Please be on the lookout for a questionnaire coming in the mail regarding the upcoming negotiations for your new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Your input into those negotiations is very important to us.
Please fill out the enclosed questionnaire and return it in the postage-paid envelope no later than Friday, May 24, 2013.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Union Representative at (503) 684-2822 or 1-800-452-UFCW (8329).
You will be receiving a medical packet in the mail, if you have not already. The forms included must be filled out and returned by May 15, 2013. If you did not receive a medical packet in the mail, please contact the trust office and the records department at UFCW Local 555 to update your records.
Trust Office: 800-654-4411
UFCW Local 555 Office: 503-684-2822
Thanks to the efforts of UFCW Local 555, its members, and its partners, every worker in Portland will be earning paid sick leave. This is a huge victory, not just for UFCW members, but for every person working in the City of Portland.
The battle for Sick Pay does not stop in Portland!
No one should feel forced to come to work, lose a day of pay, or risk losing their job just because they are sick. Paid sick days are the responsible way to prevent the spread of disease and keep everyone healthy by encouraging sick workers and children to stay home – away from co-workers, schoolmates, and customers.
The Facts of House Bill 3390
How workers accrue sick pay under the proposed law:
- Any worker who works for an employer with more than 6 employees must be given paid sick leave.
- Workers accrue sick pay starting the very first day at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked.
- Workers must be given at least 7 days sick pay a year.
Permitted uses of sick pay under the proposed law:
- A worker may use the sick leave to recover from an illness.
- A worker may use the sick leave to care for a family member with serious injury.
- A worker may use the sick leave to care for a sick child.
- The proposed law protects the worker from retaliation.
- Workers accrue sick pay on the very first day, but cannot use it until 90 days after date of hire.
- Employers cannot deny an eligible worker sick leave if they have accrued it.
What can we do?
Members can call their Oregon State Representative and tell them how important HB3390 is!
To find your State Representative’s phone number, go online to http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/
Call and tell them just how important it is for every Oregonian to not have to work sick!
Rules and Requirements for Eligibility
Any member of UFCW Local 555 in good standing for at least one year prior to the application deadline of May 3, 2013 is eligible to apply, or sponsor their child, grandchild or spouse.
All applications that are complete will be judged by the Scholarship Committee. Only winners will be notified, and their pictures and essays published in the 555 Leader.
Required items to apply: Scholarship application; an official high school and/or an official college grade transcript; three letters of recommendation; and a personal essay of up to 500 words. (please see the application form in the link below for complete list)
UFCW Local 555 helped Portland pass First Day Sick Pay, but our work is not done! On April 3rd (next Wednesday) will be the first hearing for a Statewide First Day Sick Pay bill in Oregon. The hearing will start at 8:00 am and will conclude by 10:30 am in the Oregon State Capitol building. We need to pack that hearing room. If you are available to go, please contact your Union Rep for more information. We did it in Portland, we can do it everywhere!
The following article can also be found in the NW Labor Press, it was written by Secretary Treasurer Jeff Anderson
The membership and the community in Portland scored an historic victory with passage of the Earned Sick Day Ordinance in Portland. The vote of the City Council was 100%, including Mayor Charlie Hales.
Portland is the third major city on the West Coast to adopt an Earned Sick Days law. Our Union’s Active Ballot Club played a major role in leading efforts to pass this law.
Portland follows San Francisco and Seattle who have mandated similar laws. The Portland ordinance is different in that it is inclusive of collective bargaining agreements and, therefore, applies to our union agreements with our employers in the City of Portland. The final public hearing was held March 7, with three hours of testimony by advocates and opponents of the ordinance.
I was selected to be the only member of a labor union to work on the task force following the first hearing on January 31st. This was quite an honor for our Union.
Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Dan Saltzman chaired the task force and did a fantastic job of hearing all points of view. Many of those ideas were incorporated into the law.
Some highlights of the ordinance include:
• Mandating all employers with six or more employees to provide up to 40 hours a year with paid sick leave while mandating unpaid time off for employers of five or less.
• Creates an accrual system of one hour for every 30 hours worked.
• Requires first day sick leave.
This victory is the result of our members who have contributed to ABC. These funds have created the opportunity to have a community wide campaign.
We now move on to support statewide efforts in Olympia and Salem.
Washington State has already moved legislation for paid sick leave in one committee, with Salem having the first statewide hearing planned sometime in March.
