Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Forestry Tentative Agreement Reached, June 24

A tentative agreement was reached between the State of Oregon and ODOT Coalition on June 24th about 5:00 am the morning. This conculded bargaining that began February 17th.

Contract improvemnents for Forestry employees included an increase in the boot reimbursement from $220 to $230 per biennium for permanent employees and $110 to $115 per year for seasonal employees.

Incident management rest and roatation policy will be developed with a Letter of Intent providing a framework and timeline.

Tree falling criteria and usage between agencies will be studied by a group of Management and Represented employees with a Letter of Intent.

Temporary employees working as Forest Inmate Crew Coordinators will be paid for their breaks and lunch when they cannot be relieved from thier duties.

Next steps include reaching a Tentative Agreement on the SEIU 503 and State of Oregon Master Agreement and a Bargaining Conference scheduled for Saturday, July 18th.

The Bargaining Conference will be Saturday, July 18th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City.  Registration is available at the SEIU 503 website.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Grilling and Negotiations at Forestry June 23rd

Please come and show your support for your bargaining team and pick up a grilled burger at the same time on June 23rd starting at 5:30 pm on ODF's Salem Campus.  SEIU 503 Staff and the bargining team will be the hosts in this prelude for the last scheduled meeting between representatives for the ODOT Coalition and the State of Oregon. On Tuesday June 9th the Union received a whopper package of proposals from the State that spoke to every item where at Tentative Agreement had not been reached.  On the 23rd it will your Unions's opportunity to either affirm or offer changes to the State's proposals.

Another way to participate is at the Forestry conference call on Wednesday, June 17th from 7-8 pm.  To get the call in number contact Mike Bray, SEIU Forestry Organizer or Dave Wells.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Packing for What's Ahead

Special weather statements and drought will be our companions as we head into this first weekend in June, and I want you to know that your Union is there also.  Like those "free" amenities in a motel in case you forgot something your Union has got you covered.  As a result of negotiations the Department will provide employees with a clean sleeping bag, tent and sleeping pad, just ask.  If you are required to work more than two hours past your shift and not able to leave the job site, a meal will be provided.  You also have Weingarten Rights, meaning that you have the right to request Union representation during an investigatory interview when you think that it may result in disciplinary action.

I have just finished packing my fire bag and as the Nomex shirts and pants went in so did thoughts for the safe return of the wildland firefighters who will be heading out to protect and suppress wildfires on Oregon's Forests.  As you pack your bags please take a moment to reflect on the importance of the wildland fire assignment and your own safe return.