Wednesday, January 8, 2014

L503 and L49 Unification

I don't know how many people view this site anymore, but for those who do, please pay close attention to the attempts to destroy L503 and merge with L49. This is not in the best interest of our members or Local 730. I urge members to become involved, ask questions of 503 Executive Staff, 730 Leadership and discuss with other 730 members.

I participated on the Finance and Dues Committee and I can you it felt like a sham and going through the motions. The bottom line, I don't feel they wanted to hear opposition. I feel they just wanted a collection of bobble heads. They were in for a disappointment. Our committee made up of members from both locals decided we didn't want to change virtually anything when it came to dues and financial issues. As such, the new proposed By Laws created by ????????? doesn't even talk about forming a committee to work on such things for at least one year on a regular basis. Our group only met three times from September to December. To say the least, it is ridiculous to think we could reform the entire dues and financial issues in three meetings.

Get informed, get involved and vote!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We have completed our elections.  There are new ODOT Local 730 officers, General Council delegates and Bargaining Delegates.  Thanks to those who took the time to vote.  Thank you to our members that stood for election.  It is Our Union - Your Union.

The ODOT Local 730 Officers:

President:           Mike Scott, TMS2 from Region 3.  Immediate Past Statewide Chief Steward.

Vice President:   Craig Johnston, TMS1 from Region 1.  Shop steward and active in last 2 bargaining sessions.

Secretary:           Shirley Wait,  Central Services division in Salem.  Shop steward, activist, General Council.

Treasurer:           Michael Johnson,  Central Services division in Salem.  Salem area Chief Steward.  Immediate Past Treasurer.

Chief Steward:    Leland Erickson,  Incident Response in Region 1.  Region 1 Chief Steward.  General Council, Bargaining.  Has traveled for the Union to other states.

General Council Delegates:

Katie Hubler,  Craig Lankford,  Mike Atwood,  Rex Parks,Sr.,  Curtis Beer,  Kirk Spindler,  Donna McKeever,  Matt Munz,  Ray McKenna.  The 5 ODOT Local 730 officers are General Council delegates.

General Council Alternate Delegates:  Cindy Ditto,  Alex Newton,  Robert South,  Dan Price,  Ben Field.

Bargaining Delegates:

Dan Price,  Katie Hubler,  Mike Mooney,  Shirley Wait.
The Local 730 President and the Statewide Chief Steward are Bargaining Delegates.

Bargaining Alternate Delgates:  Craig Johnston,  Kirk Spindler,  Ray McKenna.

If you want to meet the new ODOT Local Officers and other activists come to the coast.  We are planning a statewide meeting for members of ODOT Local 730 on Saturday 5 May in Lincoln City.  We will meet to get to know each other and start to plan the next 2 years.  General Council is coming this August.  Bargaining will start the following year.  What is your Vision for Our Union?

Your family is always welcome at ODOT Local 730 gatherings.  You should have received a post card in the mail in the last week or so.  Contact any of the officers if you want to attend.  You may also call your local SEIU 503 office.  The Portland Office is making the arrangements; that phone number is 800.527.9374 or 503.408.4090.  Ask to speak to Kathryn Ratcliff.  You can also contact her at her email:



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

TMS1 New Contract Language

New language was bargained at the ODOT Coalition Bargaining Table for TMS 1s. The intent of this language was to pay TMS 1s the same as TMS 2s when they are working along side TMS 2s, doing the same work.

I believe the principle is simple: Equal Pay for Equal Work.

The history of this bargaining is that in some areas of the state managers of maintenance crews "borrow" TMS 1s to fill out crews for projects. The managers work TMS 1 Tom for one day less than the time required to pay the TMS 1 Work Out of Class Pay (Article 26,Section 11). The manager sends TMS 1 Tom back to the landscape crew and begins to work TMS 1 Pete; again working him one day less than needed to pay him for working above his pay grade.

It is good that the agency and our managers are always thinking about ways to save money. An efficient organization, using our citizens resources frugally is good. In some ways clever.

However, frugal is not always fair.

The point came home here a year or two ago. TMS 1 crew members were assigned to work with a TMS 2 maintenance crew for a paving project. The TMS 1s were asked to teach some TMS 2s the skills needed for paving. Some TMS 1s have been working for the agency for over 20 years; many TMS 2s have less than 5.

TMS 1s work to support their families. They have the right to try to improve their place in the agency and the world. Our Union has the responsibility to assist members to improve their pay and benefits and to keep their work sites safe.

