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.

Performance Evaluations & SAP Success Factors

PROTEC17 has had a requirement in the CBA for annual performance evaluations for many, many years and this has been a recurring discussion at the bargaining table, mostly because the City has failed to consistently conduct evaluations. This has been problematic for members who are in their probationary period, or want support for professional development, or are facing discipline for not meeting expectations. During the 2017 bargaining cycle your bargaining team expanded the language around evaluations during the probationary period to address the issue of members being let go without any notice that they weren’t meeting expectations. For the most part this was successfully implemented, but regular evaluations for non-probationary members remained inconsistent.

This time around, there was robust discussion at the bargaining table on how to best ensure that managers are having performance and professional development conversations with members. The PROTEC17 bargaining team pushed to move the City onto a single, trackable performance evaluation system due to years of managers failing to conduct timely evaluations and then denying training and/or promotional opportunities. Because the City was already using SAP Success Factors for non-representatives, it was logical to extend this tool to our members. The goal is to ensure managers are having regular conversations with members. A fact-finding investigation should never be the first time a member learns of a performance concern.

The bargaining team has received lots of questions, concerns, and rumors due to the bumpy and inconsistent rollout of Success Factors. Due to these concerns, I’m going to take a moment to clearly state: This is NOT a ploy by the City or HR to get our members onto merit. In fact, you should be aware that all of our classifications on merit were specifically removed from that system because of documented concerns that it supported favoritism, racism, sexism and bigotry.

I firmly believe a performance evaluation should be focused on an employee’s career goals and opportunities for professional development. The Success Factors platform allows for those conversations to be documented and tracked and in the end we will know exactly which managers are supporting professional development and which are not.

Your leadership team is continuing to work with Labor Relations and City managers to provide clearer, more consistent information regarding Success Factors. However, please keep in mind that the Success Factors rollout will NOT impact your annual step increases or cost of living adjustments.

Boots and protective gear reimbursement

Image of dirty work boots in the mud.Last month we sent a reminder that the boot/protective gear reimbursement amount was increased in our contract – it’s now $250 annually or $300 if not used in the previous year and it can be accessed after 30 days employment.  This month I’m pleased to report that BHR has finally uploaded the revised reimbursement form and it will be easier to request your full reimbursement.  Remember, even if you requested a smaller amount earlier in the year, you may still submit an additional request for the remaining amount.  Any problems with reimbursement can be directed to your steward or union representative.

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.