Unionized health care workers ratify new 3-year contract with OHSU


Shane Ersland


Unionized health care workers have voted to ratify a new contract with Oregon Health & Science University, putting talks of a strike at the school to rest.


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AFSCME Local 328 workers voted on a proposed agreement from Oct. 3rd through Oct. 9th, and a contract with the university that will run through 2025 was approved by nearly 91% of voters. 

The new contract will include across-the-board wage increases of 7% in its first year, 5% in its second year, and 5% in its third year. It also includes a ratification bonus, increased opportunities for preceptor pay, improved leave benefits, changes to additional work and assignment of overtime processes, and the establishment of new committees and task forces.

The workers’ previous contract expired in June, and bargaining team members from the union and the university had been negotiating terms for a new contract regularly since March.

More than 93% of voters authorized their union’s bargaining team to call a strike on Aug. 26th. If the 2 sides had not come to an agreement, more than 7,000 employees may have gone on strike.

“This is a huge accomplishment, and we appreciate the dedication of both bargaining teams for their time spent reaching this agreement and their support of our valued employees,” OHSU said in a statement.

Many terms of the new contract will be effective at the start of the second full pay period after ratification, which aligns with Nov. 11th paychecks. Other contract items, like certain technical implementations and task forces, will go into effect later, as agreed upon by members of both bargaining teams.