City of Portland

Almost 900 strong, our Portland members keep the city moving, performing vital services in nearly every bureau that benefit the Portland community.

Letter of Agreement on Vaccine Mandate approved by Portland members

On Mon., Sept. 20, PROTEC17 Portland members voted to approve a Letter of Agreement (LOA) that provides important rights for workers impacted by the vaccine mandate at the City of Portland. This agreement went into effect immediately to support members with the vaccine mandate process and includes the following rights. If you have specific questions, please reach out to Rachel Whiteside, PROTEC17 Union Representative.
For workers declining vaccination:
  • Workers will be separated from employment, not terminated for misconduct. The City will not consider the separation a disciplinary matter.
  • The City will send out a pre-separation notice at least 7 days in advance of separation. The notice will contain information about requesting a separation hearing, which a Union Representative can attend at your request.
  • Separated workers who complete a COBRA form in a timely manner will continue to receive paid health insurance benefits through November 30th.  Employees will need to self-pay as of December 1 to continue to be covered.
  • Opportunity to bargain an additional agreement, if the Oregon Employment Department allows unemployment payments for workers separated due to a vaccine mandate (currently OED has stated they will deny benefits for vaccine-related separations).
  • Pathways to return to City employment if the vaccine mandate is lifted or a worker later becomes vaccinated
For workers requesting an exception:
  • The City must provide a religious or medical exception process.
  • Discrimination and retaliation based on an employee seeking an exception is strictly prohibited.
  • Workers who are denied an exception request before October 18th will be separated from employment.
  • Workers who have submitted an exception request by September 30th but, through no fault of the worker, have not received a final reply from the City by October 18th will be placed on paid leave of absence until a final reply is received.
  • Workers whose exception requests are denied after October 18th, and who express an intent to get vaccinated, will be provided up to 50 days unpaid leave to become fully vaccinated. Workers can use accrued leave (excluding sick leave) during this time to maintain pay.
  • Workers whose exception requests are approved shall work with the City to identify reasonable accommodations to allow continued work.
For workers who have received both shots but who are not 14 days past their final vaccine dose by October 18th:
  • Reasonable accommodations (similar to those provided for approved exceptions) allowing continued work until 14 days past final vaccination dose.
  • Can use accrued leave (excluding sick leave) or take an unpaid leave of absence through the end of their 14 day period and can return to their previous position or other open position in their workplace in the same job class. Return requires that the position has not been permanently filled.
For workers who have received at least one vaccine dose by October 18th and intend to become fully vaccinated:
  • Workers can use accrued leave (excluding sick leave) or take an unpaid leave of absence through November 30th, 2021 and return to their previous position or other open position in their workplace in the same job class. Return requires that the worker is fully vaccinated, and that the position has not been permanently filled. This provision expires December 1st, 2021.
For workers experiencing a temporary medical condition that prohibits vaccination:
  • The City will provide a reasonable temporary accommodation to allow workers to maintain employment
Additional Rights:
  • All workers receive an 80 hour COVID Emergency Paid Sick Leave Bank for COVID-related leave covered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Use this link for more information: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave and see “Qualifying Reasons for Leave”. Note: this does not include 10 weeks of expanded family and medical leave. At a workers’ request, these hours can be made retroactive to July 1, 2020 for previous COVID-related leaves.
  • Workers will receive up to 2 hours of paid time to receive a vaccination during regular work hours, or 4 hours total if receiving two doses.
  • The City will not contest workers comp claims due to vaccine side-effects. Workers comp claims must meet baseline requirements for a valid claim.
  • Vaccine records will be maintained in a secure area and protected against cyber theft. The number of individuals who can access the information will be limited.

Chapter Meetings

Letter of Agreement on COVID-19 Economic Impacts approved by Portland members

The Letter of Agreement on economic concessions due to COVID-19 impacts was approved by a vote of the membership and ratified by City Council on June 3.

An FAQ addressing application of the elements of the Agreement is available here. Please review the document as well as resources the City has posted on the Work Share program here.

We encourage all members to follow the instructions provided by the Bureau of Human Resources for enrolling in the State of Oregon Work Share program.  Those instructions were emailed to all employees on Wed., June 3rd. If you are subject to taking furlough hours, you may begin to do so immediately.

Currently, there are additional payments of up to $600 available through the CARES Act for employees subject to a loss of wages and eligible for Work Share or unemployment benefits. The attached FAQ helps outline eligibility, but you should also review the Work Share FAQ and Work Share Handbook on the BHR website. CARES Act dollars are only available for furlough days taken before the week ending July 25, 2020, so don’t delay scheduling your furlough days if you want to take advantage of this program.

Your voice mattered in this process. The member led Task Force that developed a proposal to respond to the City and negotiated on your behalf did so after meeting with hundreds of you in Zoom meetings and reviewing the thoughtful comments you shared in our member survey. Thank you for your participation — keep it up!

If you attended one of our info sessions or any of the many meetings that occurred during negotiations, you will have heard that the City does not yet know the full extent of economic impacts from this pandemic. We agreed to continue to meet regularly with the City and maintain a dialogue about revenue and impacts. It will be critical for our chapter to stay engaged and to carry this momentum into the next fiscal year.

COVID-19 Emergency Benefits

PROTEC17 has been working in coalition with other unions to come to an agreement with the City of Portland to protect your health, safety and livelihoods during the COVID-19 crisis. On March 25, City Council adopted a Letter of Agreement, which includes expanded protections of your wages and benefits, as well as provisional emergency leave benefits, for the duration of the pandemic response.

Below you can find links to the ordinance and LOA, a summary of the benefits in the agreement, and flowcharts that will may help answer any questions you might have. The summary and flowcharts are provided so you don’t have to decipher any of the ordinance or LOA yourself.

Ordinance with the full Letter of Agreement (LOA)
Summary of benefits in COVID-19 LOA
COVID-19 leave flowchart
High risk employees flowchart

Our number one concern is your health and safety, and we know that your wages and healthcare benefits are a part of that. Please contact your Union Representative Rachel Whiteside if you have any additional questions or concerns.