The bulk of the day at bargaining was focused on developing a paid family leave at PSU.
On February 14, PSU-AAUP presented the initial sketch of a proposal for family leave plan with the following features:
Expand the definition of “family member” used to decide eligibility for leave. Currently, the definition of family in FMLA/OFLA is somewhat limited. The new definitions in the Oregon Paid Family Leave Act (HB 2005) that will be implemented in 2023 are more expansive. We have suggested these definitions be adopted as the model immediately. This more expansive definition makes the following additions to the definition of family members: domestic partners of opposite gender, any individual related by blood, or by affinity, whose close association is equivalent to a family association (which includes such individuals connected to your domestic partner or spouse), and adds siblings to bereavement protected leave.
24 weeks of protected leave. Protected means, you have the right to return to our job at the end of the leave, and continuation of insurance. There are currently times that people can take 24 weeks of protected leave, but it isn’t always available, and has to be pieced together. We want to make it straightforward to take 24 weeks weeks of leave if it is needed.
Donated Sick Leave Bank withdrawals that can be used to cover salary during family leave would be expanded from 8 weeks per incident, to a longer period, perhaps up to 24 weeks.
Our goal is to find a way to cover salaries for as many of the 24 weeks as possible using some of the current options (sick leave, donated sick leave bank, short-term disability). In 2023, when the Oregon Paid Family Leave act is implemented, a good portion of the first 12 weeks of leave will be covered by the state pool established for that purpose.
We presented this general framework on February 14 and expected to hear from the PSU Administration team today. However, PSU Administration was not ready and long stretches of our bargaining time went into time for the PSU team to come up to speed so they were ready to engage at the bargaining table.
PSU Administration committed to bringing the following to our next bargaining meeting:
A proposed expanded definition of family.
Inventory of current leave options at PSU, to pinpoint specifically what we would need in order for everyone to get 24 weeks of protected leave.
We bargain again this Friday, March 6, 9-4 in RMNC 316. Please do consider supporting your team and set aside some of your valuable time to help us move the ball forward on these efforts. When management sees our members in person, they know that you support what we are asking for at the table. The CB team breaks around noon for lunch. Peak attendance at 11 and 3 is ideal, but any time you have during the day is welcome.