Oregon Public Universities Enter ‘Historic’ 5-Year Contract With Classified Union Workers
Salaries, benefit improvements; remote work; June 15 as a public holiday
MONMOUTH, Ore. (KTVZ) – Bargaining teams representing Oregon’s seven public universities and classified union workers announced on Wednesday that they had reached an agreement on a five-year employment contract, the longest ever between the two parts.
Here is the full press release detailing the deal:
The new contract covers approximately 4,600 classified staff members who are part of the Service Employees International Union 503 (SEIU) working at the state’s public universities. Classified staff occupy a wide range of positions in the academic, operational and administrative departments of universities; and earn an annual salary of about $ 30,000 to over $ 100,000.
The deal requires approval by a vote of union members, followed by approval from the presidents of Oregon universities, who issued a statement supporting the deal. SEIU members will vote on the new contract in December, with implementation taking place in January 2022, if ratified.
“We are very pleased to have a tentative agreement with the classified employees represented by SEIU who make a significant contribution to the education of nearly 97,000 students at Oregon public universities,” the presidents statement said. “These employees are respected colleagues who are essential to the operation and success of the state’s universities. In addition, many classified employees have shown extraordinary courage and courage during the pandemic to ensure the continuity of operations of universities serving students in their educational activities.
“We are deeply grateful for the contributions these employees make every day to support the education and lives of students, as well as their work to help advance the research and community service programs that Oregon universities offer in the whole state. “
The declaration was signed by President Tom Insko, Eastern Oregon University; President Nagi Naganathan, Oregon Institute of Technology; Interim President Rebecca Johnson, Oregon State University; President Stephen Percy, Portland State University; President Linda Schott, University of Southern Oregon; President Michael Schill, University of Oregon; and Acting President Jay Kenton, Western Oregon University.
In summary, the contract regulations include:
- A one-time bonus of up to $ 1,500 for eligible classified employees who had to work on-site during uncertain times during the pandemic and who contributed to health and safety initiatives for members of the university community.
- 3.1% cost of living adjustment for all employees classified as effective January 1, 2022, and a COLA of 2.5% for all employees classified as of July 1, 2022.
- Full step salary increases of 4.75% in each of the following four years, representing a total step salary increase of 19%. The step salary increase applies to more than 70% of the classified employees represented who are not already at the top step of their salary classification.
- Maintenance of a longevity bonus of 2.5% for classified employees who have been employed by a university for at least five years and who have been at the top of their salary scale for at least one year from their date salary eligibility.
- A commitment to maintain entry-level salaries paid to classified employees at all universities above $ 15 an hour, by eliminating steps from the salary grid that are below that amount.
- Adjusted 31 employee job classifications at higher salary scales. These changes affect 16 administrative classifications of job families, covering approximately 25% of the bargaining unit.
- Forty-eight hours of paid time that can be used in the event of a campus closure or delay in opening due to inclement weather or unsafe conditions. This provision of 48 paid hours will be renewed every two years during the term of the agreement.
- Contract language modified to allow classified employees capable of remote work to engage in remote work with the approval of their supervisors, recognizing rapid changes in the national employment landscape.
- Addition of Juneteenth as an officially recognized and paid holiday for classified employees.
- Provision that all benefits, including health care, pension, vacation, vacation, sick leave, personal leave and death, which are part of the current contract with classified employees for 2019-21, will remain in force for the next contract (2021-26). Some of these benefits are subject to potential changes that could be negotiated when the parties’ economic contract reopens in 2023-24.