OHSU PostDoc Workers United

Your PWU Bargaining Team (Bteam) met with OHSU’s representatives on Tuesday, November 7th for their fifth bargaining session. 

Our union proposed:

  1. Travel– Allows postdocs to apply for travel advances and reimbursements in accordance with existing OHSU policy, and your union may further negotiate any future changes to this policy.

  2. Discipline & Discharge– Proposes procedures for just cause termination of postdocs, protecting us from arbitrary or at will terminations.

  3. Appointments & Reappointments– Proposed procedures for postdoctoral appointment terms and the contents of appointment letters upon hire and position renewal. This article also proposed temporary access to email and data after terms expire. 

  4. Career Development– Proposed 15 days of protected time per year for career development activities, adhering to career development examples listed on the OPA website.

OHSU Countered:

  1. Performance Expectations – OHSU replaced our language with a basic procedure for informal discussions between postdocs and advisors on the postdocs progress and an annual written assessment. 

  2. Hours of Work–  OHSU countered with language intended to maintain a reasonable workload expectation and flexible hours that emphasizes research and career progress over set hours

Your bargaining team was able to reach tentative agreements on Travel and Discipline & Discharge. What does the latter mean for you? Ratification of this contract will supersede the existing at-will employment policy for postdocs, replacing it with a fair procedure for progressive discipline.
“It was very exciting to witness the power of the Union in advocating for our work rights. The Bteam did a great job meticulously reviewing OHSU’s responses to the articles proposed. It is comforting to know that we are well represented by a Bteam fully committed to addressing our needs as postdocs. My general impression of the meeting was that we had good communication with OHSU’s representatives, and we made significant progress. Being at the bargaining meeting was a shot of positivity and hope!” - Paula Sanchez Molina, Postdoc and PWU-MAT activist

Additionally, both parties were able to engage in productive conversations surrounding Performance Expectations and Hours of Work articles. In essence, the Bteam agrees with the intent of OHSU management’s proposal, as it encapsulates professionalism and independence of postdoctoral research. However, our Bteam provided a strong case for a more formal expectations procedure to eliminate any confusion about how progress is evaluated. Our Bteam was firm that expectations should be developed by the postdoc and advisor at the beginning of their appointment, reviewed annually, and re-evaluated at any time upon request of either party. Still, an agreement on this proposal has not been reached, but your Bteam is eagerly awaiting for our next bargaining session to continue with these productive discussions.

 In solidarity,

The PWU Bargaining Team

We joined our fellow unions across OHSU in response to the recent news 

Your PWU Bargaining Team met with representatives from OHSU on Monday, Sept. 11, to begin collective bargaining negotiations on a first contract for PWU.

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