The CGE Bargaining Team is pleased to announce that we’ve reached a tentative agreement regarding paid sick leave. You may recall that the passage of Senate Bill 454 mandated that graduate employees (and almost all employees in Oregon) receive paid sick leave. As a result of that law, we entered a brief round of negotiations to set the terms of the new paid sick leave policy. CGE and OSU have agreed to a sick leave policy that will be effective Winter Term.  The law goes into effect January 1, but graduate employees will begin receiving leave at the beginning of their Winter Term appointments.  You can read the entirety of the new language in the attached document, but here are the highlights:

  • Pre-loading:All graduate employees will have sick leave pre-loaded at the beginning of the term, instead of accruing it throughout the term.  Graduate employees will receive leave at the following rate, which is in excess of the legal requirement:
Employment Fraction (FTE) Sick Leave Hours per Term
.20 4
.25 5
.30 6
.35 7
.40 8
.45 9
.49 10
  • Immediate Availability:Graduate employees may use leave immediately. They do not have to wait 90 days as stipulated in the law.
  • Accrual & Carryover: Graduate employees may accrue up to 40 hours of leave per year.  Graduate employees may carryover up to 80 hours of leave into a new appointment that occurs within 5 years of the end of the original appointment.
  • Uses:Sick leave may be taken for: illness, injury, or preventative care of the employee or a family member’s physical or mental health, bereavement, domestic violence, or birth/adoption/fostering of a new child.
  • Substitution:Graduate employees are not responsible for finding a substitute where necessary (e.g. to cover your section of a lab).
  • Substitute Compensation: Graduate employees who substitute for another graduate employee will be compensated at a rate of $21.12/hour (the minimum salary rate).
  • Schedule Flexing:Graduate employees may choose to flex their schedule instead of taking leave.  Graduate employees may not, however, be made to flex their schedule or be made to work additional hours to make up for sick leave taken.
  • Medical & Family Leave:Graduate employees may use available sick leave to take part of their otherwise unpaid Medical & Family leave as paid.
  • Leave Donation:Graduate employees may donate up to 30 hours of leave to one or more other employees for long term absences. Graduate employees may receive up to 30 hours of leave from one or more other employees for long term absences.

You’ll see that we were able to secure most of the priorities expressed in the survey: pre-loading, immediate availability, carryover and application to long term leave, and leave donation. We were not, however, able to secure payout for unused leave.  The Bargaining Team recommends ratification of the new contract language. Ratification will take place at the General Membership Meeting, Tuesday, October 27th 5:30pm at the Corvallis Senior Center.  All members should plan to attend and vote.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be working on setting up a procedure for leave donation and will be ironing out other details. If you have input on this or feedback on the sick leave policy in general, please respond to this email and let us know.

In Solidarity,

CGE Paid Sick Leave Impact Bargaining Team

Thomas Morrill, Vice President for Collective Bargaining & Grievances

Laura Syron

Nikki Wiseman

Ashley Bromley