September 2012

HEM Update: What’s coming in 2013

Updates from the HEM (Health Engagement Model) Committee:

• PEBB members will have a choice to enroll in the HEM during open enrollment (October 1-31) and must complete their Health Risk Assessment between Sept. 1-Oct. 31 of this year to be eligible to participate. (If you’re a Kaiser member and took the risk assessment this year between Feb. 13, 2012, and Sept. 1, 2012, you won’t need to take the assessment again for 2013).

• HEM participants will receive a monthly taxable amount of $17.50 per employee or $35 if it’s both an employee and their spouse or domestic partner participating. This incentive payment will begin in January 2013. We view this as a positive change that our many member voices brought about.

• Non-HEM participants will no longer pay a surcharge. Instead, non-participants will see an increased deductible of $100 per person up to a maximum family amount of $300. If one adult in the partnership participates in the HEM and the other does not, PEBB will still consider them non-participants and charge the increased deductible. All SEIU HEM committee members, as well as our PEBB board members, have spoken strongly against this punitive aspect of the HEM. Unfortunately, the management representatives on the PEBB board defeated efforts to eliminate this punitive approach.

• PEBB listened to our recommendation to offer HEM participants more options for meeting the HEM requirements in 2013.  While completing two e-lessons prior to the 2014 open enrollment remains a choice, there are now many more options to engage people in health. See the complete list here: We do not yet know how members will be asked to track and report these activities. PEBB is continuing to work on this aspect with Kaiser and Providence, and we will communicate this information as we learn it.

On evaluating the HEM, a team from Providence Center for Outcomes Research & Education (CORE) has been charged with this process led by Dr. Bill Wright, a senior research scientist. In our most recent HEM Joint Labor/Management Committee meeting, he laid out the need for the evaluation to be comprehensive – to look at what matters to all PEBB members like cost savings and changes in health. A second principle of the evaluation is to evaluate in a way that allows PEBB to move forward.

We think this second principle is critical. We know too well that a poorly communicated change to our health plans that included a punitive surcharge got us started on the wrong foot. We discussed how it was critical that this evaluation include both HEM participants and non-participants in order to uncover information PEBB can learn from. We hope a comprehensive analysis will lead to PEBB’s not repeating past mistakes. If at some point you are contacted for an interview, we encourage you to give your feedback.

You can also reach us (your SEIU HEM committee representatives) at

In unity,

Keary DeBeck, DOJ, Salem

Nat Elder, WOU, Monmouth

Sabrina Freewynn, OHA, Portland

Wednesday Martin, DHS, Roseburg

Shaun Parkman, Alternate, OHA, Portland

Siobhan Martin, Staff Advisor

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Bargaining Basics

What: Bargaining with the state over our next contract (which runs from July 2013 – June 2015)

What we bargain:

  • Wages (Salary increases, differential pay, overtime, mileage reimbursement, etc)
  • Work schedules
  • Safety and Health issues
  • Union Rights & Management Rights
  • Furlough days or not

What we don’t bargain:

  • Medical benefits, HEM (negotiated by PEBB Board)
  • PERS (negotiated by PERS Board; affected by Legislators)

When & Where: Actual bargaining begins ~January 2013.  Prior to that, members fill out the Bargaining Surveys ~September 2012 to let the union know what’s important to them.  Bargaining takes place at the SEIU 503 Headquarters in Salem.

Who: Elected bargaining delegates throughout the state.  Bargaining coalitions.

Bargaining delegates in the PSOB:

  • James Burke, ODPE/Health Statistics 2nd floor, x3-1174
  • Gregg Baird, DWP 6th floor, x3-0410

Have some feedback for us about what you’d like to see happen when we bargain our upcoming contract?

Email us at:

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Give your feedback about making our workplaces more healthy!

SEIU 503 wants to hear from us about how healthy (or unhealthy) our workplaces are!

From the SEIU 503 webpage:

Can we have a healthy workforce if we don’t have a healthy workplace?

We want to know how you feel about workplace health and whether policies and practices in your workplace help or harm your health goals. Besides the positive personal improvements we can feel from improved health, a healthier workforce also means lower costs, which can improve our position at the bargaining table.

We have all been asked to take greater responsibility for improving and maintaining our own health, but there is more to being healthy than just personal responsibility. We know this is a complex issue that goes beyond waist size and body mass index.

What steps should be taken to create healthier workplaces, and how can we work toward that goal?

In order to answer those important questions, we need to know what you think. Please answer a short survey today asking how you feel about various aspects of workplace health.

Complete the survey online at

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