Oregon Lawmakers Give Union Members More Rights

House Bill (HB) 2016 makes important changes to Oregon’s Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act (PECBA).

The law goes into effect January 1, 2020, at which time all Oregon public employees must comply, even if the law differs from contract provisions.

Many practices which OSEA chapters have previously negotiated into contracts will be mandated by law. “The difference under HB 2016 is that chapters won’t have to fight for these rights at the bargaining table,” explained OSEA Director of Field Operations Susan Miller. “Across the board, every one of our chapters will have equal access to these rights.” OSEA chapters should work with their field representatives to incorporate provisions from HB 2016 into contracts now, as the implementation of the law will vary from employer to employer.

HB 2016 gives unions the right to meet with new hires within 30 days, and to meet with employees to discuss workplace-related matters. Employees will not lose compensation when meeting with union representatives during work hours. These changes give OSEA staff and chapters easier communication with members.

Finally, HB 2016 puts new restrictions on unfair labor practices. Employers can no longer try to influence employees to resign from or decline union membership, or revoke their dues authorization. Districts should be neutral when it comes to employees making decisions about joining OSEA.

With HB 2016, Oregon lawmakers made important updates to PECBA to include best practices from union contracts around the state. These amendments help ensure that public workers are able to organize, advocate and improve their working conditions through labor unions like OSEA