Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: What We Are Thankful For
November 21, 2018
OHSU Graduate Researchers United
Last week, graduate employees at Oregon Health and Sciences University rallied to demand recognition of their union. The Portland Mercury covered the rally and told the story of why this fight is so important:
“Breanna Caruso spends her days searching for a cure for cancer.
As a second-year Ph.D student at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Caruso researches how the immune system interacts with cancer cells, with the hope of finding a way to fight cancer more efficiently and with fewer patient side effects. She spends about 70 hours a week in the lab.
On Thursday morning, Caruso joined about a hundred fellow OHSU graduate students and their supporters to rally at OHSU. The research students—about 250 altogether—made steps to unionize with AFSCME Council 75 in August. In September, OHSU’s legal counsel submitted a formal objection to the Oregon Employment Relations Board (ERB), the state authority on collective bargaining law.
The research students’ reasons for unionizing include needing to earn a living wage through their stipends and wanting more bargaining power for negotiating benefit coverage.
Caruso said she knew she wanted to be part of a union after OHSU recently raised graduate students’ annual stipends by about a thousand dollars a year, a sum that was disappointingly low to her.
“Housing prices are really rising in Portland and the cost of living here is increasing, so having a voice in situations like this where they’re talking about our future stipend is really important to us,” Caruso said.”
It’s Time for Paid Family & Medical Leave
On Election Day, working people across Oregon sent a message loud and clear: We’re ready to move our state forward. Now it’s time to get to work and ask our newly elected leaders to pass more of the strong policies our state is known for.
As our legislators begin to prepare for the 2019 Legislative Session, let’s remind them what Oregon women and working families really need — policies what will help all families stay afloat and maintain their economic security.
We’re asking our legislators to pass a universal paid family and medical leave policy. Being able to take time away from work for a family or medical issue will be game-changing for millions of working people. Send your legislator a message today to tell them that it’s long past time for paid family and medical leave.
U.S. Mail is Not For Sale
The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) just released a new ad in support of its U.S. Mail Not for Sale campaign. The campaign is a worker-led effort that brings together working people, elected officials and member organizations of A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service to fight plans to privatize the U.S. Postal Service.
Watch the video above, then check out the U.S. Mail Not for Sale website, where you can learn the story behind the ad. A short summary:
On June 21, 2018, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a restructuring proposal for the federal government. The proposal, “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” delivered misinformation without ever consulting the U.S. Postal Service and, if implemented, would end regular mail and package services at one affordable price, delivered to all 157 million addresses six days a week–regardless of geographic location. The OMB proposal takes direct aim at the U.S. Postal Service under the guise of reforming and structuring for the 21st century.
Learn more at U.S. Mail Not for Sale, where you also can take action to protect the U.S. Postal Service.