eZone   AFSCME Local 328
 4006 Barbur Blvd, Portland, OR 97239

Frequently Asked Questions - Other

Possible reclassification or demotion: Management has told us that our group of 3 PAS specialists will no longer be checking in patients at the front desk , that this will be taken over completely by another department (admitting). Management says they're considering giving us a new job within the unit, but it might involve a demotion or a reclassification (is what they called it.). QUESTION: If i refuse the demotion/reclassification, will i go into a layoff situation? Thanks, Cheryl

The short answer is: if the reclassification results in lower pay, then you can exercise layoff rights. If it's same pay, then not.
21.4 Downward and Lateral Reclassification
When a position is reclassified to another class at the same pay level or to a class that carries a lower salary range, the incumbent probationary or regular employee shall be accorded corresponding status in the new class.
21.4.1 Notice of downward reclassification.
The Employer shall notify an employee in writing of a downward reclassification of the employee’s position, and the specific reason for doing so, at least thirty (30) days prior to the effective date. If the employee is being reclassified to a classification at a lower pay level, the employee shall have the option of exercising layoff rights in his or her current classification with all the rights that apply, including accepting a vacant position and/or displacing per Article 19 of this Agreement

i work at CWH, and need to talk to someone about my work place, and my past review with my manager and things that were said.. I'm very upset & concerned about this. I'm at work now, my email is kings@ohsu.edu. I can't go into detail now, but, need to talk to someone, soon. very important. thanks.

assigned to Marci Carlton

I hear you may offer tuition reimbursment.

Here is the web page with all the information about the union program. http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/about/services/human-resources/career-and-workplace-enhancement-center/education-reimbursement/index.cfm


Dispatchers in my department are not getting leadworker pay, as it states that they should in the contract. What should I do?

They should file a grievance.

Historically the 3 pas specialists in my group shared the task of filling in for sick calls in another area of our department. They have now told me I must fill in on Mondays in that other area (because they fired the woman who used to work there on Mondays) and have said my co-workers would not have to rotate there like we used to. They claim this is temporary. I have seniority. Does that matter? Can they just change our assignments, or is it something that needs to be shared evenly with the

There are many questions which this question raises. Is this a change in your work schedule or only work location? Is it within the same work unit? Please call the Union Voice mail with best contact information so we can have a conversation. 971-271-7832

For Training required and paid for by my department, do I get paid for the time traveling to that location (Training in Atlanta, GA)?

assigned to J. Colgrove

What are the standard procedures/rules regarding transferring departments?

You are subject to the application/interview process. You apply online through our jobs site and get called for an interview.


If you are transferring to a different position in the same department then it is a job bid process. 

I have a nueromuscular disability called Kennedys disease. Work is getting tough for me. need to know my options and how to not be made to work mandatory Overtime. My regular job is being a Lead technologist behind a desk, however our staffing is miserable and mandatory OT is being dished out everry 2 weeks. there are areas that I cannot physically handle due to my legs getting weak and would like to stay in the capacity of my normal position and ask for an accomodation.

I would recommend starting by filing with the Standard for FMLA. Their phone number is 18003782390

I have found this in the contract regarding accommodations:

6.7.1    Accommodation.   An employee who has a non-job related illness or injury may request and the Employer may grant work that she/he can perform in accordance with the Employer’s processes.  For temporary accommodations, the Employer shall estimate the duration of the assignment and notify the employee as soon as possible of the anticipated completion date.  The Employer will attempt to reasonably accommodate a disabled employee with a job he/she can perform in a productive manner while maintaining an acceptable attendance record.  
6.7.2    Inability to perform duties.  If an accommodation that is mutually agreeable to the employee or the employee’s representative and the Employer cannot be found, the employee or employee’s representative and the Employer may mutually agree to temporarily replace the employee for a specified time.  If mutual agreement on job accommodation or temporary replacement of the employee cannot be reached, the Employer may terminate the employee for inability to efficiently or safely perform the duties of his/her position.  Such termination shall be for just cause and subject to the grievance and arbitration provisions of Article 24.

So you will need to bring up the accommodation with your management to see if there is a way this can be resolved. 

As for the Mandatory Overtime:


f.    Effective 120 days following execution of this Agreement, no employee shall be assigned mandatory overtime for more than sixty (60) hours per calendar quarter.
g.    The health and safety of employees and clients shall be considered in granting overtime; therefore, employees shall be limited to working no more than sixteen (16) hours (to include regular shift plus overtime) within a twenty-four (24) hour period.  
h.    In all cases of an emergency, the Employer may assign overtime to any employee as operating needs require.  Supervisors shall not perform overtime work normally done by employees working under the jurisdiction of this Agreement, except in an emergency or in lieu of assigning mandatory overtime.  For purposes of this provision, an emergency is defined as a situation that is unforeseen and could not be prudently planned for.

So make sure that you are keeping track of this. However management is well within their rights to assign mandatory overtime. Your best bet is to file for FMLA with the Standard and probably getting notation from your doctor stating that you should not be working over time.

I have been told I need to assist with muscle biopsies, which is not in my job description at all. Should this be added? It started as 1-2, but now I am assisting weekly. Same with rooming patients. It is not in my job description but have been asked to room patients as well. Should my pay increase if these are added to my job description as well?

If the work is currently done with someone in the same classification as you then your employer can ask you to do these tasks without adding them to the job description. (There are many tasks that do not get listed in a job description) 


21.1    Reorganizations.  The Employer may reorganize work processes and procedures to achieve efficiency in business operations.  To the extent that individual employee work assignments are affected, the following will apply:
a.    Reassignment of duties among employees in the same classification in a work unit may occur without triggering competitive bid or other recruitment.


If these duties are not within your classification then a reclassification may be in order:


21.2    Classification and Reclassification Procedure.  The following procedure shall apply for new classifications or reclassifications:
a.    An employee desiring a new classification or proposed reclassification must submit his or her request to the employee’s manager with the appropriate documentation (including reclassification request form, old and new position descriptions, and updated resume/application).  The manager must respond to the employee in writing within thirty (30) days following submission of the request.
b.    If the manager denies the request, then the employee may appeal the manager’s decision to the Compensation Division of the Human Resources Department (“HR Compensation”) within thirty (30) days of the denial.  If the manager approves the request, then the manager must submit the proposed classification or reclassification request to HR Compensation within thirty (30) days of the approval.  In either case, the submission must be accompanied by the appropriate documentation referenced above.
c.    HR Compensation shall respond in writing to the employee and the manager within thirty (30) days after receipt of the request.
d.    If the employee wishes to appeal the decision of HR Compensation, the employee must file a grievance pursuant to Section 24.1.4.a within fourteen (14) days following receipt of the response from HR Compensation.
 e.    If reclassification is found appropriate, it shall be deemed effective on the pay period immediately following receipt of the request in Human Resources.  In such instance, the employee does not retain his/her old salary increase date and will be eligible for salary increase the first day of the pay period immediately following twenty-six (26) payroll periods in the new class.

Is there a Form for reclassification of job?

Either management or HR will have that form for you.

is ok if i work 20 years and my coworker work 3 years and he is in top pay skale?