If you are one of the folks I have recently heard of who disapproves of this new language and have been giving our TMS 1s a hard time for it - you are wrong. If you disapprove of this language - you disapprove of Equal Pay for Equal Work. If you are harassing a TMS 1 about this new language - do you also believe he/she should not have the right to do better for their family?

As the president of ODOT Local 730 I pushed for these changes to our collective bargaining agreement. If you have problems with the language talk to me.
Discussing all aspects of Our Union is part of my job. I welcome your opinions regardless of whether I agree with them.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

2011 Bargaining & Ratification

The 23 July 2011 Bargaining Conference is done. The bargaining delegates from all coalitions voted to send the Tentative Agreement (TA) Contract to the members with a recommendation to approve (ratify). This includes the Central Table (pay and benefits) and all of the Coalition Table negotiated agreements.
Some of the main points include:
Cost of Living Allowances, Article 27, 1.5% increase December of 2011; 1.45% increase January of 2013;
½ Step increase on your Salary Eligibility Date (SED) on or after July 2012 and the other ½ Step increase 6 months later, but no later than 30 June 2013. Employees who have received step increases as of 1 June 2011 will not receive another. They also will not be rolled back as in the last contract;
Furlough days, Letter of Agreement for Mandatory Unpaid Time Off (MUTO), much the same as last contract – 10, 12 or 14 days during the two years of the contract. There are some changes to how they are taken. There are two LOAs for furlough days: 191 for how many days – at which pay levels and 193 for implementation. In implementation those folks who work alternate shifts will no longer need to use vacation time to accomodate the 8 hour blocks. The 8 hour blocks went away. The letter lays out that you take your furlough days in your normal shifts. You will need to take the remainder of your furlough time in a partial day. So if you work 8 hour, 9 hour or 10 hour shifts that is how you will use your furlough days. There is also added flexibility in that “employees may volunteer to take unpaid holidays, unpaid vacation days, or a salary reduction. . .”;

In Coalition Bargaining (Article #.3) there are also some improvements. Article 36.3AC (Travel) now has the living language provisions so the non-commercial per diem automatically updates. All per diems used to require increasing or adjusting at the bargaining tables.
Article 58 and Article 58.3 (Holidays) both have some changes. The ‘each and every’ language has been deleted in 58. There is new comp time language in 58.3. Also, there was holiday language in our old 90.3; that has been deleted from 90.3, all holiday language is in 58.3. In theory.
Article 90.3A will have several changes. An LOA was written in 2009 regarding Penalty Pay for schedule changes without notice; most of that LOA has been moved into 90.3. Moved into base language was the LOA regarding missed breaks for the Transportation Operations Centers and the Interstate Bridge crews. There is new language for Motor Carrier Enforcement Officers when helping with road closures.
There is a new LOA regarding holidays and flexing work schedules to prevent loosing 2 hours of vacation on holidays.

The email I sent you will have bullet sheets as attachments so you can review the summaries of both the Central Table and Coalition table changes. There is more, much more there.

The bargaining conference was a little rowdy. Every bargaining conference has some vocal members who want to strike. Every new contract insults someone along the way. Fair and comprehensive negotiations rarely result in all persons, on both sides, being happy with the results. The Central Table bargaining team members are not pleased with some of the results. Frequently, when the State bargaining team does not want to agree to our point they claim to not understand. Some of the points our team made regarding pay and insurance were absolutely rooted in mathematical logic. Mathematics is either correct or incorrect. Our team showed mathematically correct ways to save money or make the same dollars do more. Many of the State bargaining team members have jobs that are number working jobs. For their leadership to have said they do not understand the numbers is to say they do not understand multiplication and division.
I believe the governor was always behind every decision. I know he has definite goals regarding health care and health insurance. In some way Our Union’s sense of fairness does not fit his goals. At Central Table Bargaining neither the Governor nor his Bargaining Team were straight forward about this. They would only talk about a finite dollar value that was not enough or they did not understand what we were saying.
Perhaps the bargaining table is not the place discuss matters in a straight forward manner.

There will be a ballot coming to you, coming to all members. The decision will be to ratify the contract. If you vote to ratify the contract, then you accept it. If you vote to not ratify the contract then you vote to possibly go out on strike. To fail to ratify does not guarantee a strike. It only guarantees that the bargaining delegates must come together and explore the options.
Look around you. Do you know your crew? Do you know others on crews around you? Can everyone afford to strike? How long can you & they afford to strike?

