Questions and Answers about Bargaining

What does signing a membership card mean?
Signing a membership card means that you support the efforts of the OHSU House Officers Union and that after we’ve negotiated and ratified our contract, you’ll be a dues-paying member for at least one year (minimum commitment) and hopefully for the rest of your time as a house officer at OHSU.
How much are union dues and when do we start paying?
Typical dues for AFSCME Council 75 local union are 1.27% of salaries. The minimum is $15 per month; 2019 Maximum is $69.70 per month. 
You cannot pay any dues until you have negotiated and ratified your contract. If you don’t feel like the contract that your colleagues negotiated for you is worth union dues, vote no!
Is there a deadline to become a member?
No. We want to have a strong voice for our program and our patients, so, like the other unions at OHSU, we’ll be asking fellow house officers to be full members (and active participants) in our union.
How will this change my individual contract?
Until we have negotiated a new contract, your individual contract (and all current policies) stay in place. By law, the employer must maintain the same wages, hours, terms, and conditions of employment for represented employees that exist at the time of recognition. We will elect a bargaining team, negotiate a legally-binding contract that includes whatever we want to keep from the individual contracts (and any changes we want to propose) and then vote to accept our new contract, which will cover everyone in our bargaining unit (all Interns, Residents, and Fellows at OHSU). 
What will we get if we unionize? 
That’s up to us. The union is not a set benefits package or a pre-paid legal program, but an organization of colleagues with a shared interest in workplace democracy and what we can gain from it.  If you look at contracts from other HOUs you can see that they’re all slightly different because those doctors chose to prioritize different things. We’ll get to do that too, when we get to the bargaining table. 
What if OHSU doesn’t agree to our proposals?
It’s true that management doesn’t have to “automatically agree” with our proposals when we form a union and go to the bargaining table. But by law, we start from our current benefits and working conditions and propose from there. We want to be able to make that choice, and many others, too. 
How long do negotiations last?
First negotiations tend to take longer because you are bargaining a contract from scratch.  
OHSU’s Graduate Researchers Union started organizing seriously in the Spring of 2018 and filed for their election in the Fall of 2018. GRU was officially recognized as a union in December 2018 and they started bargaining in March 2019. This is their latest update:
Local 328 started bargaining their contract in February and reached a tentative agreement in August 2019. Find out more about bargaining:
Who gets to vote on the contract and who will it cover?
Everyone in the bargaining unit (interns, residents, and fellows at OHSU) will be covered once we’ve negotiated and voted to ratify the contract. Only house officers who have signed up to be dues-paying members are allowed to vote on the contract. We want everyone to join our union and there will be many opportunities to participate in our organization.
What if I don’t become a member? Will I still be covered by the contract?
Yes, you will. Just like our tax dollars go to roads and schools for everyone, so do our union dues. You would not be allowed to vote for our elected leadership (bargaining team, union government, etc.) or on the contract, however. 
What about new trainees? Will they be covered by the contract?
Once we have a contract, it will cover everyone in the bargaining unit, including future interns, residents, and fellows, who will someday be responsible for negotiating subsequent OHSU-HOU contracts.