Management can hire new employees at any point within the pay scale. There are a variety of factors that might also contribute to his placement in the range.

Can management force me to work without a job description (for 18 months)? Can management ask me to agree to a demotive job without providing said job description and refusing to submit the job description to HR for approval? I'm being pushed out of my job and need union help to protect my rights. This is happening to 2 of us in BMB - both of us are over age 60. Management will do everything to avoid layoff because of age and potential choice of severance package.

The rules are as follows according to the contract that I think are relative to your situation:


6.4    Position Descriptions.  Position descriptions shall be reduced to writing and delineate the specific duties currently assigned to an employee’s position.  A dated copy of the position description shall be given to the employee upon assuming the position and at such time as the position description is amended.  Any amendments which change responsibility sufficiently to warrant a classification change will be subject to the provisions of Article 21 addressing classification changes.
The position description will be used as a basis for preparation of work plans, competencies or other descriptions of employment expectations a supervisor may utilize.  Nothing contained herein shall compromise the right or the responsibility of the Employer to formulate and/or modify position descriptions and to assign work consistent with the classification specification.


8.5.2    Involuntary demotion.  When an employee is involuntarily demoted for non-disciplinary reasons, the following provisions shall apply:
a.    Whenever an employee demotes to a job classification in a lower range that has a wage rate the same as the previous pay step, the employee’s wage shall be maintained at that step in the lower range.
b.    Whenever an employee demotes to a job classification in a pay range which does not have pay steps corresponding with the employee’s previous wage but is within the new pay range, the employee’s pay shall be maintained at the current rate until the next step increase date.  At the employee’s next step increase date, the employee shall be granted, subject to the provisions of Section 8.2, a step increase within the new pay range, plus the amount by which his/her current pay rate is below the next higher rate in the new pay range.  In no event shall this new rate exceed the highest rate in the new pay range.
c.    Whenever an employee demotes to a job classification in a lower range, but the employee’s previous wage is above the highest step for that range, the employee shall be paid at the highest step in the new pay range.
When an employee is involuntary demoted as a result of disciplinary action, the employee will be placed on the pay schedule at a step commensurate with his/her experience for the position.


To summarize, No, management cannot have you working without a job description approved by HR and there are rules to an Involuntary Demotion that management has to follow.


I hope this helps!



I would like clarification on union dues. I notice that each paycheck my dues deducted are different. I’m assuming this is because a certain percentage is taken out of our gross but I cannot remember what that percentage is. So I guess my question is what is the percentage if that is the case or what dictates the amount taken out each time? What is the max allowable deduction? My last deduction was almost 30 which seemed a little high to me. I’m sure this was covered in orientation (5 years ag

It is based on the local constitution and AFSCME 75's constitution.  1.27% of base wages, plus $3.48/member/month. http://www.local328.org/index.cfm?zone=/unionactive/view_article.cfm&HomeID=111669&page=About20Local20328  Minimums and maximums are set by the Councll 75 constitution and are based on percentage pay raises. Minimum dues are $7.50/pay period. Maximum was $65/month in 2010, and since then has gone up by the same percentage as average member base wages have increased.

Im checking my pay and I was wondering if im at the right pay scale. It sas im on step 1 and i have been in this position since 2011?

Hi Amanuel,


I’m following up with you based on a question you asked.


“Im checking my pay and I was wondering if im at the right pay scale. It sas im on step 1 and i have been in this position since 2011?”


Under the current contract, the step system was eliminated and compensation is now paid broken up into quartiles. (Or 4 phases)  Employees who are in the first quartile should still see annual increases, but would remain within the quartile until their pay rose to move them into the next phase.


Here’s the chart for your position:


Anniversary Increase Progression




up to 2.5%









Job Title


Lowest Value and Min

Highest Value


Highest Value


Highest Value


Highest Value and Max

Longevity Rate


Transportation Aide 2












If you’ve been at 12.57 since 2011, then there is an issue with your pay and we should follow up to file a grievance to get it corrected. If you have been getting your annual raises, I hope this makes more sense.




I haven't received my annual pay increase which should have been effective last month. I have contacted my manager (Patrick McCormick/Jill Sanders) as well as Michelle in HR and Deborah Smith in payroll, but I haven't gotten an answer as to why this hasn't gone through. Can you tell me what the process is for this so I can receive this annual pay increase? I received it last year but not this year.

Payroll should be the place to start. We recommend both a phone call and an email. If they don't get back to you within 48 hours, you should contact the union to file a grievance.

My part time position is being terminated for full time. My probationary period was extended after six months though I am pretty sure I was not on probation to begin with. What layoff rights do I have, if any? Will I at least be eligible for unemployment and how do I protect that until the position ends, if I do not find something else right away?

You have the rights of any employee to layoff (article 19) and unemployment though the state makes final determination for that.

I have a question regarding performance review dates. Should the yearly performance review be consistent with the assignment start date, or can management decide on the dates as they see fit? For example, my review should have been in July, but my review was recently performed and my manager is saying that the review date is through September.

The evaluations are done at the Employers discretion but, on a annual basis.

My colleague has been on an unscheduled medical leave since 10/29/13. My job duties have increased, and although we hired a temporary person to fill in after two and one half weeks from his departure, I am spending a considerable amount of time traing this person. I have spoke with my supervisor about these increeased duties, training and a pay increase to no avail. Am I entitled to a pay increase for training and as well as incresed job responsibility? Thank you.

  You may be eligible for lead worker pay.  From the contract -

10.5    Lead Work.  Employees shall receive a five percent (5%) differential for work performing assigned lead work duties for four (4) consecutive hours or more.  Lead work duties shall be assigned by the supervisor to employees who while performing essentially the same duties as workers led are directed to assign and reassign tasks to accomplish prescribed work efficiently; give direction to workers concerning work procedures; transmit established standards of performance to workers; review work of employees for conformance to standards; provide informational assessment of workers’ performance to supervisors; and orient new employees.
Where lead work differential is applicable to all hours worked in a month it shall be applied to all hours paid.  Where the lead work differential is earned intermittently during a month it shall be applied only to hours worked as a lead worke

  If you believe that the nature of your job has permanently changed, then you may want to look into reclassifying your job.  That is a long process and a big job.  Check out article 21.2 of the contract.  

If written feedback was not given between 30 and 110 days, would that make me eligible for job bids?

Yes. However, it is important to note that this does not necessarily mean they must do a formal 'evaluation'. If they have given written feedback (at OHSU email is considered written as well) of any kind, you may still be within your probationary period. The best first step is to contact your manager (in writing) and ask them if they have provided you with feedback on your performance thus far. Their admission of failure to give that feedback would effectively end your probationary period.

20.2.3    Written feedback.  During a period between the 30th and 110th days of the Internal Job Change Evaluation Period the supervisor shall communicate in writing to the employee which duties/responsibilities are being performed at an acceptable level, which need improvement and what steps the employee should take to achieve the necessary improvement.  If the supervisor fails to perform this evaluation by the close of business on the 110th day of the trial service period, the balance of the Internal Job Change Evaluation Period is waived and the employee becomes a regular employee.

I was informally offered a job my manager. The job was posted and I applied, but the department chose another employee and I was not interviewed.

