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Report from the Parry Center Strike

This is a quick report from the front lines of the Parry Center strike.
Things are going well, morale is high despite the cold. So much is going on, sorry if this is cluttered. The day started out well with all the overnights as far as I know walking off the job. Numbers have been solid until this afternoon when people have needed a break before the next shift. Scabs have been hitting people with their cars, no injuries, but assualt with a deadly vehicle no less. The line has been solid and steady. Many union drivers have refused transport to Parry Center. The teachers are working on not crossing the picket line. People reported decent media coverage. Neighbors and concerned citizens have been coming up to us thanking us, giving their support. As you know a group occupied the admin building, which was wonderful. We need kind souls to come down and help walk the line, relieve the ones who have been there, and help keep numbers up for when the scabs come and go (probably at 6am 2-4:30pm and 11pm). We'll be out there 6am-12am everyday till this ends. We need your support and love. Got to run back. Send indymedia cameras, it would help with the assualts. They have wasted your tax dollars on private security to videotape workers, suprisingly they are paying no attention to the assualts with cars, but are trying to intimidate workers. Any people, musicians, anybody would be greatly appreciated, especially during the middle of the day and at night when people need an hour break or so. The support and level of energy is amazing! Thanks community for all the support.
I do not mean to be a 29.Nov.2004 18:04

dog in the manger

I support a living wage for EVERY person, don't get me wrong, but where are the kids in this? What is being done to see to their welfare? If the management is bringing in scabs whom they do not know and trust I cannot imagine all this is exactly happymaking for them. ?

KBOO reported on this story 30.Nov.2004 00:30

today

Just thought I'd throw this in. There is some good background and insight in this audio.
Hear it at  http://www.kboo.fm/news-dept.php

We Wanna Know Yo! 30.Nov.2004 13:00

Cat

Hey. I wanna know what's been goin on today at the Perry Center. I want to know when they need people down there the most, If they need food or supplies, if any meetings have occured. Can someone please inform us?? Thanx. More pics too.

Parry Center Strike 30.Nov.2004 18:37

mark

Scabs! I don't care for the word. Someone has to care for our children while we are on strike!


Mark

Parry Center (cont) 30.Nov.2004 19:40

Mark RN

Who on this site wrote the kids at Parry are FORCED to take their meds?

Mark RN

Call em as you see them... scabs! 30.Nov.2004 19:58

knows one when he sees one

Mark is a scab. What he's not telling you is that in the healthcare industry you give 10 days notice so that the company can give a plan to the state to ensure the kids are well treated while the strike occurs. Mark isn't interested in that, at the strike vote meeting he asked if he could work at other Trillium facilities... so he could keep making money.

Right now they are staffing mostly with management and whatever few scabs are disgusting enough to risk the kids LONG TERM WELFARE for whatever petty paycheck they get for the next weeks or months.

why did kboo suck? 30.Nov.2004 20:03

heard it

I listened to the KBOO report which was bizarre. Parry Center workers were on Labor Radion and other KBOO programs routinely, but the reporter fell for management lies without even bothering to ask the workers about their validity.

They said they have no money. Their audited financial statement they gave us said that they had a surplus of around 900,000$ dollars. The raise we asked for would only cost them around 75,000$. They say that it actually wasn't money for the Parry Center, but this too is questionable. They spent over 100,000$ on their lawyer leading up to the strike, and are spending much more now. They hired private security for 24hr monitoring and video taping workers. If they really don't have the cash, why didn't they just settle early on, or just ending the spending blitz by agreeing to binding arbitration like the Multnomah County Commissioners have requested? It is clear what they want. They want to break the union, that is why they are asking for an open shop as well, it ain't about money, it is about being able to abuse people without anyone saying no to them.

Call em as you see them 30.Nov.2004 20:41

Mark

Given you don't have a name . . that's easy for you to say!

Mark

SEIU Conflicts of Interest 30.Nov.2004 21:35

Anonymous or made up.

I find it interesting that SEIU negotiated a two-year wage freeze for state workers, but chose to strike a non-profit organization.

chose? 30.Nov.2004 21:52

seiu member

I don't know anything about the State Workers' wage freeze, but the SEIU didn't choose to strike. The workers did. Not sure if that's a criticism of the people who worked on the State Workers' campaign or what, but it seems to be a pretty pointless statement given that these workers at the Parry Center need all the love they can get, and your giving none.

SEIU did not "choose" the strike 30.Nov.2004 21:59

me

SEIU did not "choose" the strike. The strike was voted on by the workers at Parry center. Unlike many unions, SEIU is a prime example of a democratic union. The workers make the final decisions on what actions to take and reps use whatever tools the members authorize them to use. My guess, although I don't know, is that the state workers did not vote for a strike if management refused to bargain. If they had, believe me, SEIU would have used it. And anyway, the people who really chose the strike are the managment by refusing to bargain with the workers. When you say that someone "chose" to strike you are just blaming the problems on the workers, when in truth the last thing any worker wants to do is strike. It's a scary experience to have to go through. So, its the managment, stupid. The workers agreed to have the dispute settled by binding arbitration as reccomended by the city council, but management refused which forced the workers to strike. It's not their fault, but I applaud them for not backing down, and standing up for what they and the children at the Parry Center deserve.

Distortions 30.Nov.2004 22:00

Anonymous or made up.

By the way, the $900,000 they're talking about was donated for new buildings for kids at the Children's Farm Home to live in. Trillium is LEGALLY bound to use it for that purpose only. They could be sued for using it to pay workers. Oh, and everyone in the organization, from Kim Scott down, has been on a wage freeze, not just online workers.

SEIU did not "choose" the strike 30.Nov.2004 22:28

Terrence S. Killian

Actually, SEIU chose to strike by refusing to continue negotiations as management requested. SEIU chose to strike by refusing any of the offers management has repeatedly made. SEIU chose to strike dirty by jumping on peoples' cars, keying cars, verbally assaulting people just trying to fulfill their ethical obligation to care for mentally ill children. The workers at the Parry Center need love? Bite me. I work at the Parry Center. The children need love. It's not about staff, it's about kids. I support unions. This union has their collective head up their ass. Trillium pays as much as the other area mental health agencies do, and covers full medical, which some don't. I'm going to continue working day after day because the KIDS are the important thing. If the union believes that like their signs say, maybe they should stop trying to prevent parents from seeing their children, as several of our kids' parents have complained to us about. Now, please commence the attacks on me. I have neither fear nor illusions about what an asshole I am, but I know I'm an asshole who will DO HIS JOB.
Hugs and Kisses.

Operating Surplus 30.Nov.2004 22:55

Tom

The fact is that the Parry Center had an OPERATING SURPLUS of $868,694 in fiscal year 2003. That translates to a a PROFIT, but because they are a NONPROFIT, they call it an OPERATING SURPLUS. In the same year "salaries and expenses" for "management and general employees" increased by 15.9%. This is the same period when Child and Adolescent Treatment Specialists (CATS) were experiencing a wage freeze. All of this information is according to the Financial Statements and Report of Independent Certified Public Accountants, Trillium Group, Inc., June 30, 2003. Now, maybe there was some other $900,000 that Mr. troll wants to talk about. But, these numbers don't lie, and you can verify them for yourself. As for Kim Scott, I don't know if he's got a wage freeze or not, but he sure does drive a nice shiny new Volvo that costs at least $35,000, and lives in a nice fancy house in Lake Oswego, things that nobody who actually does the work at the Parry Center could afford. Just like so many other "non-profits", the administration is making a killing while the workers and the people the organization is supposed to be helping suffer. You may think you are helping these kids by being a scab everyday, but the real help is coming from the brave people who have said, "enough is enough" to the administrators who think they can fleece the state, the taxpayers, the workers, and their clients behind a shroud of doing a good deed. The problems go much deeper than a labor dispute, and these workers are brave indeed for having the guts to finally bring these problems to light.

Parry Center 30.Nov.2004 23:29

Mark Logue RN

Terrence:
I'm sorry but I won't bite you! However, I do wish you and the kids well.

Mark Logue RN
SCIP

"Operating Surplus" 30.Nov.2004 23:44

Terrence S. Killian

Mr. Troll? I... what? Troll? That's really the best you could come up with. Wow. Anyway. I have shed too many tears over this. You suggest I'm not helping the children by coming in to work. Okay. Cool. That's not really logical to me, but okay. I honestly don't know what to say here. How about this. My worklife has been completely consumed by these issues for several months now, and I've had to think about this stuff everyday, from every angle I can think of, because I'm not one to be told what to think. So consider this: Maybe, although you may be politically on the left, you can see that not every piece of union propaganda is right every time? Maybe, just maybe, people from the outside (I say outside because there's no "Tom" I'm aware of at Parry) don't know the full story? Maybe, just maybe, we can both look at the same audit and interpret it two different ways. Maybe, just maybe, my workers who have to get cussed at by former friends and coworkers just to try to take care of kids are the ones who are brave. I can see more than one side to a situation, can you? Can you see that if people try to fulfill what they see as an ethical obligation to work with the children the've dedicated themselves to, they shouldn't be abused for it? No one in Trillium believes CATS (or anyone else for that matter) make enough money. I don't and I never have. But abandoning the kids, treating making your co-workers who try to do their jobs cry from your verbal abuse, how the hell does that help?
(seriously though, troll? what is that?).

