May 20, 2019
OPEIU Local8
/ Categories: Workplace Updates

Solid Ground Update - July 16, 2018




for Local 8 Members at Solid Ground

July 16, 2018

Bargaining Team and Management Team Set to Meet with Federal Mediator July 20th and 27th.

Our Union Bargaining Team (Cynthia Linder, Jessica Lam, Roberta Petersen, and David Olivera)will meet with management on July 20th and 27th at Headquarters with a Federal Mediator. This is the first meeting since our Union overwhelmingly voted down the Employer’s best and final offer. The Bargaining Team looks forward to getting back to the table to work with management on an economic package that lives up to Solid Ground’s mission and values and provides wages that keep pace with the cost of living in the Seattle area.

How We Got Here:

Our Union Bargaining Team last met with management on May 16 and we reached tentative agreements on the remaining outstanding open sections of the contract including the employee healthcare cost share. The Employer agreed to maintain the current contract cost share percentages. While we made some good improvements to the Union contract and appreciated management’s movement on several fronts, we were still far apart on wages. Their proposal of a 3.5% increase effective January 1, 2018 and a 3.25% increase effective January 1, 2019with no anniversary steps except for those employees in grades 14 through 22 in Steps 1 through 5 was unacceptable because it does not remotely keep pace with the cost of living in the Seattle area.

At our May 16th session our Bargaining Team re-proposed our wage proposal of $3,000 for each employee effective January 1, 2018 and January 1, 2019 with a wage opener in 2020. This was a step in the right direction to begin to address wage inequality.Management acknowledged the inequality but stated that providing dollar amounts would create wage compression. Our Bargaining Team believes that lifting the lowest paid employees up by providing them with a higher quality of living is more important than worrying about the pay range between supervisors and those they supervise. Solid Ground with its values’ driven mission should set the example for other social service agencies to provide a living wage to all its employees. We are willing to compromise but management must bring more to the table.






Support our bargaining team and wear your OPEIU Local 8 lanyard and button!

Need a lanyard or button? Contact a Bargaining Team member or Diane Arnold, Union Representative at or (206) 441-8880 ext 115.




Highlights of the Economics Proposals and Responses


Union Proposal/Response

Management Response/ Counter Proposal


Wages: Effective January 1, 2018 a $3,000 wage increase.

Effective January 1, 2019 a $3,000 wage increase.

Wage openers to determine wages for January 1, 2020.


Wages: Effective January 1, 2018 each employee will receive a 3.5 % wage increase.

Effective January 1, 2019 each employee will receive a 3.25% wage increase.

Wage opener in 2020.


No Anniversary steps for all in 2018 and 2019.


No anniversary increase for those employees off the wage scale.


Anniversary step increase freeze except for Grades 18 -22 for Anniversary Steps 1 through 5.

No anniversary increase for those employees off the wage scale.


Healthcare premium cost share- maintain the same percentages.

Grades 18 - 22 = 1% of premium

Grade 25 = 3.5%

Grades 27-32 = 5%

Grades 33-47 = 12%


Accepts - Tentative Agreement


Job Evaluation Process and Reclassification

Details procedure and adds timelines


Accepts - Tentative Agreement


No change to retirement language


No change to retirement language


Personal Leave; Increase personal leave for SGT employees from 0 to 12 months to 196 hours from 160 hours.


Accepts - Tentative Agreement


Severance Pay
0-1 yr (0-12 mos) $800.00

0-5 yrs (13-160 mos) $1600.00

6-10 yrs (61 -120 mos) $2400.00

> 10 yrs (121 mos plus) $3200.00


Accepts - Tentative Agreement


Combined Classifications

Additional language: The Employer will strive for workload levels to maintain quality services. Supervisors will provide support to set priorities and assume duties.


Accepts - Tentative Agreement


Work in a Higher Classification

Employees working in a higher classification for more than four hours within a shift will receive the higher pay grade for all hours in the shift.


Accepts - Tentative Agreement


Job Posting

The Employer will interview all internal applicants who meet the minimum qualification and submit an application within the five day internal process for a union job, and if none are qualified, the Employer may then interview external candidates.


Accepts - Tentative Agreement


Internal Hiring

Current employees who accept another position with the agency that pays less than their current position will have their wages frozen at the current level until such time as the wage of the new position exceeds the wage that has been frozen.


Accepts - Tentative Agreement


Other Union and Management Tentative Agreements

Union New Member Orientation

Shop Steward Leave

Union Representation

Labor Management Committee

Observation of Holidays




 Questions: Please contact one of your Bargaining Team members (Jessica Lam, Cynthia Linder, Roberta Petersen, and David Olivera), or Diane Arnold, Union Representative at (206) 441-8880 ext 115 or



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