You have the right to formally request an explanation for your non-selection. If the reason(s) given are a violation of policy or contract, you may be able to file a grievance.

Contract Article: 18.3.5    Reasons for non-selection.  An employee may request in writing the specific written reasons why he/she was not selected for a position. All such written requests must be submitted to the hiring manager within seven (7) days from notice of the employee’s rejection.  The hiring manager shall provide a written explanation to the employee within seven (7) days of receipt of the employee’s request.

My current position will be reduced to lower FTE. I want to remain a full time, can I 'bump' an employee with less seniority?

Contact Human Resources to determine your options for preferential hire or placement. They will be able to determine if there is a comparable position available to you.

For management to enfore a policy does it have to be in writing, and available to the employee to look up?

question assigned to Eric Muehter.

one of my co-workers asked me who our union representative is...how do I find that person?

Union Stewards are not assigned by area. If you need assistance, contact the eZone at 971-271-7832 or http://328.unionlabor.org/ and a Steward will contact you.

Would I be allowed to add an event to the calendar? It is for Tram Talkers Toastmasters. We have having an open house 2/19/13 with Amanda Fritz. Thx Kim Meyer 4-2552

  What calendar?  Do you mean the calendar on the AFSCME site?   I'll send you a regular email so we can actually communicate.  Ed Gaines

Could you confirm that I am a dues paying member?

To verify if you are a member of the union, look at your most recent pay stub.  Under "After-Tax Deductions" you should have a non-zero dollar amount under "Current" for "AFSCME Dues".  If you do not see that, you will see a different entry for Fair-Share, which indicates you are not an active member.

I'd like to look into partial telecommuting and am willing to go from hourly to salary to do so.

Telecommuting can be authorized at the discretion of your manager.  Contact your manager directly to inquire further.

How can I obtain Local Union Verification that I am a Union Member on a Bank Form. Who can I fax the form to?

Fax your form to 503-239-9441.

Call at 503-239-9858 to see how long the turn around time is.


I am serving a six (6) month Internal Job Change Evaluation Period after taking amother position due to Lay off. I am not happy with my new position and want to quit. Do I have to give them any notice?


Strict lunch hours. Could you please tell me were in the contract is the information about eating scheduled instructions? I have 21 years here and new Manager focus in the contract about strict schedule for lunch. I work in a clinic that lunch can be move to different hours because is very busy and I don't need to eat "with schedule". Could you please confirm? If you don't understand my questions my ext is 4-6928. Thank you very much. Emma

Article 7 Hours of Work

7.5    Rest Periods.  A rest period of fifteen (15) minutes shall be permitted for all employees during each consecutive work period of four (4) hours or more.  Rest periods shall be scheduled in accordance with the operating requirements of each employee’s duties and shall be considered on-duty time.

If, on an occasional basis, the work does not allow the scheduling of rest periods, the employee and supervisor will make arrangements to provide rest periods at alternative times, including combining rest periods with meal periods or leaving prior to the end of the shift.  In addition, an employee and his or her manager may agree to combine rest periods with meal periods on an ongoing basis if it meets operational need.  When none of the options for allowing rest breaks at alternative times is feasible because of the operating requirements of the Employer, the employee will be compensated for the missed rest period at the straight time rate of pay.

7.6    Meal Periods.  Employees shall be granted a non-duty meal period during each work shift.  Each non-duty meal period shall be scheduled in the middle of the work shift, or as near thereto as possible, and shall be no less than thirty (30) minutes and no more than sixty (60) minutes.  Employees required to take meal periods in designated areas and/or maintain contact with their department will have their meal period considered on-duty time.



What website can I go to in order to find out about the seniority points?

  Human Resources keeps the record.  The record is at http://ozone.ohsu.edu/hr/managers/points/ .  I recommend that you download the file and sort it to a useable order.  That file includes all the AFSCME employees.

I have my "I support the AFSCME Bargaining Team" Poster displayed at my desk and I have put on the various stickers on it along with the fake check. I have been asked by management to take down the check along with the robber sticker. Can management request that I take it down?

  If other employees can hang pictures of their children or anything else in their area, they cannot ask you to take it down.

I would like to get AFSCME posters for a display case in my work area. How do I go about obtaining these items?

what is your work location?  I will forward your request to your AFSCME Navigator.

I would like to attend a PERS meeting and file my retirement paperwork. Is there a provision in the contract that allows me to have the time off to do this. Not concerned with paid versus unpaid, just want to make sure I can go.


  This is from 328.unionlabor.org/pages/contractChapter.cfm (ARTICLE 14 – LEAVES OF ABSENCE). 

 14.1    Leaves of Absence With Pay.  An employee shall be granted a leave of absence without loss of pay or other benefits for the following:


14.1.7    Pre-retirement counseling leave.  Employees who are age 55 or over or who have at least twenty-nine (29) years of PERS-eligible service with a public employer shall be granted leave with pay of up to sixteen (16) hours to pursue bona fide pre-retirement counseling programs.  Employees shall request the use of leave provided in this Section at least five (5) days prior to the intended date of use.


So it is paid leave.




I am a Facilities Technician and just worked all day doing carpenter's work- cutting ceiling tiles to fit. How much carpenter's work do I need to do before I can apply for out of class pay? Thanks for your time...

Four hours in one day.

from the contract -

10.10    Work Out of Classification.  When an employee is assigned by the Employer for a minimum of four (4) hours within one shift to perform the major distinguishing duties of a position at a higher level classification, the employee shall be paid at the next higher rate on the higher salary range.  When the assigned duties are not contained in an existing classification, but require substantially greater knowledge, skill and abilities than the assigned classification, the employee shall receive a minimum five percent (5%) differential.

it says i have already voted in this election. i did not. how did that happen?

We have contracted with Bev Swanson, retired OHSU employee and former Local 328 President, to provide voter assistance during the election. If you have difficulty voting, please call her at (503) 750-7370 or email her at votinghelp328@gmail.com.

How do I file a grievance?

  The easiest way to file a grievance is to enter it into the ezone under "Member Menu" and "Get Union Assistance".  Or, you can call 503-239-9858, ask for extension 132 and leave a voice mail.

An RN made false accusations against me , how should I handle this?

If the accusation results in discipline then I suggest filing a grievance within 14 days of receiving it.

Otherwise I would contact the integrity office and file a code of conduct complaint.

Let me know if you have any follow up questions.

Timothy Hall


Timothy Hall
AFSCME Lead Steward
Oregon Health and Science University
Work 503-494-6035
Cell 503-382-7151
Pager 14625
Mail code L471

Restructuring has begun in BME and it is rumored that all of us will be laid off to "be fair". I will choose to "bump" another employee in my job class. I am at the top of the payscale as a Grants and Contracts Coordinator and there are 18 people in this category with less seniority than me. Will it be possible for management to cut my pay in a lateral move such as this.

No. But you should contact the Union staff with details about what's going on so we can look into whether it's even appropriate to be talking about layoffs as a way to handle the restructing.

Tuition reimbursement form


You can find the form at the link above. It is through the Labor Management Committee.

If a member is required to perform daily duties outside their classification (i.e. AA performing PAS duties) should this be at a higher pay rate? Would this be considered a higher level classification? Who should I contact to determine this?