We will not wait for the states to act. We are in the early stages of moving Portland-fashioned policies in Eugene, Ashland, Corvallis, and Sherwood. While this might make a patchwork of differing laws, we continue to believe legislators should lead statewide efforts in both of our states in our jurisdiction.
Below is the written testimony I presented to Portland City council: “Thank you Mayor Hales and Commissioners for the opportunity to testify before you today. I am an avid supporter of this ordinance and believe the proposed ordinance before you today will serve as a model for cities across the country who will follow your lead — and for the state of Oregon.
“I have been honored to participate in the process of developing the proposed ordinance over the past year. I have spoken with and heard from union leaders, our members, unrepresented employees and employers over the past year and I believe their feedback has been well incorporated into the ordinance before you today. I participated in policy discussions with a variety of advocates, business owners and labor representatives last fall, and again last month in the task force led by Commissioners Fritz and Saltzman. As a participant in that task force I was impressed by the leadership the Commissioners exhibited as they worked to insure that all the voices at the table were heard and validated.
“As the sole ‘labor’ representative at the table for most of the meetings (though I was joined by a representative from the AFL-CIO for part) I admit I was skeptical about how the task force would strengthen this ordinance. After participating and seeing the product that resulted, I can say that I absolutely believe that the process strengthened the product. The Commissioners were right to engage a task force in this manner, and I believe the process could serve as a model for the city in the future.
“This ordinance will help my UFCW members. You have heard stories from our members — and will hear more today — about their experiences working the deli or the register sick; about delaying treatment so they could avoid taking unpaid sick days, or avoid retribution for taking unpaid sick days; about leaving kids home sick when they needed a parent with them, all because they did not have the paid time off they needed.
“But I want to be clear. This is not just about our members. UFCW 555 has worked to support a broad policy that covers all workers in Portland, our members, and our customers. Everyone who works needs paid time off to recover from illness without risking their job, without worrying about how they will pay their bills. I believe the ordinance before you today represents a historic victory for workers in this city — and that it will lead to more historic victories across the country. Thank you.”
This past month has been a particularly busy one at UFCW Local 555. Our biggest grocery bargaining ever settled with new contracts everyone at the table, we began the process of merging two healthcare plans, first day sick pay has been passed in Portland, and we are restructuring our Organizing Department.
First things first, after bargaining for a new contract for about two years in Eugene, and seven months in Portland, union members from all over Oregon and SW Washington settled their contracts together on February 1st. The two big victories that they achieved were very important to the future of Local 555 members. The first was realigning when contracts expire so that Portland will be leading off bargaining next time. This means that more members will be represented at the bargaining table sooner and this should allow for quicker settlements and better settlements.
The second victory was about health care. Currently we have two medical plans: the Portland Area UFCW Local 555 Employers Health Trust (PAC) and the Joint Labor Management Retail Trust (JLM). PAC and JLM will now be combined and cover about 14,000 workers. Insurance in its most basic form really is just about pooling risk. Combining our smaller plans into a larger plan means that going forward the costs associated with getting sick will be spread over more people and should make both plans more stable. The timeline for this merger has not been set in stone. However, the bargaining parties agree that the goal is that it will be done as soon as administratively possible. At this point, my best guess is either June 1st or July 1st. Either way, you will receive information from the Health Trust allowing you to select coverage and dependents.
This month the Portland City Council passed an ordinance requiring all employers operating inside the Portland city limits to provide first-day sick pay for their employees. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this happening. You deserve to be able to stay home when you are sick. It is that simple.
About a year ago we asked you to support the Active Ballot Club to raise money to help support public policies that help workers. This money was used to educate our community, our politicians and support those who would support you. Victory! Our plan is to see first-day sick pay statewide. You deserve it.
Finally, we’ve decided to make some changes to our Organizing Department. A labor union must organize new workers to maintain market share so that we can negotiate stronger contracts for you. There is a direct link between successful organizing, market share, and strong contracts. Unfortunately, this local has not been successfully organizing over the past many years. We decided to eliminate the job of organizing director and turn those duties over to Secretary Treasurer Anderson. Having the Secretary-Treasurer in charge of organizing illustrates the commitment to getting this job done. Jeff has done this job before and he did it very well. I look forward to sharing good news with you in the future.
UFCW Local 555 President
Angela Nelson being interviewed by Katu, channel 2. Angela testified to the Oregon House of Representatives on a bill to ban alcohol and tobacco in U-scans. Angela was terminated on a first offense from Fred Meyer.
For articles on the U-scan issue, click this link: