERB over email blockage

From the Bargaining Team:

Today, SEIU filed charges with the Oregon Employment Relations Board (ERB) over the State’s improper and illegal infringement of union members’ rights to communicate regarding union matters and continue representational activities.

Over the past two weeks, management has violated members’ rights to free speech, has sought to restrict or prevent representation, and has violated the “status quo” obligations outlined under State law.

We have asked ERB to expedite handling of this matter and will update you as the case develops.

While we pursue this legal recourse, we must all keep focused on winning a strong contract at the bargaining table. Keep up the great work of involving your coworkers and taking action!

In solidarity,
Your DAS/OUS Central Bargaining Team

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Dr. Goldberg: OHA workers FORBIDDEN to use state email to discuss union business

The following email was sent to all Oregon Health Authority employees on July 7, 2011:

To: All OHA employees
From: Bruce Goldberg, M.D., Director
Subject: Status quo period and appropriate use of email

As the collective bargaining process continues there is a change concerning use of ┬áthe agency’s email systems. I want to provide clear direction to all parties on the use of agency email systems for union business. At this time, and until further notice, union business is not to be conducted through the state’s email systems.

This means no messages will be sent by or on behalf of the union through the agency’s email system, whether the communication is from union staff or agency staff holding union positions. Any agency staff receiving a message inadvertently sent concerning union business must advise his or her immediate supervisor of the communication without responding to it.

The use of the agency’s email system by staff for non-work related purposes remains in place. That means your internet access (whether for various acceptable sites or to a private email account) is subject to existing agency policy. If you have any questions concerning the scope of such permitted use it is important to contact Human Resources to get clarification before you use the system. Our goal is to have the policy followed and avoid any personnel issues concerning such use.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

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Contract Expired! Here’s the info

As you know, our contract expired at midnight on 6/30/11. Please be aware regarding what is covered and not covered without a contract. It is very important to adhere to these regulations.

As an officer, steward or represented employee you cannot send email regarding union information or bargaining updates. This is because the contract has expired as of midnight 6/30/11 and the provisions governing use of email for union activity expires with it.

For the grievance procedure. Please be very aware. For activities and Fact Findings that occur for incidents happening BEFORE the contract expires, grievances if needed would be valid. For incidents AFTER the contract expires, the agency is not obligated to accept a grievance on behalf of an employee. The interpretations are somewhat concrete, but vague at the same time.

Personal Business Days WILL continue per usual along with health insurance and other economic provisions.

Please check out the FAQ http://www.seiu503.org/state/Frequently_Asked_Questions_regarding_the_Expiration_of_a_Union_Contract.aspx

If you are not receiving bargaining updates at home, make sure SEIU has your home email. Go to http://seiu503.seiu.org/page/signup/contact-info-update

Follow our local on Facebook or Twitter for the latest. Details at http://local219.seiu503.org/

If a co-worker did not receive this email please have a conversation with them in person.

In Solidarity,

LeeLa Coleman

Chair/Steward

SEIU 503 OHA Public Health Local 219

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