This is a link to an Excel file of the compensation plan .  It tells how much each classification earns.

I requested to see my ENTIRE personnel file. The Human Resources representative informed me that I would have to look at my dental school file in the DEAN'S OFFICE. I had already made arrangements to view my ENTIRE file at the Human Resources office. What are my rights/obligations?

  Here's what the contract says about inspecting your file.

6.8.2    Inspection.  An employee may, upon request, inspect the contents and obtain copies of documents from his/her official personnel file, except for confidential reports from previous employers.  If the employee submits his or her request at least fourteen (14) days prior to the requested inspection date, the Employer will provide each part of the employee’s personnel file for inspection at the same location.  Employees will be charged for copies at the per page rate established by Employer policy.  The Union will be provided notice and opportunity for input 60 days prior to any change in this rate.

  If you give them 14 days notice, Human Resources will make the official file and the department file available in the same location, but the contract does not specify the location.  If the contract is not followed, the union can file a grievance. To start a grievance, ask for steward assistance in the Ezone.

How long after an employee has been laid off can a department fill the position again?

  When an employee is laid off, their job position is eliminated. Management can recreate the positon, but the contract says -

19.9    Right to Return to Previous Position.  Employees who move to another position after being notified of the elimination of their previous position shall have the right to return to their previous position if (1) the position either is not eliminated or is restored for any reason within the two (2) years immediately following layoff, and (2) there is no significant change in the duties and responsibilities of the position.


I have had two investigatory meetings so far, and am having a third today. It is telling me I have no cases filed on your site. How do I get to them?

Tammy Call me at 4-6035 as soon as you can.

Timothy Hall

Chief Steward

Unable to read/pull answer to question on 4/21, is the section limited to three questions? Thanks

You should be able to see it now David.

My supervisor wants to extend my 6 month probationary period by another 6 months. The first 6 mo period ends 5/16/10. I know she can extend it, but are there controls on the length, e.g. could she extend it only 3 months? Also, she wants my decision about this on Monday 4/26. She told me yesterday. I have other questions--could someone call me at 41689?

Questions answered by phonce conversation.

When and where is the grivance training? I need to plan for other things the same day.

June 30th from 8-430pm at the Local 328 office..

Should member accept $25 gift from supervisor (Admin Day)? Does the contract address this?

I called HR and was told it is ok to accept this type of gift from your supervisor.

A member has inquired about how to obtain a car insurance discount, is there more information on the website regarding this?

  That benefit is part of AFSCME Advantage.  The link is here www.afscme.org/members/71.cfm  or call 800-294-9496.

Do we have the right to argue an unfavorable 90 day review?

  You can't grieve a bad review. You can write a statement giving your point of view which will be placed in your file. Here's what the contract says about reviews.

6.5    Performance Feedback.  The Union and the Employer value performance feedback among employees, managers and peers as a team.  They respect the rights of individuals to have personal feedback in a manner which promotes candidness, personal development, and individual contributions to the workplace.  While this feedback may take various forms, it should always be timely, honest and supportive of the worth of the individual as a vital member of the team.
Reciprocating feedback may take the form of a formal evaluative instrument directed towards the performance of the team.  In order for team performance to be evaluated formally, teams must collectively identify their goals and put mutual performance expectations in place to reach these goals.  Training supportive of these efforts will be available through the Labor/Management Steering Committee that will support the development of appropriate instruments and feedback mechanisms, collaborative goal setting, etc.
It is not intended that this section on Performance Feedback be grievable, and information provided as performance feedback is not intended to be used to substantiate disciplinary action.


I am working with OHSU HR, as I have been given layoff notice from my current position. I have chosen a layoff option based on the previous Union contract, because I was placed in the position when it was still in effect. If I request weight limitations, or other work schedule needs, and I turn down the next job does that mean that I could be laid off with no further chance of another position?Please let me know if you need further information. Thanks.

Actually, your layoff is under the existing contract, not the contract in effect when you were hired. Here's a link to the entire contract AGREEMENT BETWEEN Oregon Health & Science University & AFSCME Council No. 75 Local Number 328 July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2012.  Here's a link to the article on layoffs ARTICLE 19 – LAYOFF.

  Generally, you are expected to take the job you are placed into. If you don't take it, you are considered to have resigned. There are exceptions. You are not required to accept a part time job if you were working full time or a full time job if you were working part time. If your doctor says you can only lift so many pounds, then you shouldn't be given a job that requires that you lift more because you cannot do that job.  Human Resourses tries to find each laid off employee a job that they can do as soon as they start work.

  You can't reject a position because you don't like the schedule.

I don't know if my work unit has a shop steward. Could you direct me to the closest one to Sam Jackson Hall?

I don't know the location of the nearest shop steward  to you,but you can call the KnowZone at 503 239 9858 ext 132 and leave a message. A steward will be assigned to you.

I was reading the contract about call back time and it stated that the first two hours are time and a half and any time after that is paid at the appropriate rate. I am not sure what "appropriate rate" is. Does that mean that we are not paid time and a half for all hours work on call?


c. More than two hours

page 40 of the contract

I believe the appropiate rate would depend on hours many hours you have already worked on that day or week. If you are a part time emplyee, for example, and are on call on your day off, you would get the first two hours at time and a half and the rest of the call in would be a straight time. If you are a full time employee or have already worked eight hours on the day you are called back, then all hours would be at time and one half. 

If I leave the bargaining unit for two years and then return to the bargaining unit do I retain the seniority/union points that I had when the bargaining unit? Also are there any seniority/union points earned while I was out of the bargaining unit?

After 90 days of continual seperation all seniority is lost. Points are accrued on hours worked so no points are earned while not in employment with OHSU.

Please see Article 17.2


Timothy Hall

Chief Steward

AFSCME Local 328

If my job results in a downward classification and lowering of pay, can I take a layoff and move to another job. The contract says that if the employee is being reclassified to a classification at a lower pay level, the employee shall have the option of being laid off in his or her current classification with all the rights that apply to that status, including accepting a vacant position and/or displacing per Article 19 of this Agreement.

Yes, to your question. See Article 21.4 and then Article 19 on Layoffs. Let me know if you have any addtional questions.

Timothy Hall

Chief Steward

AFSCME Local 328

I can not locate the form for tuition reimbursement/ assistance.


  The Career development center is at http://ozone.ohsu.edu/hr/training/careercenter/index.shtml

  The electronic tuition reimbursment form is at http://ozone.ohsu.edu/hr/training/careercenter/tuition_reimbursement.shtml

  To print the form, use this pdf file http://ozone.ohsu.edu/hr/training/careercenter/docs/tuition_reimbursement_fy_08-09.pdf

  I don't know if the links will work in this program. You may have to cut and paste.

In the new contract it states: To be eligible for such lump sum payment, the employee must be a bargaining unit member as of the date of ratification of this Agreement and must be an employee of the Employer on the date of payment of the lump sum. - Will I not qualify for this even though I pay fair share?

Good question. Yes, fair share payors do qualify for this lump sum payment. You are considered a "bargaining unit member" whether or not you are a fair share payor or a member with voting rights.

