OHSU Postdocs Win Union Representation With AFSCME

OHSU Postdocs Win Union Representation With AFSCME
Postdocs join the over 9,000 Oregon AFSCME represented workers at OHSU

PORTLAND, OR - After a strong majority of the over 240 postdoctoral research staff at Oregon Health and Sciences University submitted union authorization cards, the Oregon Employment Relations Board certified their union with Oregon AFSCME.

Now that the Postdocs have their union, they are looking towards bargaining their first contract.

“With over two thirds of eligible postdocs signing union cards, and support from both international and domestic postdocs, it speaks to how much we value having a voice in conversations about our own working conditions” said Joe Lebowitz, a postdoc studying dopamine signaling in the brain from the Vollum Institute. “Bargaining will be the important next step as we work together to provide input into the decisions that affect us, our labs and the quality of research at OHSU,” continued Lebowitz.

“Postdocs at OHSU deserve to be recognized for the real value we bring to OHSU research, and this recognition is an important moment," said Lucie Darmusey, a postdoc in hematology cancer research at the Knight Cancer Institute. “We’re looking forward to bargaining a fair contract that addresses pay, paid time off, benefits, and protections against abuse” added Darmusey.

"A significant portion of us are from other countries. As an international postdoc myself, I have faced numerous challenges that come with low pay, long working hours, and job insecurity, along with the added difficulties of navigating visa requirements and living in a foreign country” said Katia Rebola, a postdoc specializing in biochemistry and molecular biology of leukemia from the Knight Cancer Institute.

“We are proud to welcome the postdoctoral researchers to our union family and applaud their commitment to creating an equitable and sustainable system in support of the people we rely on for making life-changing advances” said Stacy Chamberlain, Executive Director of Oregon AFSCME.

“With the support of over 9,000 individuals already represented by AFSCME at OHSU, we look forward to building upon our success in promoting fair pay, improved benefits, and worker protection through the strength of solidarity and collective bargaining. These dedicated people deserve nothing less" added Chamberlain.

Oregon AFSCME believes in economic and social justice for all Oregon workers and their families. Our mission is to empower and unite workers to create change in their workplaces and communities. Oregon AFSCME represents over 35,000 workers in the public sector. Our members work for the State of Oregon in addition to counties, municipalities and behavioral health nonprofits across Oregon as well as self-employed child care providers. For more information visit: www.OregonAFSCME.org.