Summary of City of Portland’s 6/4/13 Settlement Proposal
Revised 7/27/13 MKH
Article 6 – Job Security and Outside Contracting
The City’s 6/4/13 proposal would gut existing contract language. If the City's team prevails on this proposal there would be no contractual limit on contracting out, laying the foundation for the wholesale privatization of our work-- no reporting requirements; no accountability. The reintroduction of this proposal without modification ignores the work done for weeks in the joint bargaining sub-committee.
Article 7 – Standard Day Shift Hours
The City’s 6/14/13 settlement proposal packages did not include a proposal on article 7. But on 3/26/13, the City’s team did offer a proposal with take backs in article 7. While the City’s bargaining team is going after our comp time in article 9, they are also pushing for concessions in scheduling that could reduce our overtime accrual. Proposed changes to Article 7 would allow your supervisor to change your schedule from week to week to change your shift—even for just one day--if you have a late night meeting or an early morning construction job, thus avoiding the obligation to pay overtime. Your schedule will be a moving target, without the predictability your family relies on. This is a quality of life issue for workers and their families.
Article 9 – Overtime
There has been some movement by the City on this issue. The City’s team proposes an 80 hours bank for comp time up from 40 hours in their first offer. Current contract language allows for the employee to accrue up to 80 total hours at any one time but the City's proposes to limit comp time accrual to 80 total hours in a calendar year. Employees would not accrue more comp time even if they have used all their comp time and have no more hours in the bank.
What’s more, the employee would only receive comp time in lieu of overtime pay by mutual agreement between the employee and their supervisor. If the employee transfers to another bureau, comp time will only transfer by mutual agreement of the employee and the receiving bureau. Comp time carried over to the next year would count against the next year’s accrual limit, and payout of comp time at the end of the calendar year would require mutual agreement of the employee and their supervisor.
What this means: Use of comp time will be capped at 80 hours and hours carried over will count against the next year’s 80 hours. But without the supervisor approval the employee cannot accrue comp time nor cash it out at (calendar) year’s end. Coupled with changes to article 7 (scheduling) the City’s package is an attack on the 8 hour day.
Article 11 – Working Out of Classification
The City's proposal removes the requirement that an employee be "willing" to accept an upgrade. It also removes the definition of full-time and references to seniority and the eligibility list. According to the modified language, the City would no longer be required to notify the union if an employee is upgraded for more than 30 days.
What this means: The supervisor could force an employee to accept an upgrade against his will-- with no time limit! The supervisor can even upgrade temporary employees with less than 6 months experience. Seniority would no longer be a consideration for an upgrade and there would be no contractual requirement to maintain an eligibility list for upgrades and promotions. Working out of class will be at the sole discretion of the City.
The Bottomline: The City wants to use upgrades to get around the necessity to staff and train appropriately.
Article 12- Seniority
The City's proposal removes the "25% limit" on the practice of choosing the second most senior qualified bidder for vacancies occurring within a bureau. Management would always be able to choose between the top two most senior qualified candidates.
When the DCTU originally agreed to accept the current contract language giving management greater flexibility in promotions 25% of the time, the City's team promised they would never eliminate the 25% limit.
What this means: The City's package increases management discretion and the risk of cronyism politicking and favoritism. If the City doesn't like you (perhaps because you are a union activist) they can get around promoting you.
Article 15- Holidays
The City's team is backing off their initial proposal by agreeing to comply with the arbitrator's ruling on the Personal Holiday pay issue. After six months of service the employee is entitled to three personal holidays paid out at 3 times their normal shift length. This is important for the employees working alternate schedules and ten hour days. NOTE: “Normal shift length” will be determined by taking a snapshot of each eligible employee’s work schedule on the first day of the first pay period in January.
The first hours taken off on vacation leave in a calendar year shall be considered personal holidays.
What this means: If you go on vacation before you use all your personal holiday pay the City will count your first vacation hours as Personal Holidays.
Article 17- Health and Life Insurance
As TAed with caveat that DCTU could reopen in bargaining as part of financial package
Proposal adds one rep to Labor/Management Benefits Committee for 189 rep from Housing bureau and one more rep appointed by the City. 95%/5% premium share is maintained. The City and DCTU agree to reopen this article if changes in health care legislation at federal or state level that affect health care benefits paid by City.
As reopened in HEALTH AND WELLNESS PACKAGE PROPOSAL
Same as above, plus an increase in life insurance from $10,000 to one times annual salary up to $50,000 per bargaining unit member. Benefit does not transfer if you leave City employment or retire. This increase is supposed to be the sugar that helps the sick leave concessions they are promoting in article 18 go down.
Article 18 – Sick Leave
The City appears to be using changes to article 18 to get around "just cause". Under the City's proposal, the "just cause" standard would not apply to disciplinary action regarding sick leave usage. The proposal also outlines a new set of conditions for misuse/excessive use.
It doesn't matter if sick leave is used appropriately (i.e. used when the employee or child is actually sick). Using over 64 hours of sick leave in one year could be cause for disciplinary action.
The City’s proposal removes the 6 month time period restriction--sick leave probation could be indefinite. If you use sick leave while on probation, you must produce a note from your doctor to get paid for the first day of sick leave, encouraging workers to come to work sick. Sick leave probation is not subject to just cause protection. Privacy issues arise if managers aren't trained properly for sick leave probation interviews.
Article 19 – Family and Medical Leave
Additional period of leave, extending parental leave to a total of 6 months at employee's request
Article 27- Wage Scales
According to the City’s proposal, managers will be able to bypass the wage steps outlined in Schedule A. At management's discretion new hires and promoted employees can be placed above the entry wage rate, at a higher step than existing employees with more seniority.
If the City truly believes that the wage scale is too low to attract the most qualified candidates for open positions, the City ought to leave our seniority protections alone and instead increase wages in that classification for all employees.
Combined with changes proposed to articles 11 and 12, the City's package offer is an assault on seniority protections and leaves the door wide open to cronyism, politicking, and favoritism.
Article 38- Effective Date and Duration of Agreement
City proposes 4 year agreement
First Year (2013-14) 1/2 COLA (at .9%) paid after ratification by both parties (and not retroactively applied).
3rd 4th and 5th years: Full COLA up to 5% paid on July 1of those years
New premium ($1.16) for Senior Electrical Inspector and Senior Plumbing Inspector who are assigned the duties of Chief Inspector.
New premium ($.80) for certain new certifications with no min. hours.
LETTERS OF AGREEMENT (LOAs)
There are over eighty Letters of Agreement between affiliate unions of the DCTU and various city bureaus. The City has moved away from their original proposal to eliminate all letters of agreement for alternative schedules in certain work units. The 6/4/13 LOA package added back 14 of the LOAs permitting alternative schedules.
There are several LOAs for work units specifying the terms and conditions for stand-by pay. The DCTU bargaining team may reconsider these LOAs in light of the City’s article 9 proposal restricting the usage of comp time.