The director of my department (we don't have a manager) recently told me and my co-workers (all of us are Grants & Contracts Coordinators) to train a new employee, who has since quit. Just last week an issue arose with a mistake the trainee had made, and the discussion led to who was accountable for the, now departed, employee's mistake. What is the unions's policy is re having employees train new employees. Is it officially part of my job duties to provide training? Thanks!

In general, training other employees is covered by the "other duties as assigned" language that appears in most position descriptions.


We have fairly recent information that shows we are being paid below market value for our position in the Portland area. What do we need to do??


I can't answer that question without having some more information like what department are you working in and job classification and where are you getting your information from.


I was laid off a little over a year ago and the position I was laid off from has since been posted. According to the union contract 19.9 Right to Return to Previous Position. Do I qualify for this?


Jamie, I need some more information would you like to call me @ 503-494-2115.



My co-worker and I have a question regarding Work Out Classification and how it is compensated. We both covered 4 hours a day for 5 weeks for unclassified co-worker and want to know if we should have been paid for our work outside our normal working classification. Thanks Tabitha Lawson 503-601-7663

I am going to forward you the contract Article that refers to Working out of Classification which states that when you work in a classification with a higher rate of pay than your own classification you get a 5% premium. If you work out of class in a lower paid classification you do not get extra pay.

17.2      Work Out of Classification - When an employee is assigned by the Employer for a limited time period to perform the major distinguishing duties of a position at a higher level classification, a minimum of four (4) hours within one shift the employee shall be paid at the next higher rate on the higher salary range.


When an employee is assigned by the Employer to perform duties that require substantially greater knowledge, skill and abilities than the assigned classification a minimum of four (4) hours within one shift and those duties are not contained in an existing classification; the employee shall receive minimum five percent (5%) differential.






My department would like to develop a consensus agreement on how to handle holidays and possibly vacations. How do we get this process started and who would be able to assist us?

Here is what is in the current contract. This has not changed with the new contract. You can do this by holding a meeting or thru email. Direct person to person contact is usually the best method if you can arrange it.
Hope this helps you.
7.7       Consensus
a.         A group reaches consensus when, after collective deliberation regarding a particular matter or issue, all affected members agree upon a single alternative. In this process, each individual:
1.         takes the opportunity to express his/her interests, opinions and/or point of view, and confirm that the others understand.
2.         confirms the understanding of the other group members’ interests, opinions and/or point of view.
3.         works toward the best solution for the group.
b.         If the entire group cannot agree, the solution acceptable to 80% of the work group members (rounded to the closest whole number) constitutes a consensus agreement. For purposes of this agreement work group members include management representative.
c.         Consensus agreements shall remain in force for the term of the collective bargaining agreement unless reviewed and/or amended by the group during the term of the contract.   All consensus agreements and amendments must be sent to and signed by OHSU Human Resources and AFSCME.  In the event of change, modification or amendment, such changes will also be documented in written form and submitted to OHSU Human Resources and AFSCME for signature.

Another question regarding reaching consensus agreements. If something needs to be put to a vote, what process is used to ensure everyone has the opportunity to vote. Also, if you provide everyone with the opportunity to vote, but only a certain number of people actually vote is the consensus done based on votes received?

If you can't reach a consensus after working the problem solving process then you can go forward with an agreements if 80% of all affected employees, including managers, agree. So it's not 80% of the people who bother to vote, it's 80% of everyone. If you provide everyone with the opportunity to vote, then you need 80% of the people actually voting. A person who doesn't vote, doesn't get a say in the outcome.

There are many ways to try to give folks a chance to vote. You could offer folks the cahnce to vote by email or by calling in on the phone. Since this is an open consensus based process, I don't think that a secret ballot process is a necessary component.

Just wanted to let you know that I am no longer on DCH 10N, I have moved over to 7c - in the Neuro Science ICU - Still a HUC but my mail code is 7CN now.



Last week I was asked about some open shifts on the schedule for PANDA, I told the manager that we had found coverage for all the open shifts. He responded by saying " good because you or Mark were probably going to manditoried to cover the call shift." The open shift in qustion was less than a week away on a day I wasn't working. Can OHSU do that?


Hello Duane, I not sure I understand you question. Are you questioning how much notice the employee should be given before they can be asked to work.



Holiday bidding:I had two shifts that I bid out for July 03.Five employees bid.The bid of course was given to the two highest senior employees. Now I have another shift to bid out for the holiday. Do I need to send the bid out again or does it go to the next highest employee that had already bid on the holiday?

Because it is a new opportunity I think that you need to post it as a new bid.

I started a case for an investigatory meeting and I don't see the filing in my filed cases

This is correct. The member will get to see, on an ongoing basis, the grievance cases he or she files but will not see the investigatory cases or BridgeBuilder cases, or any other type of case that is an "intervention" rather than a "grievance." Should the investigation result in discipline, the member or steward may file a grievance and the member will have full access to the greivance case.

I'm attending out of state training required by my department. Do I receive pay for time spent traveling to and from the training?


Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs and similar activities need not be counted as working time only if four criteria are met, namely: it is outside normal hours, it is voluntary, not job related, and no other work is concurrently performed. The principles which apply in determining whether time spent in travel is compensable time depends upon the kind of travel involved.

Home to Work Travel:

An employee who travels from home before the regular workday and returns to his/her home at the end of the workday is engaged in ordinary home to work travel, which is not work time.

Home to Work on a Special One Day Assignment in Another City:

An employee who regularly works at a fixed location in one city is given a special one day assignment in another city and returns home the same day. The time spent in traveling to and returning from the other city is work time, except that the employer may deduct/not count that time the employee would normally spend commuting to the regular work site.

Travel That is All in a Day's Work:

Time spent by an employee in travel as part of their principal activity, such as travel from job site to job site during the workday, is work time and must be counted as hours worked.

Travel Away from Home Community:

Travel that keeps an employee away from home overnight is travel away from home. Travel away from home is clearly work time when it cuts across the employee's workday. The time is not only hours worked on regular working days during normal working hours but also during corresponding hours on nonworking days. As an enforcement policy the Division will not consider as work time that time spent in travel away from home outside of regular working hours as a passenger on an airplane, train, boat, bus, or automobile.



Travel Time:


This is a great question.  The answer is, "it depends". 

If you travel during your regular work hours, the answer is yes.  If you travel during your regular work hours on a day that is typically not a work day the answer is yes UNLESS you are a passenger,  which is usually the situation.  If you are driving during your regular work hours you must be paid, even if the day would normally be your day off.  I have pasted a summary of the Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal rule that governs this situation below.

Lectures, Meetings and Training Programs:


I have submitted a signed membership card and have been paying dues for 20 months now. What do I have to do to be considered a union member?

You are a union member because you signed the card to join the union.

Is it ok to use as much work time as you want to deal with disciplinary issues? Or do you have to use personal and/or break times to contact union stewards.etc?

You need to use your own time to contact and meet with union stewards (i.e. lunch, break, before/after work) regarding a grievance.  Once you file a grivance, formal grievance meetings with management are considered paid release time.

Do I have to use my own vacation time when the clinic closes for inclement weather?

