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Contract Agreement Reached Between University System and SEIU

Contact: Di Saunders, OUS Director of Communications – Cell: 971-219-6869; Office: 503-725-5700
Source: Rick Hampton, OUS Director of Labor Relations – Cell: 503-327-5083; Office: 503-725-5757

PORTLAND, September 7, 2009 – The Oregon University System and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 503 successfully settled contract negotiations for OUS classified staff on all campuses late Friday night, September 4. The settlement, which includes full coverage of benefits in the first year, will now be taken by SEIU to its membership for a ratification vote.

Rick Hampton, OUS director of labor relations, said that the settlement incorporates retirement, health insurance and across-the-board salary increase provisions of the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) settlement agreement with SEIU. It also recognizes that universities serve a student population with a unique set of needs, interests and concerns. “There is a recognition for the need for shared sacrifice by all university employees to preserve jobs and affordable, high-quality educational opportunities in these troubled times,” Hampton said.

“Our thanks goes out to the OUS campus bargaining representatives who worked very hard over several months, always keeping in mind our role as stewards of state funds, and our fiduciary obligations to Oregonians, students, and the entire OUS community,” noted Pernsteiner. “Our relationship with the SEIU is one of mutual respect and understanding of the contributions of everyone in our statewide community of more than 100,000 staff, faculty and students. Each employee plays an important role every day, ensuring a quality, safe environment for our students to reach their higher education goals.”

Summary of key contract areas:

  • Unpaid Furlough Days:  Employees will take mandatory unpaid leave days of between 8 and 16 days over the term of the Agreement.
  • Salary: no across-the-board salary increases are provided during the term of Agreement, as per the DAS-SEIU settlement.
    • Employees will not receive any step increases under the salary schedule through September 30, 2010, except for promotion and reclassification.
  • Benefits:
    • Full-time employees who work at least 80 paid regular hours in a month will continue to receive fully-paid PEBB health, dental and basic life insurance through December 2009. For plan years 2010 and 2011, employer contributions will increase by up to 5% over the prior year. PEBB will be jointly petitioned for the use of reserve funding to cover premium increases over 5%, and up to 10%.
    • Part-time employees who have at least 80 paid regular hours in the month will continue to receive a pro-rated benefits contribution and subsidy maintaining current out-of-pocket premium costs.

The contract covers classified staff at the seven OUS institutions: Eastern Oregon University; Oregon Institute of Technology; Oregon State University (including OSU-Cascades campus); Portland State University; Southern Oregon University; University of Oregon; and Western Oregon University. Each of the seven institutions has a collective bargaining representative at the negotiating table from OUS and from the Union, with OUS and SEIU providing team leaders to their respective groups.

Oregon University System comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu

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