LOCAL 2067
Bargaining the 2024 contract
Updated On: Jun 09, 2024

Our current contract expires June 30, 2024. Bargaining started on February 21, 2024. We will post updates here after each session, with the most recent information at the top.

Remember to wear your green AFSCME shirts every Thursday!

June 5, 2024

Our first meeting in June wrapped up all the non-economic articles:

  • Article 1 – We got the City to drop their attempt to make limited-duration employees “at-will” employees with minimal grievance rights.
  • Article 4 – We got the City to drop their push to make it harder for our AFSCME representatives to meet with employees.
  • Article 10 – We got the City to drop their push for a cap on bereavement leave. We won the right for all employees who are out of sick leave to be able to use other accrued leaves for sudden illnesses.
  • Article 13 – We won a 1% increase for the night shift differential pay, bringing the differential to 6% and improved the language on overtime eligibility when accrued leave has been used.
  • Article 14 – We could not come to terms on what a boot stipend would look like, so we finally agreed to keep things as they are.
  • Article 15 – The City has agreed to work with the Union to develop and implement an improved internal hiring process by July 1, 2025.

What we have left – the Money!

  • Fixing the salary schedule
    • The current City salary schedule gives different step % for different classifications and in some cases for different steps within the same classification. Step increases range from 1% to 5%.
    • We proposed 5% steps for all steps and the City has countered with steps that are 4.15%
    • We proposed adding 3 additional steps and the City has countered with no additional steps. (41% of our members are maxed out on step 6)
  • The remaining economic proposals are unchanged from the May sessions:
    • The City rejected picking up long-term disability.
    • The City rejected increasing the opt-out insurance contribution from $225 to $300.
    • The City rejected our proposed increases to vacation accruals.
    • The City rejected adding a vacation buy-back provision which would allow long-term employees to cash in some of their accrued vacation to stay under their caps.
    • The City has offered to allow new hires immediate access to their vacation accruals (eliminating the current 6-month waiting period).
  • COLA increase Proposals:

Union Proposal for City and SHA

City Proposal-

City of Salem Employees

City Proposal-Salem Housing Authority Employees (SHA)

2024

10%

5%

2%

2025

7%

3%

2%

2026

7%

3%

2%

May 15, 2024

We wrapped up clarifications to the grievance language (Article 18) which will make it easier for the Union to file a grievance when multiple people are having the same problem.

Highlights of this bargaining session

  • Article 13 – The City rejected all of our proposals: Definition of operational need, increases to shift differentials; 2-hr minimum for scheduled overtime.
  • Article 14
    • The City added a COLA increase to the protective footwear stipend offer, but still wants the stipends to start at $200 in March of 2025.
    • The City continues to reject an inclement weather bank and essential worker differential for working in bad weather.
    • The City continues to reject language regarding artificial intelligence deployments.
  • Article 15 – The City continues to reject changes to the probation period as well as changes to how AFSCME members are ranked when applying for other City jobs.
  • Economics
    • The City rejected picking up long-term disability.
    • The City rejected increasing the opt-out insurance contribution from $225 to $300.
    • The City rejected our proposed increases to vacation accruals.
    • The City rejected adding a vacation buy-back provision which would allow long-term employees to cash in some of their accrued vacation to stay under their caps.
    • The City has offered to allow new hires immediate access to their vacation accruals (eliminating the current 6-month waiting period).
    • The City has proposed the following COLA increases:

City of Salem Employees

Salem Housing Authority Employees

2024

5%

2%

2025

3%

2%

2026

3%

2%

May 7, 2024

We agreed on three more articles (3, 11, 12) which cover some minor administrative changes and clarification about unauthorized absences. We are close to agreeing on the clarifications to the grievance language (Article 18).

Where we stand:

  • Article 1 - The City still wants limited-duration employees to have less rights than other career employees.
  • Article 4 - The City still wants to impose special notification requirements on our AFSCME Council staff when they come on-site and won't agree to how bargaining team members get paid. 
  • Article 10 - The City still wants a bereavement cap, limiting AFSCME employees to 80 hours of bereavement leave each year regardless of how many family deaths you experience.
  • Article 13 - The City won't agree on a definition of operational need or improvements to shift differential pay.
  • Article 14
    • The City is stuck on a $200 stipend with no annual increase for protective footwear (The Union is asking for $325 with a $15 annual increase.)
    • The Union wants to add an inclement weather bank with a $3/hour differential for continuous operation employees who have to work when other do not. The City is "not interested".
    • The Union wants to address artificial intelligence deployments and the City does not (even though they have already deployed AI).
  • Article 15
    • The Union wants AFSCME employees to get preference points when applying for City jobs. The City doesn't want to change from the current "top 5" language even though they acknowledge that the City now uses a point-based system.
    • The Union wants to reduce the probationary period. The City rejected our 6-month offer, so now we have proposed a 9-month probationary period.
  • Economics (Articles 5, 6, 9, Appendix A, Appendix B)
    • The City has not officially countered any of our economic proposals. 
    • They told us they "don't know where to start" since our proposals are more than double what they budgeted. 

