OHSU-AFSCME Collective Bargaining Enters Week 21

After meeting in day-long mediation sessions last week, the OHSU and AFSCME teams returned to the virtual bargaining table on Tuesday without a mediator. They chose to work on language issues rather than economics.

Discussions focused on remote work and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).


As DEI’s work progresses across the institution, the OHSU Negotiating Team has spent time reviewing and developing a response to AFSCME’s suggestions on this important topic. . On Tuesday, the OHSU team presented its proposed DEI package, addressing AFSCME’s interests in a framework that would incorporate Covington’s continued response work, to be included in the contract going forward. This brief offers a new appendix providing specific definitions related to DEI issues, and frames the complaint process for discrimination or harassment. The appendix also outlines interim measures if a union member is involved in or affected by allegations of harassment or discrimination, and includes language relating to employer responsibilities. This proposed wording also sets the stage for future conversations about how the work of the Covington Committee can be incorporated into the contract.

In addition, the OHSU team submitted numerous other items for review, including:

  • Complaint file: In this package, the OHSU team discusses the elements of progressive discipline and provides additional guidance related to the overall grievance process.
  • Cleaning time package: There are two sections in this package – 7.11 Cleaning Time and 7.EX1 Special Clothing. By separating these two items, OHSU crews hope to clarify how long it takes to clean soiled clothing and what items are considered special clothing.
  • A lump sum linked to the allocation of additional work and overtime: The OHSU team proposed language regarding which employees are eligible for overtime and overtime at specific times, as well as clarifying the process for accepting overtime and overtime.
  • PE 7 Services for employees whose primary language is not English: This Memorandum of Understanding governs how information regarding the contract and important OHSU services may be provided to employees who speak a primary language other than English.
  • Memorandum of Understanding for Travelers and Temporary Workers: The OHSU team shares AFSCME’s interest in limiting contracted services, such as the number of travellers. In this section, the OHSU team proposes to meet with AFSCME twice a year to discuss ways to reduce travelers and temporary workers.


The AFSCME team presented their remote work package. The revised package further expanded the definitions of standard equipment and addresses the amount of time an employee working remotely has to deliver or pick up faulty equipment.

Additionally, the AFSCME team submitted its memorandum of understanding regarding exit interviews, adding language allowing departing employees to opt in to have their responses shared with the union.


The teams will then meet on Tuesday, August 9.

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