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Strike averted, Contract Agreement reached between University System and SEIU

Contact: Di Saunders, OUS Director of Communications: 971-219-6869; diane_saunders@ous.edu

PORTLAND, September 26 – The Oregon University System (OUS) and the Service Employees International Union 503 (SEIU) reached tentative agreement on contract negotiations for OUS classified staff early this morning. The settlement, which covers 4,300 employees on all seven OUS campuses and one branch campus, will now be taken by SEIU to its membership for a mail ratification vote. The Notice of Intent to Strike by the union on September 30, the first day of the fall term for students, has been rescinded.

OUS interim chancellor Melody Rose said, “We are grateful to the members of the bargaining teams for working so hard to reach a settlement and avert a strike. OUS classified staff are key to every student’s success and experience throughout their time on our campuses. This is a fair, realistic settlement that recognizes their important role and contributions, but also the constrained resources in higher education in Oregon that remain an ongoing challenge."

"Because this settlement is across the entire university system, it must be a sustainable contract for all of our campuses," said Rose. "Each university is unique with varying resources based upon its in-state and nonresident student mix, size and economies of scale. We are pleased that the settlement recognized the need for a viable financial model, as well as the need to keep student tuition affordable for Oregonians across the state."

Summary of key contract areas for salary and benefits include:

Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs):

  1. 1.5% on December 1, 2013
  2. 2.0% on December 1, 2014

Also, if the 2015 PEBB composite rate increase is less than 5%, the resulting savings shall be used to advance the effective date of the December 1st, 2014 cost-of-living adjustment by one month for every percentage point below five percent.

Step Increases

Employees will receive full step increases June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015.  These increases will be accelerated contingent upon additional funding.

Additional Funding

If the Oregon Legislature, during its February 2014 session, approves an incremental appropriation of approximately $1.15 million in State General Fund monies to the Oregon University System for the express purpose of providing additional compensation for all classified employees at the technical and regional universities within the system, all member universities will accelerate the full step in the both years of the contract to the SED.  In case of partial funding the adjustment of the effective date of the step increases will be prorated.   

Health Insurance Premium Contributions:

OUS will pay 95% of the premium and the employee will pay the remaining 5% until December 31, 2015.

When 95% of the statewide DAS/SEIU unit has an opportunity to choose between two healthcare plans, the OUS will pay 97% of the premium and the employee will pay the remaining 3%. 

OUS will continue to provide a $40 subsidy towards healthcare premiums paid by employees earning a monthly salary of $2,816 a month or less.

Selective Salary Adjustments

OUS agreed to adjust the salaries upward of five classifications within the System to meet market standards and enhance recruitment and retention efforts.  Those five classifications are: Locksmith, Medical Aide, Parking Services Representative, Physical Therapist, and Refrigeration Mechanic.

Differential Compensation

OUS agreed to provide additional compensation to employees in specific classifications performing special duties.  These differentials will apply to Staff Nurse and Registered Nurse 1 who are assigned charge duties, and Early Childhood Assistants and Early Childhood Associate Teachers who work with children with special needs.

Temporary Employees

Temporary employees voted to be represented by the SEIU.  Terms and conditions of employment were negotiated as part of this contract.

The Oregon University System (OUS) makes college a reality for Oregonians statewide by keeping higher education accessible, affordable and high quality. We integrate Oregon’s public universities with the entire PreK-20 education system to ensure student success. OUS’ higher education offerings meet the needs of Oregon’s economy today and in the future, contributing to the vitality of the state and the success of more than 20,000 gradates a year. For additional information go to www.ous.edu.

 

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