April 11, 2024

Due to scheduling conflicts we moved the April 17 session to April 11. The May 1 session has also been moved to May 7. 

Session 5 was the last session where new proposals could be made. For the rest of bargaining we will be talking about the proposals we have already made. This was the session where we made our first economic proposals. 

What we proposed:

  • COLAs - 10%, 7%, 7% (this is double what the City has budgeted and would be better than what the state employees got)
  • Selectives - We proposed that the City review a third of the classifications each year of the contract to ensure jobs stay competitive compared to the market. The City currently reviews a fifth of the classifications, so each class gets reviewed every 5 years. We think that is too long between reviews. 
  • Wage scale - We have some inconsistencies in the wage scale. For example, two pay grades (28 and 31) are identical wages. At least one class is only 3% between steps while most classes are 4%. Some classes are only 1% more at the 6th step. We proposed fixing the scale so all pay grades are 4% apart with 5% steps. 

In addition to these proposals, we have not yet heard back from the City on our proposal to have the City pickup Long-term Disability premiums or to increase vacation accruals. 

Proposals the City has rejected:

  • A $400 footwear stipend with a $15 annual increase to the stipend amount. They are holding to a $200 stipend with no annual increase.
  • An increase to shift differentials.
  • Creating an inclement weather bank and paying essential workers in inclement weather an additional $3 per hour for work during weather events.
  • Artificial intelligence protection. 

What we have agreed on:

  • The term of the contract (three years)
  • Updates to the Drug Testing Article to ensure employees receive documentation for reasonable suspicion tests.
  • Increase the Fleet Certification pay from a 13% maximum to a 15% maximum and increases for individual certifications.

April 3, 2024 Update

Session 4 gave us our first win in negotiations - Layoff Severance Pay!

When the new contract is ratified, employees who are laid off and meet the eligibility requirements will have the option to take severance pay instead of a place on the recall list:

  • 13 months to 2 years of service – 2 weeks of severance pay
  • 3 years of service – 3 weeks of severance pay
  • 4 years of service – 4 weeks of severance pay
  • 5 to 10 years of service – 5 weeks of severance pay
  • 11 to 15 years of service – 6 weeks of severance pay
  • 16 to 20 years of service – 7 weeks of severance pay
  • 20+ years of service – 8 weeks of severance pay

We also agreed to change the subcontracting layoff stipend to the schedule above. 

New Proposals from the Union:

  • Clarified the grievance language and formalized the right to file group grievances for violations that affect multiple employees.
  • Clarified the language for reasonable suspicion drug testing and proposed compensation for employees who test negative under reasonable suspicion (does not apply to CDL random testing).
  • We asked for a clearer definition of "Operational Need" since that phrase is often used to make exceptions to contract language or policies.
  • We want to move the current MOA on remote work for Public Works into the contract and be applicable for all employees.
  • We proposed technology protections for use of GPS data, electronic surveillance, and artificial intelligence.
  • We asked for a 40-hour per contract Inclement Weather Bank with a $3/hr incentive pay for essential workers.
  • We proposed increases to the shift differentials.

Ongoing negotiations

We continue to bargain over:

  • The rules that should apply when employees are sick and have no sick leave left:
    • Both sides agree that employees should be able to use other accrued leave.
    • We disagree on discipline for employees who have used up their sick leave, but have other leave available. We don't have a Paid Time Off (PTO) system due to PERS, so each leave type has its own rules.
  • Bereavement leave - The City still wants an 80 hour/year cap on bereavement leave with the goal of employees "managing their bereavement time."
  • Stipends for protective footwear instead of City purchases
    • We both agree the current procurement process is problematic and a stipend might work better.
    • They want a $200 annual stipend and we asked for a $400 annual stipend with a $15/year increase.

March 20, 2024 Update

Session 3 saw very little movement. We agreed to changes to Appendix C which were essentially administrative changes. 

The Union made two new proposals related to subcontracting and layoff. The City made one new proposal related to protective footwear.

The sticking points include:

  • The City wants to limit grievance rights for limited-duration employees.
  • The City wants to deny paying employees for Union work outside their regular work hours which limits participation from swing and graveyard employees. They also want to limit overtime pay when employees have done Union work earlier in the week.
  • The City wants our Council representatives to check in when meeting with employees on site when members of the public are not required to check in.
  • We still disagree about:
    • What should happen to employees when they exhaust their sick leave bank.
    • Whether to include specific numbers in the City’s agreement to cover the employee portion of Paid Leave Oregon.
    • Requirements for the Union to provide membership documentation that the State does not require us to provide.

