Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hot Topics and Bargaining at Forestry Statewide

Hot topics and bargaining were on the Forestry Local 629's agenda for it's  Spring statewide meeting  held April 11th in Salem.  The meeting opened with a President's message recognizing the past two wildfire seasons and looking into what may be another challenging one.  Safety was emphasized and the importance of returning home.

There was a round table discussion of what should be presented at Seasonal Firefighter orientations, and what has not worked in the past.  A flyer will be prepared by our staff orgainizer, Mike Bray to highlight parts of our Contact that a firefighter would need to know about like boot reimbursements, working on the 4th of July, rest and recovery, adjusting work schedules, and the end of the season.  Included also will be who to contact for more information.  It was emphasized that there should be an effort to resolve problems at the lowest possible level, solutions developed there have the potential of meeting all parties needs and are certainly the most timely.

Current bargaining proposals were reviewed, receiving additional input from more than your bargaining delegates.  The rest and recovery proposal was the most discussed, noting that it always seems to be in flux and that there were no set guidelines.  Instances where firefighters had worked 14 days straight and then reassigned to another fire were cited.  There is also concern about the Work Capacity Test and "senior care issues".

Hot topics from the field included the smoking policy and its application, informing members where they can go for help, rest and recovery after a fire assignment and that there is no incident management business handbook.

the SEIU 503 Committee to Protect Injured Workers has been inactive for awhile and our Local will seek its re-activation or see if there are other Union committees that can advocate for the workers injured on the job.  Jim Neuman will prepare a draft letter.

The next meetings will be conference calls on May 13th and June 17th both at 7:00 pm to discuss bargaining issues. All members are encouraged to call in and the number will be available from Mike Bray or Dave Wells.  The next Statewide is tentatively set for October 10th in Sisters  or another Central Oregon location.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

All Proposals Across the Table

At Tuesday, March 24th's bargaining meeting in ODF's Tillamook Room, State and Union representatives shared the last of our proposals.  This was the last day to do so and no other proposals will be accepted by either side.  Now bargaining begins about the merit of these proposals and interest in persuing thier inclusion in the Contract as an Article or Letter of Agreement.  The next scheduled bargaining meeting is Tuesday, March 31st starting at 5:00 pm in ODF's Tillamook Room located on the Salem Campus.

Forestry specific proposals were made in Article 26, Differential Pay.

Forestry Emergency Medical Training (EMT) Recognition. Employees assigned to firefighting duty who possess and EMT license, shall be paid a differential of five percent (5%) while performing fire line duties.

Forestry Correctional Facility/ Inmate Differential.  Forestry empoyees duty stationed at correctional facilities or assigned to direct the work of inmates shall be paid a ten (10%) differential above their base rate of pay for all hours worked during these assignments.

Fireline Operations Differential.  Employees assigned to Incident Command System Type 1 or Type 2 incidents working within the Operations Section shall be paid a differential for five percent (5%) above their base pay for all hours worked while assigned to the incident.

An employee who possesses and maintains a professional engineer license in civil engineering or forest engineering or a professional land surveyor's license as specified by the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineers and Land Surveyors (OSBEELS) which are directly related to their work assignments as described in their Job Description or as assigned shall recieve a differential of five percent (5%) above their base pay.  Employees whose work requirements do not require those professional licenses to perform thier work requirements are still eligible to be paid th five percent (5%) differential.  Employees in Section 3 Special Qualifications pay (h) and (i) are not eligible for this five (5%) pay increase.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Statewide Meeting and Bargaining Dates

Save Saturday, April 11th for our next Statewide Forestry Local 629 meeting.  We will be meeting at SEIU 503 headquarters in Salem located on Commercial Street from 10am to 3pm.  Tentative agenda items include developing a strategy to move our bargaining proposals, Local 629 business and union updates.  For more information contact any of your Local officers or Mike Bray our SEIU 503 organizer.

One way of advancing our bargaining proposals is to become a member and that has been made easier with this online Membership Application:  http://seiu503signup.org/

If you want to see bargaining in action come to ODF's Administration building on the Salem campus on Tuesday, March 17th at 5:00 pm.  Bargaining proposals have been prepared and will be "handed" across the table.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Forestry Home to ODOT Coalition Bargaining

ODF is hosting bargaining for the ODOT Coalition this year in the Tillamook Room of the Administration Building on the Salem Campus.  Confirmed dates in March are 3, 17 and 31 and perhaps 24.  We will meet beginning at 5:00 pm for dinner and a work session with bargaining beginning usually around 6:00 pm.  Members are invited to see what is happening, and for dinner.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Bargaining Begins, Next Dates Set

Bargaining began for sublocals of the ODOT Coalition (of which Forestry is a part) and the State of Oregon last night, February 3rd, in Salem.  Employee interests were represented by Brandon Ferguson and Jim Neuman.  According to Neuman an opening statement from the Coalition was read and in traditional form a tentative agreement was reached on one item, this time, removal of the State Fair from the bargaining agreement.

The remainder of the evening was used to review Letters of Agreement and set dates for a Coalition work meeting and next bargaining sessions.

A ODOT Coalition bargaining work session is set for Saturday, February 21 starting at 10:00 am at SEIU 503's Salem Headquarters.  For more information about this meeting and what will be discussed contact Dave Wells @ 503-801-8468

The next bargaining dates for the Coaliton and State will be February 17th, March 3rd, 17th, (24th if needed), and 31st, April 14th and 28th, and May 12th.  All meetings will be in Salem, possibility at Oregon Department of Forestry Headquarters and will begin at 5:00 pm.  Members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Forestry Statewide Meets at Bargaining Kick-Off

The Forestry Local held its Winter meeting in conjunction with our Bargaining Kick-Off on Sunday, January 25th at the DoubleTree Lloyd Center.  On the agenda were our regular business items and deciding who would present our coalition bargaining proposals at our first bargaining session on Tuesday, February 3rd.

For the presidents message I reminded everyone that during bargaining we will be representing Forestry employees  and outcomes should seek to solve problems and leave our members with hope.

Decisions made at our meeting include:

Our treasurer position is currently vacant and elections to select a new one will be made at our next Statewide meeting.

Purchasing aluminum water bottles was approved as a promotional item.  Distribution is anticipated in March or April.

A cell phone paid for by the Local will be acquired for Brandon's use.

To aid communication within the Local, the preparation of a listserv is being investigated to distribute e-mails.  If you are interested in getting on the list contact any of your Local's officers or your Organizer.

The Local's leadership will continue to build our membership, recruit Stewards and develop Contract Action Teams (CATS) to support contract negotiations.

Next Statewide meeting will be April 11 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm in Salem at a location to be determined.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Forestry Statewide Meeting, Sunday January 25th

The Forestry Local will be holding it's next Statewide Meeting on Sunday, January 25th from 8 to 10 am at the Double Tree near Portland's Lloyd Center.  We will be meeting in the Mt Hood room and are providing a call in option.  For the call in number contact me at (503) 801-8468 or our SEIU 503 organizer Mike Bray at (503) 408-4090.