This falls under Temporary Layoff.  When they close the office due to unforeseen circumstances, according to the contract, they only have to notify you two hours prior to your shift.  You are NOT required to use your vacation time, they will put your time in as Leave Without Pay so your benefits and seniority is not affected.  If you prefer to have pay for that day you can use your vacation time or you can use Comp Time if you have any.

21.1     Temporary layoff is defined as a temporary interruption of employment because of lack of work or unexpected or unusual reasons. Temporary layoff is different than permanent layoff, as defined in Article 20, because at the termination of such conditions giving rise to the temporary layoff, employees are to be returned to employment. Temporary layoff shall not exceed one hundred and twenty (120) hours, per employee, in any calendar year. These hours shall be prorated for part-time employees based on the established FTE for the position. Such temporary layoff shall be recorded and reported as leave without pay, but seniority and other fringe benefits shall continue without interruption during this period. An employee temporarily laid off may choose to be paid for accrued vacation and paid leave time at the rate being earned at the time of the temporary layoff or to maintain his/her accruals.
If a department anticipates a lack of work on or around a holiday, it shall make a reasonable effort to notify employees at least twenty one (21) days prior to the holiday. When there is a general closing of a department for a day, on or around a holiday, the Employer will not be expected to grant the right to work to any employee in that department on that day. At the discretion of the immediate supervisor, an employee may make up the time, provided it is in the same workweek or extended workweek and the work does not result in the payment of overtime.
21.2     An employee shall be given notice of cancellation a minimum of two (2) hours prior to the scheduled start time of the shift being canceled.

21.3     Temporary layoff shall take place in the affected work unit in the following order: volunteer employees, temporary employees, probationary employees and other regular employees in order of seniority. The temporary layoff shall take place among those who are regularly scheduled to perform the affected duties

I was hurt on the job in August and have been off work for sometime now. I have returned to work for 6 hours a day but still miss days often, is there any possible way that I could be fired if I am not a full time employee. I have a Dr. note for each day. Thanks

If an employee is hurt on the job and has an accepted Worker's Compensation claim s/he cannot be terminated unless the employee refuses to return to his/her regular job; other modified, suitable and available employment which is offered;  the employee voluntarily terminates, or after three years from the first date of absence related to the injury/illness.

If an employee is hurt on the job and unable to work his/her regular schedule, but does not have an accepted Worker's Compensation claim s/he should apply for FMLA and OFLA.  If the employee is  eligible for family leave and has a qualifying injury, s/he cannot be fired as long as s/he is eligible for family leave.

References:  Articles 43, Workers Compensation and Article 33, Other Leave

The contract states that OHSU will provide up to 20 hours per year of paid time for job-related training. I asked my manager about this, and she said that with all the required annual training (safety, compliance, service, etc.), we probably get up to 20 hours. Is this accurate with the contract language?

The goal is the employees would get 20 hours of training outside of competencies and mandatory unit training, only 10 hours are guaranteed.  If you request the time and get denied, you can grieve it.

I know the timekeeper is allowed to adjust our Kronos with our permission, but is our supervisor allowed to go into our Kronos and make adjustments themselves. I have an issue with my supervisor going in changing punches or adding in my vac and sick time without my approval. Thanks.

No.  Your supervisor should not be adjusting your timesheets.  Here is part of the OHSU timekeeper policy.  If you have more questions, please contact us again.

Timekeepers/supervisors cannot alter individual employee clock in & clock out transactions for time actually worked. The Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) states that an employer cannot accept the benefits of work without compensating for them.

In the event an employee commences work prior to his/her regular scheduled hours without authorization:

  1. The employee must be paid for time worked
  2. The employee will be counseled.

All departments will have written procedures in place that allow for authorization and verification of work performed both within scheduled hours and outside of scheduled hours. This includes but is not limited to: missed meals, missed breaks, early clock-ins, late arrivals and overtime.



Employees are to be paid upon commencing work. In the event that clock-in transactions are made prior to beginning of the scheduled work shift, FOR CONVENIENCE, the timekeeper/supervisor may adjust the clock-in time to the scheduled start time if there is no documented evidence that the employee started work early.

The department director/designee must communicate the reason for any other adjustments with the employee.

All departments will have written procedures in place that allow for timekeeper/supervisor adjustments.


Primary responsibility for this activity rests with the employee. With prior approval, employees may elect to use appropriate accrued time to meet their FTE when leaving early or for late arrivals. The timekeeper may adjust the amount of VAC, COM, SIK, REQ time recorded to insure that:

  • employees are not paid for more leave time taken (hours) than they are entitled to within their FTE.
  • benefited employees meet the 0.5 FTE requirement in order to maintain insurance contribution eligibility.


I have a co worker who would like to know how Jury duty is paid for. Thanks Kristi

According to Article 33.3a, OHSU will pay for their time when they have been summuned by the court.  You would have to see what your specific unit's policy is regarding Jury Duty.  Some units require you bring in a copy of the letter and/or bring in proof you were at the courthouse the day in question. Please let me know if you have further questoins.

33.3      Other Leaves of Absence With Pay. An employee shall be granted a leave of absence with pay for the following:

a.         Service with a Jury. The employee may keep any money paid by the court for serving on a jury, and will be deemed to be working an FTE commensurate with their official status for weekday shifts while serving jury duty. In the event the employee is released from jury duty for a day in which they would otherwise be required to work, and where a sufficient period of time would reasonably permit the employee to report for one-half (½) or more of the day shift, then the employee must contact their supervisor to determine if they will be required to report for work.


Annual employee review question. I have been a union member for 15 years and have worked in various departments at OHSU. I have either had no annual review or reviews that were for the most part favorable. I currently have a division manager who what I would call abusive (to all in the office, not just me). I am dreading my annual review because it is a power issue for the manager. Any help in how to handle this?

We recognize that Performance Appraisals can cause our members significant stress for a variety of reasons, including the one that you describe.

As a proactive response AFSCME has collaborated with OHSU HR over the last year to create the Employee Performance Appraisal Tool (EPAT) which you will find on our website at EPPAT Guide_AFSCMEfillable.doc.

This tool will help you prepare for the meeting, build your confidence and help you understand what your supervisor's responsibilities and boundaries are in developing your Performance Appraisal.

If you disagree with your Performaqnce Appraisal you can write a rebuttal and have it attached to your supervisor's appraisal.  If your supervisor does not follow the defined process for developing your performance appraisal we can also file a complaint with his/her manager.

I was wondering if its a normal practice for payroll to tax me at a different tax bracket when issuing a "special" check for back pay? I was taxed at an very high tax bracket which made this special check about half of what it should have been. Thanks for your attention to this matter - Hugo Gonzalez

OHSU has to abide by the IRS rules which are set by the federal govenment. We understand that the high level of withholding is  ahardship for some, but the US tax code controls this, not OHSU or the Union. Keep in mind that when you file at the end of the year, if you have been overwhitheld, you may get a tax refund from the government,

I used to be a full time employee in radiology, but now I am flex staff. I was told that flex staff employees are not part of the union, however, the dues are still coming out of my check.

  Flex staff employees are represented by AFSCME, although not all articles of the contract apply to flex staff. Appendix B of the contract lists the articles that apply and explains any differences in flex staff rights. 

