Dying remnants of Pernsteiner’s OUS empire settle with SEIU staff

Great news: The staff that keep UO from sinking into the abyss have negotiated a contract with OUS:

Dear Friends,

We did it! Because higher ed workers have been standing strong together at campuses around the state, our bargaining team has won a contract settlement that features some of the highest cost of living adjustments (COLAs) higher education classified workers have seen in decades. The settlement also protects steps, health insurance benefits, and premium-share splits while shutting out the “Big Three” take-aways management initially proposed. It also corrects long-standing inequities against part-time workers and includes selective salary increases for seven classifications (a much higher number than usual). 

Your bargaining team is very proud to be able to present this tentative agreement to the membership for ratification, and we look forward to answering all of your questions about the agreement and about bargaining during the ratification process.

Some of the highlights below; more details on the tentative agreement will be available during the ratification process

COLAs: 2.25 percent (12/1/2015), and 2.25 percent (12/1/2015)

Steps: Normal Steps

Health Insurance:

  • Protected existing premium splits
  • 95 percent (employer) – 5 percent (employee)
  • Possible 97 percent – 3 percent split if employee opts for lowest available plan
  • Part-time employees of .75 FTE or higher get “full coverage” (like unclassified PT)

No take-aways: Major take-aways beat back on contracting out, layoffs, overtime.                         


  • Campus Dispatcher (1 Range)
  • Co-Gen Engineer (1 Range)
  • Early Childhood Assistant (2 Ranges)
  • Early Childhood Associate Teachers (2 Ranges)
  • Elevator Mechanic (5 Ranges)
  • Mid-Level Nurse Practitioner (2 Ranges)
  • Paralegal 1 (3 Ranges)
  • Paralegal 2 (3 Ranges)
  • Paralegal 3 (3 Ranges)                      

Union rights:

  • Two new steward slots at WOU
  • Chief Steward mentoring rights increased

Term of agreement: Four years, with a reopener after two years on economics only.

Temporary workers: Temp workers now eligible for shift differential.

This settlement has not come easy: Management’s early economic proposals included major take-aways across the board on member rights, harsh health insurance proposals like an employer contribution cap, a one-year freeze on steps, and more.

It’s only because workers stood strong together throughout bargaining that we were able to beat back this slate of attacks and move higher ed workers forward. We benefited from the activism on the near-strike of two years ago, from members’ work to help elect a pro-worker legislature and governor who then funded higher education with record-high budget increases, and from thousands of members who raised their voices to protest management’s attempts to pay as little as possible and take away hard-fought union rights. 

Please watch for more details on the tentative agreement and on ratification information and voting meetings soon, and contact your organizer or bargaining table representative if you have questions in the meantime. We look forward to seeing you at a ratification vote on your campus soon!

In Solidarity, 

Your SEIU Local 503 Higher Ed Bargaining Team:

Marc Nisenfeld, PSU (Chair)

Trisha Guy, WOU

Johnny Earl, UO

Gloria O’Brien, OSU

Helen Moore, EOU

Colleen Martin-Low, SOU

David Shapiro, PSU

Bill Harris, PSU

Bob Klem, OIT (Alternate Chair)

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3 Responses to Dying remnants of Pernsteiner’s OUS empire settle with SEIU staff

  1. Lowley Peon says:

    What is missing from this contract?

    The COLA does not have a minimum floor (Example 2.25% with a minimum of $90 – this wording was in the proposed, but is not here in the settlement)

    There were no additional steps added for employees who are topped out.

    The healthcare premium stipend is gone.

    I hope people will take the time to calculate how this settlement will affect their paycheck for the next 2 years. I did the math and it works out to a 10 cent/hour raise for me.

    I will not be voting for this contract.

    • Interested Observer says:

      Are you taking about the $40 healthcare subsidy for certain SEIU employees? That is in the agreement, and was continued even when there was no contract.

  2. New Year Cat says:

    Well, it’s nice to even get a COLA above 2% — we haven’t seen that for at least six years. There’s a re-opener in two years for financial issues, so maybe adding a step can rise to the top for us? I’m full-time but very pleased that part-timers now have the same coverage as other part-time workers. I think it is not a bad deal considering the crap that management put on the table to start with. I know I am still behind where I would have been without furlough days and step freezes, but this seems to be a step in the right direction, thanks to some pressure from annoyed legislators and fed-up classified staff.

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