OUS Classification Study FAQs
- Why is this class study happening? Why are many of the old classifications being combined into one new Classification?
For some years, union members have expressed concerns that the classification and compensation system is overly complex, does not create opportunities for upward advancement, and does not adequately compensate workers. In 2011 the union bargaining team proposed that OUS undertake a comprehensive study of its classification system. OUS agreed, and also agreed to study compensation levels. Please see the timeline of this process. One the goals for this process is to streamline the system and reduce the total number of classes. This means that some current classes will be folded into the same new class. Some workers, however, will see little change to their classification.
- How can we shape this process? What can I do to make sure that the new classification system is fair and works well for all classified staff, and for our students?
Our contract gives us the right to comment on the proposed class specs. You can do this at one of the special on-campus meetings being organized and via an online survey. Access the online survey here. The campus meeting schedule is:
Campus Public Safety - Greg Marks and Joe Cartino
Wednesday, August 20th from 5:30pm-7:00pm - SMSU #1
Analysis & Engineering/Architecture - Rob Fullmer and Joe Cartino
Friday, August 22nd from 12pm-1:00pm – SMSU #1
Financial Management - Erica Bestpitch and Joe Cartino
Wednesday, August 27th from 5:30-7:00pm MCB room TBA
Science/Lab - - Marc Nisenfeld
Wednesday, August 27th from 5:30-7:00pm - SMSU #1
The union will combine all this feedback into a set of comments and those will be submitted to management. While OUS management is not legally or contractually required to act on our suggestions, they will most likely incorporate some of our suggested revisions into the final class specs. Union members will elect bargaining teams to assure that this process is carried out fairly. You will have many opportunities to help build the power the bargaining team needs. The comment period timetable is viewable here.
- What is my new classification going to be?
Current positions, and the workers in them, won’t be “allocated” (assigned) to a new classification until sometime in November 2015 to June 2016. After that, the union will bargain the pay rates for each classification. The new classifications and the pay assigned to them won’t actually become effective until January, 2018. Meanwhile, OUS has provided a preliminary mapping of current classifications to the proposed classifications. This document allows you to see what your new class might be, and you can view it here.
- If I get put into the wrong classification, is there anything I can do about it?
Yes. Next year the union will bargain an appeal process for workers who feel they have been placed in the wrong classification. The appeal process will be similar to the reclassification process which has been in our contract for many years. By the way, workers who believe they are currently in the wrong class can still use the current process until they are allocated to one of the new classifications. One of the ways you can help ensure you are reclassed correctly is by making sure your job description is up to date. See instructions for doing this here.
- What am I going to get out of this? Am I going to be paid more or less as a result of this?
At this point, it is too soon to say if most workers are going to wind up with higher pay as a result of all this. It is highly unlikely that anyone will be paid less. The new classification system is intended to create greater opportunities for upward advancement and a fairer compensation system. Working together, we can make sure that happens.
Lowered Healthcare Costs and COLA Date Moved Up
Healthcare has always been a top bargaining priority for SEIU 503 members...and now, state and OUS workers will have a more money in their family budgets thanks to two issues bargained in our 2013-2015 contracts:
- Lowering the premium share from 5% to 3% for workers who select the lowest cost plan in their area, even if there’s only one plan to choose from. This option was triggered when at least 95% of members had more than one plan to choose from, which PEBB’s recent plan choices made possible. This puts more money in members’ pockets and expands healthcare choices for members in rural Oregon. Go to www.seiu503.org to see which plan has the lowest cost in your county.
- Moving up the effective date of the next cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) when healthcare costs came in below projections. Based on the rates recently adopted by PEBB, the effective date of the COLA will be moved up September 1, 2014 (instead of the originally planned 12/1/14).
For more information, see State Worker contract Article 31 or OUS Worker contract Articles 21 and 24. Both are available at www.seiu503.org.
Next Union Meeting: 7/15
Join us on Tuesday, July 15 for our next local meeting. Topics TBA.
Classified Workers Win Timely Step Increases
Last September, after a strong contract campaign that came within days of a system-wide strike, OUS agreed to many of our bargaining team’s economic demands, including COLAs increases, status quo on healthcare premiums, and full steps for each year of the contract.
Because some of the smaller campuses continue to struggle financially, our steps were scheduled to take effect at the end of each contract year unless we could win additional funding during this legislative session. Specifically, OUS agreed that if the state legislature approved $1.15 million in supplemental funding, classified staff on all campuses would receive their full step increase retroactive to their regular schedule (on our SED dates). Today we’re excited to announce that the legislature approved this funding and our victory has been secured! We’re thrilled that this real economic benefit will help all members eligible for steps. To see how this may affect you, click here.
Keep Oregon Working
Billionaires and big corporate interests are pushing Bill Sizemore's ideas to the 2014 ballot to further threaten working people and middle-class families. Visit http://www.keeporegonworking.org/ to learn more about how you can help push back! Also like the Keep Oregon Working Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/keeporegonworking.