I plan to retire 1/1/09 from a full-time position as a medical social worker. It's been suggested that after I retire, I could return and do part-time resource/relief coverage for absences, vacation leaves etc. I heard from another AFSCME member that there are new rules about this....something about a waiting period before you can return to work at OHSU after you've retired. I've looked through the contract, but have not been able to find the answer to this question.

There may be OHSU policy and/or PERS regulations about this. There is no contractual restriction.

Lead Work Pay - Does there have to be a certain number of employess to lead in order to gain full time Lead Work? My manager is absent most of the time. In his absence I am the Lead Worker. In some of his other depts. his assigned Lead Worker gets Lead pay every day. His reason is that you have to lead at least 5 employees. Is this a correct statement? Where do I get information on Lead Work Pay?

There is no set number of employees you have to be leading. Lead work is more about the nature of the duties you are performing. If you have been performing lead work - which means assigning work, creating work schedules and so forth, then you should be paid even if you are only doing it for a few people. If you think you should be paid for lead work, use the eZone to contact a steward and ask for assistance in filing a grievance.





48.2     The following premium pay differentials shall be effective throughout the term of this Agreement:

a.         Lead Work


Employees shall receive a five percent (5%) differential for work performing assigned lead work duties for four (4) consecutive hours or more.  Lead work duties shall be assigned by the supervisor to employees who while performing essentially the same duties as workers led are

directed to assign and reassign tasks to accomplish prescribed work efficiently; give direction to workers concerning work procedures; transmit established standards of performance to workers; review work of employees for conformance to standards; provide informational assessment of workers’ performance to supervisor; and orient new employees.

Where lead work differential is applicable to all hours worked in a month it shall be applied to all hours paid.  Where the lead work differential is earned intermittently during a month it shall be applied only to hours worked as a lead worker.



I don't see in our contract where it specifics you have to 5 employees. Please feel free to check our website www.afscmelocal328.com.







Will my dues go up if I elect to become a member, vs being Fair Share?


I thought I was a member what happened it wouldn't let me vote.

You may be paying fair share instead of membership dues. You should check your paycheck to see whether the amount being deducted is dues or fair share. You need to sign a membership card to become a member. Occasionally people who have signed cards and are members find that the OHSU payroll systems defaults them back to fair share status if they change jobs or get laid off and recalled. The easiest way to fix this is to sign another card. You may contact the AFSCME office at 503 239 9858 and ask our Office Specialist, Marina Warner, to send you a card and instructions.

I have a member that was yelled at in the hallway in front of all of her co-workers by her supervisor. As it turns out the supervisor did not have cause to berate this employee, what is her recourse?

If the employee was recieving a reprimand in public that is a contract violation and should be grieved. She should contact the eZone and request steward assistance.

If the supervisor was not specifically reprimanding her in a formal way, but was being abusive, that my also be a grievance, as well as a violation of the OHSU Code of Conduct. A steward could help her file a code of conduct complaint as well.

Is it discrimination if my mgr refused to let a gay coworker, who’s lived with her lover 6 yrs, go to her lover’s aunt’s funeral? Coworker filled out time-off request for “funeral”; mgr came & asked coworker whose funeral; coworker stated lover/Summer’s close aunt’s funeral; mgr consulted our main boss then emailed coworker denial.

Probably not.

Setting aside the issue of sexual orientation for a minute, the aunt of a spouse to whom an employee is legally married would NOT qualify for bereavement leave unless she was a member of the immediate household.

So in the case of the employee in question, she would have had to request vacation time off, the granting of which is covered by the department vacation policy.

if the department has a history of treating similar requests by heterosexual partners in a different way, that might be cause for concern. But the denial on its face doesn't appear to be discriminatory.


By Lead Worker contract definition, a lead worker performs essentially the same duties as those led, but performs extra duties. What if we feel that our lead worker does not perform anywhere near the same duties as us? Is there anything that can be done about that besides going to our manager?

Not really. Being a lead worker is neither a promotion nor a reclassification under the contract. If the employer wants to pay lead workers and not get the most out of them, they are free to do so. Where we have problems is when managers have employees doing extra work and NOT wanting to pay them for it.

What percentage do you need to be working out of class before differential pay begins?

It is not a percentage worked, it is number of ours worked.  Here is the contract language:

17.2      Work Out of Classification - When an employee is assigned by the Employer for a limited time period to perform the major distinguishing duties of a position at a higher level classification, a minimum of four (4) hours within one shift the employee shall be paid at the next higher rate on the higher salary range.
When an employee is assigned by the Employer to perform duties that require substantially greater knowledge, skill and abilities than the assigned classification a minimum of four (4) hours within one shift and those duties are not contained in an existing classification; the employee shall receive minimum five percent (5%) differential.

What type of protection do I have against being routinely asked to preform tasks below my classification?

None. You may be asked to do work as needed, even if it below your classification as long as your pay is not reduced or your schedule changed.

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Would it be possible to get a copy of the union contract?

The contract is available on line here. If you need a hard copy, call our office at 503 239 9858 and ask our office staff to mail you a copy. Mention that you are a member of Local 328.

What is a limited duration employee?

The Local 328 contract provides for Limited Duration Positions (LDAs).

LDAs are useful in certain circumstances, but because the rights of members in LDAs are limited by the contract in some respects, the Union, as a matter of contract and policy, reviews the creation of all LDA positions. In general LDAs must meet the following criteria in order ot be approved.

If you know of LDA positions being filled or created which would not pass this screening, you should contact the Union:



Acceptable Reasons for Approval

(1) There is a valid limited duration agreement attached to the request


(2) The position requested is for a specific project with specific beginning and end dates
The position is to fill in for an employee on medical, vacation, educational or other approved leave with specific beginning and end dates.
The position is to fill in for another employee assigned to work out of class for a specific period of time.

(3) The position is for less than one year.

Unacceptable Reasons

The position is for a recently retired employee being hired back by the department in violation of the job posting language.

The position is to do the work of a laid off employee.

Red Flags requires follow up before approval

A current regular employee is being specifically named as the candidate – we should check with the employee and make sure they know they are giving up significant rights by accepting the position.

This is the second or more successive request to fill the same position with a Limited Duration employee – we should find out why this is not being filled by a regular employee through contractual filling of vacancies language

There is good reason to believe that the work being requested is not actually confined to the stated beginning and ending dates – we should try to find out if the filling of vacancies language is being circumvented for some reason.

How can I file a grievance against another member?

Local 328 can't file grievances against members of the union. A grievance is what we use when management violates the contract. If the employee you are concerned about is violating OHSU policy or the law, the proper course is to file a complaint with your manager, human resources, the compliance office or AA/EEO office. Local 328 may be able to advise you about the most effective way to process a complaint.

If you have a personal dispute or other problem with another member, Local 328's BridgeBuilders program offers voluntary, confidential peer mediation services. If you'd like to know more about BridgeBuilders you may email fvehafric@oregonafscme.com

How much time do I have to file a grievance?

You've got 14 days from the date of occurance of a discipline or contract violation to file a grievance. That's why you should contact the Union as soon as you've been disciplined, or have reason to believe the contract has been violated.