I want you to vote as you think is correct. I will vote to ratify. The next big fight in the Legislature and the press is our retirement. I want SEIU 503, OPEU to gear up and start on Monday to protect PERS, the 6% pickup (that we bargained for instead of a pay raise, in years past) and our member’s future.

Thank you for your time. Thank you for sharing this information with your crews. I am sure 503 will have more information on the 503 website next week. Everyone was tired and went home after the meeting on Saturday and the actual bargaining until eleven or twelve Friday night. As always it will take several months to proof read and publish the contracts. Hopefully they will be available on-line at the 503 website before then. I continue to insist that hardcopies be available for worksites where employees do not use a computer to make a living.

We, you and I are the face of Our Union. This hard work is Member Organizing. Thank you for your work. mac

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May 20th

Central Table: Pay and Benefits. Base articles such as Article 10, Article 90 are bargained at the Central Table.

Coalition Table: Working conditions unique to the coalition or to the specific agency. Article 10.3, Article 90.3 and so on are bargained at the Coalition Table. Our coalition includes ODOT, DMV, Parks, Forestry, ODFW and Aviation. Boots and blue jeans; much of the work is out of doors.


I have been waiting for several weeks to write this. Waiting for some stone to fall out of the dump bed of the 99 Freightliner - ring my hard hat - and I write words that send you all to Salem. Well the weather is warming, the ground is thawing and it is not likely that hell is going to freeze over this month . . . or next.

A month or so ago I did send an email out to a few folks in every region letting them know that bargaining sucks for wages and benefits. The new governor has allowed a sum too small to even maintain our current pay and benefits in his proposed budget.

I had thought that coalition bargaining was going well; the State had said they want to be done by May 16th. If we had done so it would have been the earliest finish for the ODOT Coalition in literally years, maybe decades. Last Monday the State (management) bargaining team came to the table smiling. The rest of it was not pretty. They laid out their offer and told us that if we argued, any questions, and they would pull it off the table. Any hope of an early finish went out the window with that statement. We have asked to have a mediator present to finish bargaining.

In Bargaining as in many other Labor Management functions - the relationship is not one of taking orders. I and other delegates do not work for Management when we are bargaining. I and other delegates do not work for the agency when we go to the legislature to lobby for bills and points of view. I work for you. We don't take orders from the management bargaining delegates. Therefore I ask questions.

At the Central Table Monday it was the States turn to bring something NEW to the table. Did not happen. They brought the same sum to small in a different dress. Lots of scenarios describing how we could help them cut our pay, reduce our health care and make managers jobs easier.

May 20th.
In 2009, on June 7th, Sunday morning at 11:30 several thousand State Workers met in Portland at the Eastbank Esplanade. We 'marched' across the Hawthorne Bridge to the Terry Schrunk Plaza. Signs were waived. Slogans were chanted. Speeches were spoken. Music was played. Cheers were heard. Politicians came out. We had fun; got back on the buses and went home.

The next week the Oregon Legislature leadership wrote a letter to the governor. It seemed at the time that the governor was seeking to balance the budget by having all employees take 28 furlough days. The end result of the legislators letter was only 14 furlough days (14, 12, 10). The letter told the governor that state employees could not be responsible for the entire shortfall.

The March Across Hawthorne Bridge worked.

This coming May 20th is a Friday and a Furlough Day for those on fixed days. A rally in the Capitol Plaza has been scheduled. No march. Buses from the hinterlands as before.
Folks will 'rally'. Signs will be waived. Slogans will be chanted. Speeches will be spoken. Music will be played. Cheers will be heard. Politicians will come out. We will get back on the buses and return to the hinterlands.

It would be good to see 20,000 public employees there. SEIU 503 represents 40 some odd thousand. I want to see 1000 Oregon Department of Transportation employees there. ODOT Local 730 represents 1900.

Here is the point. The rally by itself does not do a thing. The speeches, chants, music & politicians by themselves don't get it done. We do. Large numbers of voters are seen by politicians. Large numbers of Union Members are seen by the governor and management.

So here is my ask: Be there. That is all. I do not give a damn if you do not chant, do not cheer do not sing along to the music. Just be there. Be seen.
I don't care if you are fair share or a member. No one looking out at the crowd is going to know. Bring your family. Bring a friend or several. Ride the bus, ride your motorcycle or drive your pick-up. Be there.

Make a difference in your future. Make an impression on the governor and legislators. Let them know that we know what is going on in bargaining. Let them know.

A little before 5:am on Friday the 20th of May, behind the LaGrande Library I will get on the bus headed to Salem. See you there. mac