The PSU-AAUP bargaining team met with the administration team on March 3rd to continue negotiating on the implementation of the Paid Leave Oregon (PLO) program.
The program was created by the state legislature in 2019 and was implemented in January of this year. Beginning September 1, 2023, all employees in the state of Oregon will be eligible to access its benefits. Under the program, employees who are on FMLA or OFLA leave can get a part of their compensation paid without using their sick leave, or other types of paid leave.
How does it work?
Paid Leave Oregon will pay a percentage of an employee’s compensation while they are on leave, which will greatly extend the positive impact of your own accumulated sick leave under the AAUP contract.
How much is covered depends on how much an employee earns. The higher the employee’s compensation, the lower the benefit on a percentage basis. For example, those who earn $50,000 per year would receive about 90% of their normal pay in PLO benefits, while those who earn $100,000 would receive about 70%. Employees can then use leave to cover any gap between the PLO benefit and their usual pay.
The program is paid for by a 1% surcharge on payroll, with the employer paying 0.4% and the employee paying 0.6%. The PSU-AAUP Collective Bargaining Team is now negotiating with PSU administration over the program’s implementation. One of our primary proposals is that PSU Administration “pick up” the employee’s 0.6% share, much like they do with PERS (Oregon Public Employees Retirement System).
In addition to the pick-up, the PSU-AAUP team has proposed:
- Allowing employees to take up to 24 weeks of protected leave for any event that qualifies for PLO benefits. (This doesn’t mean the benefits would be paid for 24 weeks, but rather that the employee’s job would be protected for that long. Under the law, guaranteed preservation of your job expires at the end of the FMLA/OFLA term, which is typically 12 weeks.)
- If an employee exhausts their sick leave accrual and their Donated Sick Leave Bank allotment, then PSU would cover any additional pay gap.
The PSU Administration team has responded with a proposal that is basically the bare minimum that the law already provides – that the employees pay the 0.6%, and sick leave can be used to cover any gap in compensation.
The next bargaining session is tomorrow (Friday, March 10) from 3:00 to 5:00 PM.
All bargaining unit members are invited to observe the sessions on Zoom. The link is here: https://pdx.zoom.us/j/89400518425