It usually takes 24 to 48 hours for a steward to contact you after you contact the union, and the steward should meet with you before filing a grievance. Contacting the union with less than two or three days left in the 14 day filing period runs the risk of a grievance not being filed on time.

If you are up against the timeline, you or the steward may ask the affected manager for an extension. If you do this before the expiration of the timeline the chances are very good that you will be granted the extension. You may ask for an extension either verbally or by email or by memo, but if an extension is granted it should be confirmed either by email or memo to the manager granting the extension.

If you ask for an extension after the timeline has expired the chances are remote that it will be granted.

What if you've contacted the union, or have been contacted by a steward and the end of the timeline is approaching and you are not sure that the grievance has been filed?

While we hate it when this happens, the fact is that sometimes the ball gets dropped when it shouldn't.

If the end of the timeline is approaching and you don't think the grievance has been filed you should call your steward immediately and confirm that it will be filed or that an extension has been granted. If you can't reach the steward and time is running out, call the Union office at 503 239 9858 and ask for emergency assistance.

While we never want a member to be in the position of having to worry whether or not your grievance has been filed - if you ARE worried about that, please do something about it before the timelines expire.

If you wait until after they pass before you inquire, it may be too late to file the grievance. Even though the Union provides as much assistance as we can, it still makes very good sense to be proactive in your concerns and not wait until it's to late to run up a red flag.

Why should I file a grievance?

There are lots of reasons you should file a grievance, but first let’s cover a few of the reasons you should not file a grievance.

1) You should not file a grievance thinking that by doing so you are punishing your manager.

2) You should not file a grievance if you have a problem with a coworker.

3) You should not file a grievance merely because a work situation is unfair.

Let’s talk about these for a bit.

Grievances are not threats you brandish in order to try to convince a boss to change her ways. Grievances are not blunt instruments you can scare people with. Grievances are not ways of harassing a manger by snowing him under with paper. Grievances are a dispute resolution process that you may use when you think the contract has been violated. Period.

You can’t file a grievance against a coworker. If a coworker is violating a policy, breaking the law, violating a work rule or discriminating or harassing you, it’s up to management to deal with it. The Union should and will assist you in getting management to do their job by taking effective action in these instances, but “grieving” a coworker is not the appropriate, or even a possible course.

We all face unfairness every day. Some unfairness is due to the random nature of the universe, some is due to the nasty or unreasonable behavior of other human beings. Neither of those situations is necessarily a contract violation. The grievance procedure exists for one reason only: to enforce the contract. If the behavior that’s bugging you isn’t a contract violation, then it’s not a grievance. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do about it, but filing a grievance won’t help. If there is no contract violation an Arbitrator or the Grievance Adjustment Board will not sustain the grievance no matter how unfair the situation is.

Now, when should you file a grievance?

Well, the easy answer is whenever the contract is violated, but that’s not always a helpful answer.

The contract is a large and complicated document often couched in legalese. How do you know when it’s been violated? Are you expected to memorize the thing?

No, you’re not. But you should take time to read the contract and take note of what kinds of things the contract covers. If something doesn’t feel right to you, you will know enough to start looking in the contract to see if your issue is covered. In addition, you have the KnowZone available to you.

The KnowZone is our grievance and contract question hotline. It’s monitored daily by a Lead Steward who will take your problem or question and assign it to a steward to follow up with you, usually in 24 hours. You can call the KnowZone at 503 239 9858 ext 132 24 hours a day.

In general though, some kinds of frequently occurring problems are clearly contract violations and should be dealt with by the grievance process. Some of the more common are:

Pay and overtime disputes
Scheduling problems – including vacation, holiday, job bids
Layoff and layoff placement problems
Disciplinary actions – including work plans
Work out of class and appropriate classification issues

While there are a lot more contract violations which could result in grievances, if you are experiencing problems in the above areas, you are almost certainly dealing with a contract issue, which, if not resolved, could result in a grievance.

If so, don’t wait to call the KnowZone. Do it now. You have a two week time limit to file a grievance. If you miss it, you lose.

What if your supervisor says “Well, let me look into it” and then three weeks goes by with nothing happening? You lose. You missed your two week window.

Remember, when you file a grievance, you are not punishing anybody or taking a negative action – you are simply activating a dispute resolution process.

One last word – if you receive a low level discipline such as a verbal reprimand or a written reprimand – should you file a grievance?

Many employees feel that if they really did have the problem which lead to the discipline you should just let it go. Or maybe you think it’s a small thing and not worth the trouble to grieve.

Consider this, if you don’t grieve it, you have just plead “guilty.” Now, maybe this is OK. Maybe you really are guilty and it’s not something that’s going to reoccur.

Or maybe it’s something, like tardiness, or absenteeism which is likely to happen again, at least once in while, even if you make great improvements. In that case, not filing a grievance will make winning a grievance on a second discipline that much harder if you plead guilty by default the first time. It’s something to keep in mind.

If you have any questions about the grievance process that you’d like to see me answer in my blog, please email me at: fvehafric@oregonafscme.com

How do folks sign their union cards if they've been an employee a while and didn't attend New Employee Orientation?

I recommend that all new employees attend NEO, not just for the union information, but you also get valuable information about benefits and other important employment related matters.

However, if you need to sign a card, just email or call Marina Warner in our office (503 239 9858) and ask her to send a card in the mail. You may sign it, and return it to Sarah Cinnamon at  mailcode SD through campus mail.

Epic training is taking place in evening, on weekends, on holidays, etc. Are employees who need the training obligated to work later than their regular shift or come in on a weekend? Would they get holiday pay, differentials, etc., or regular pay?

Any hours the employee is required to work for training would be compesible just as if they were regualr work hours, whether that be overtime or differentials or any other premium pay.

Hi, I work in the radiology dept in south hospital. The vacation policy currently is done by seniority and we would like to vote to change it so everyone gets to pick a holiday to work. This way the jr person isn't stuck with thanksgiving and Christmas every year. What percentage do we need to have to change the policy?

Vaction bid process is an area where work units may come to consensus decisions to do things differently than the contract.

Here is the language from the contract on Concensus Agreements.  it takes at least 80% to change the policy. However, the contract also requires that employees attempt to resolve the issue through the problem solving process and only defaults to the 80% rule if we can't reach consensus. Also - and this is important - the Union must particpate in the process and sign off on the agreement or it is not valid.

7.7       Consensus

a.         A group reaches consensus when, after collective deliberation regarding a particular matter or issue, all affected members agree upon a single alternative. In this process, each individual:
1.         takes the opportunity to express his/her interests, opinions and/or point of view, and confirm that the others understand.
2.         confirms the understanding of the other group members’ interests, opinions and/or point of view.
3.         works toward the best solution for the group.
b.         If the entire group cannot agree, the solution acceptable to 80% of the work group members (rounded to the closest whole number) constitutes a consensus agreement. For purposes of this agreement work group members include management representative.
c.         Consensus agreements shall remain in force for the term of the collective bargaining agreement unless reviewed and/or amended by the group during the term of the contract.   All consensus agreements and amendments must be sent to and signed by OHSU Human Resources and AFSCME.  In the event of change, modification or amendment, such changes will also be documented in written form and submitted to OHSU Human Resources and AFSCME for signature.

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