Union

City

Subcontracting

  • Make subcontracting and its impact subject to bargaining
  • Increase the severance pay for layoffs due to subcontracting

No response

Insurance Benefits

  • Change Long-term Disability premiums to be paid by City
  • Increase City Opt-out contribution to $300

No response from 3/15

Vacation

  • Add 5 hours to 19-year accrual level
  • Add 10 hours to 24-year accrual level
  • Allow vacation accrual level and leave banks to transfer between City and Salem Housing Authority
  • Add a vacation buy-back option for long-term employees
  • Add language to allow accrual beyond the maximums in emergency circumstances

No response from 3/15

Layoff/Recall

  • Proposed severance pay option for employees who don’t want to be on recall list (4-26 weeks’ pay depending on years of service)

No response

Vacancies/Probationary period

  • Guaranteed interview for current employees
  • Reduce probation period to 6 months

Rejected – They are not interested in either proposal

No response from 3/15

Hours of Work

  • Define start time as being ready to work instead of arriving to work
  • Shift differentials for 12-hours shifts
  • Call back minimum overtime only applicable if employee arrives at job site more than one hour before regular shift

No response

Working Conditions

  • Change protective footwear from City-provided to a $200 annual stipend (taxable).
  • Add language to increase monthly fleet services tool stipend by the contract COLA each year.

Rally - March 15, 2024, at Noon

Join us on Friday, March 15, 2024, at Noon for an Informational Rally in Peace Plaza (the space between the library and the Civic Center). Get some cool sway and answers to your questions about bargaining.

March 6, 2024 Update

Our second session was MUCH more productive than the first one - we exchanged proposals on nine of the 27 contract articles. Unfortunately, we still received some push-back on the proposals we have made. Your bargaining team is focused on solving real-world problems with language we know our members support. 

The proposals for each side are listed below by topic.

Union

City

Sick Leave Use

  • Allowed to use other leaves if sick leave is exhausted; not automatically subject to discipline
  • Remote work allowed for those qualified for protect leave, if work available

Sick Leave

  • Allowed to use other leaves if sick leave is exhausted, but subject to discipline for mismanagement of leave banks
  • NO Remote work allowed on protected leave

Limited Duration Employees

  • No new probation when hired into career status position
  • Keep seniority when hired into career status position
  • Limited Duration Employees into career status position
  • No new probation when hired into career status position
  • DON’T keep seniority when hired
  • Reduced grievance options

Bargaining Team Members Paid Time:

  • All bargaining sessions
  • 4 hours of preparation per session

Bargaining Team Members Paid Time:

  • Bargaining sessions only if they occur during your regular hours (limits participation from swing and graveyard shifts)
  • 4 hours of preparation per session

Union Activity

  • Define designated Union representative
  • Align NEO time with state law
  • Align Dues Collection language with state law

Union Activity

  • Council Rep must notify site supervisor prior to EVERY visit

Insurance Benefits

  • Change Long-term Disability premiums to be paid by City
  • Increase City Opt-out contribution to $300

No response

Vacation

  • Add 5 hours to 19-year accrual level
  • Add 10 hours to 24-year accrual level
  • Allow vacation accrual level and leave banks to transfer between City and Salem Housing Authority
  • Add a vacation buy-back option for long-term employees
  • Add language to allow accrual beyond the maximums in emergency circumstances

No response

No response

Hours of Work

  • Define start time as being ready to work instead of arriving to work
  • Shift differentials for 12-hours shifts
  • Call back minimum overtime only applicable if employee arrives at job site more than one hour before regular shift

February 21, 2024 Update

Our first bargaining session can be described in one word - slow. The City spent 3 hours working on ground rules for bargaining before finally accepting our proposal.

In addition, to the ground rules they agreed to our proposal for Article 8 which officially adds Juneteenth to our list of paid holidays. They also accepted our proposal to add language that we would automatically be paid for any holiday adopted by City Council.

We made three additional proposals essentially clarifying current practices and adjusting contract language to align with current state law. The City did not offer counters to any of those articles.

Bargaining is scheduled for every other Wednesday, so we will be back at the table with more proposals on March 6. 

Bargaining Teams

The 2067 team:

  • Rolando Figueroa, Council 75 Representative, Local 2067 Chief Spokesperson
  • Kathy Knock, AFSCME 2067 President, Information Technology
  • Steve Hall, AFSCME 2067 Vice-President, Envrionmental Services
  • Joe Flake, AFSCME 2067 Trustee, Public Works Streets
  • Hannah Bostrom, AFSCME 2067 Steward, Library
  • Jodi Vanderwall, Airport
  • Ross Johnston, AFSCME 2067 Steward, Public Works Wastewater Treatment

The City's team:

  • Jeff Chicoine, Attorney, City's Chief Spokesperson
  • Michele Bennett, HR Director
  • Lisa Anderson Ogilvie, Deputy Director for Community Planning and Development
  • Brandon Klukis, Public Works Supervisor for Streets Maintenance
  • Teresa Waite, Police Records Manager
  • Kelli Blechschmidt, Budget Office Management Analyst
  • Julie Killion, HR Business Partner
  • Jon Efe, HR Business Partner
  • Nicole Utz, Salem Housing Authority Director
  • Nathan Garrettson, in-house attorney

Additional Resources


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Contact Info
AFSCME Local 2067
1400 Tandem Avenue NE
Salem, OR 97301
 

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