February 16, 2019
OPEIU Local8
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Northwest Justice Project Update - May 15, 2018




for Local 8 Members at Northwest Justice Project


May 15, 2018



Update on OPEIU8-NJP negotiations

We began negotiations for our first contract with NJP at the end of January.  Since then we have had 13 bargaining sessions.  We are scheduled to meet again on June 5th and 6th.

The Bargaining Team is diligently working to build a good, strong union contract from the ground up with provisions that will benefit and guide employees.  When we reach an agreement on a provision in collective bargaining it is called a Tentative Agreement (TA).  Once we have reached a TA on all provisions of the contract we will bring the full agreement before the membership for a vote.  It will not go into effect until it has been ratified.

To date, we have made a lot of progress on non-economic issues.  Here are some highlights:

Progressive Discipline and Just Cause: Employees shall not be disciplined or discharged without just cause and there will be a uniform system of documented verbal and written warning notices.

Employee Rights: Employees will have the right at any time to request to have a representative present during any meeting, conference or discussion you feel may lead to discipline.

Union Rights: Shop Stewards can participate in new employee orientations, grievance meetings and informal labor-management discussions without loss of pay.  The Union can use bulletin board space, email and NJP Intranet to distribute information.  The Union shall have reasonable access to Employer’s premises.

Notification of Funding: The Employer shall notify employees hired into term-limited positions of the anticipated end date of the position’s funding.  Whenever possible, the Employer shall notify those bargaining unit employees whose job security is impacted by the status of their funding source(s) at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to the possible end of funding. 

Health and Safety: Creation of a Statewide Safety Committee to support health and safety of clients and employees through review, improvement and development of safety policies and procedures. 

Hardship Fund and Political Action Check-Off: Allows employees to voluntarily contribute to OPEIU’s Hardship and Political Action funds directly through payroll deduction.

Labor-Management Committee: Establish an on-going Committee that provides a forum to discuss matters of mutual concern and jointly problem-solve.

Grievance Procedure: Establish a specific process for employees to challenge the Employer’s interpretation and/or application of the Contract.

We are just now beginning to discuss the economic issues.  This will be the most challenging part of the process as we work to improve wages, retirement, and medical benefits.  In doing so, it is necessary to examine both our current structure, including “NJP dollars,” as well as outside market data.  We will be sending out a survey soon to gather your input and ideas on how to bring salaries up while maintaining quality medical coverage for all.  

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to us or your representatives on the bargaining team: Ashley Beeman, Meredith Childers, Chelsea Hicks, Elizabeth Flavin, Joann Guzman, Nia Platt, Blanca Rodriguez and Mary Welch.  Please note Jefferson Coulter is no longer participating on the Bargaining Team since he was asked to serve as interim senior attorney in Spokane.

Questions?  Contact your Union Representative Valarie Peaphon at
800-600-2433 ext. 103 or Valarie@opeiu8.org












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