OHSU Graduate Researchers Ratify Contract with 98% "Yes" Vote

Portland, Oregon–In a display of unity and collective strength, members of AFSCME Local 402 representing OHSU Graduate Researchers their new contract with a resounding 98% "Yes" vote. 

“This win is not only due to the amazing effort of our Bargaining Team, but also the engagement of our membership who showed their support at the Respect for Research Rally, our action on the first day of mediation, and the sit-in on the second day of mediation,” said AFSCME Local 402 President Triona Matheson, a graduate researcher in molecular and cellular biology. “The voices of my fellow graduate researchers and others who came to support us could be heard by both bargaining teams all the way on the 11th floor during the picket, and it goes to show that we really are stronger (and louder) when we stand together.”

The highlights of this newly ratified contract include a stipend increase of up to 48% over four years for School of Nursing and School of Public Health members, a 14.2% stipend increase over four years for School of Medicine members, and a host of other benefits for Graduate Researchers including an out-of-pocket health insurance maximum reduction, improved DEI language, increased protection of contractual rights, reduced prices for Trimet passes for GRs in the first year of their PhD, and more.

The ratification of this contract represents a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to improve the lives of all workers at OHSU. “We are proud to see the dedicated organizing efforts of OHSU’s graduate research workers culminating in a winning contract that will benefit them over the next four years” said Oregon AFSCME Interim Executive Director, Joe Baessler. 

“We are also witnessing a time when over 9,000 AFSCME members at OHSU are activated: along with the graduate researchers, we have newly welcomed PostDoc Workers United bargaining their first contract, over 2,000 research workers forming their union, and Local 328 continuing to build worker power after negotiating a historic contract last year” added Baessler.