terrence 01.Dec.2004 09:40

member

If you really think the SEIU refuse to negotiate how do you explain the fact that we have give a barrage of proposal and yet the Parry Center has not even given one single economic supposal. They wouldn't even put a penny raise on the table. Wages are a MANDATORY matter of bargaining, yet they refuse to even put anything in formal writing, instead attempting to trick people by offering some unspecified wage in an unspecified future time period of their own choosing without any union say in the matter. How would you explain the fact that they won't accept the equitable 3rd party binding arbitration solution! I mean come on. If they really wanted fairness, don't they think a 3rd party of both the union and management's choice would come to an equitable solution? If they really want to bargain, why would they suddenly in the middle of negotiations ask for open shop? If they really want to bargain, why after the second session would they ask for a federal mediator (given that even really belligerent companies will wait maybe 8-10 sessions before this)? Their actions speak louder than your ideology.

On your ideology, lets be up front terrence, you don't support unions. You are the most rabidly anti-union person on campus next to the CEO and the like, and you let everyone know it. So much so that you illegally tell people they aren't allowed to talk about the union on the clock, even though they are allowed to chat about other things. This is a clear violation of the most basic labor law, as you cannot discriminate against the content of people's discussions based on union content. Yet your unit is the only one that has the zealotry for anti-union fascism and repression. Your post speaks to this as you actually give no evidence to support your claim that the union isn't bargaining, and you wouldn't know either. You weren't there, you don't speak with the union or allow your coworkers to speak freely. You do talk to management though and as their stooge...

I might also add that you are one the sick people who actually tries to run down picketers, and actually hit someone. I hope you realize that hitting a person with a car is felony assualt with a deadly weapon and they intend to prosecute. I think this speaks to your personality too, you don't have respect for other people's right to desent. You are always trying to suppress people who support the union because of whatever ideology you harbor, and your inability to accept that workers have a right to thinkn and act how they want. When you are challenged, you get violent rather than waiting literally 2 seconds for people to get out of your way. What makes you think its ok to hit any person with your car under any circumstances is beyond me. I'll guess you'll have to think it over for the judge, you and Kim Scott that is. As for keying cars, I sincerely doubt it. Maybe it happened, but I haven't seen it and I doubt any of my coworkers would stoop to your violent level.

btw Troll is an internet term for someone spreading propaganda against just causes, or just making trouble with falsities of some sorts.

names 01.Dec.2004 10:00

veteran IMC reader

btw people often choose not to use their names on this website to avoid harassment from right-wing trolls who sometimes post and read these boards and send 1000s of hate emails and whatnot to anyone who expresses an opinion they don't like. I am not sure if thats why these people aren't, but I could see not wanting my name in a public forum if I were in a vulnerable position like this. All management and people in power like scabs and company tools like those above, but they all want union members to be unemployed and crushed... There is a long tradition of persecuting union activists.

Distortions... again 01.Dec.2004 10:13

member

Then explain why it is that Trillium can afford to pay a lawyer 100,000$+ when the raise only would cost 75,000$? Explain why they continue to pay the lawyer massive fees when they could have prevented this strike by AGREEING TO BINDING ARBITRATION! No one takes that up, because it is equitable and a fine solution to two parties that can't agree. The reason is that they would rather waste the children's money stonewalling than address the real traumatic problems occuring at the Parry Center. The Parry Center I believe brings in the most money for Trillium, but yet Parry Center CATS staff receive about 1$/hr less than all the other campuses. This is clearly union discrimination, and I believe management's solution was to lower the wage of the non-union campuses once legal action was taken to demonstrate illegal union busting. But where did the money from that come from? It is cheaper to live in Corvallis and Bend than it is to live in Portland... Where do you think that money will go?

Also the management wage freeze is a lie, they have merely rewritten management positions and given corresponding raises for people doing essentially the same job, just with a little shuffling of paperwork. To be fair, workers receive no extra compensation when extra duties have been added, staffing has been reduced, etc. If they had done the same for workers who took on new duties, I might have understood. Instead the union has evidence that throughout Trillium, not just Parry Center, management have received these raises from rewriting their job titles and descriptions.

Happy responses 01.Dec.2004 17:22

Terrence S. Killian

Thank you for clarifying the troll comment. Regarding what I do and do not allow to be spoken of, I enforced the requirement that people discuss union issues on breaks, as agreed upon by the union members in their last contract, along with a no-strike clause. And no one ever objected to it (apparently behind my back, but not to my face). No one ever filed a complaint because they know I wasn't doing anything wrong. I have never voiced my opinions about SEIU without being specifically asked, and never at work. I think unions are a good thing, and have, for the most part, been a positive force in America. I object to the practices of this one. You (I assume, since I have no idea who you are) and I have never spoken about my ideology. I'm actually very torn about being on this side of a labor dispute, but apparently you don't believe in gray areas. Regarding the incident with my car, I have stopped driving in to work because I don't want to be part of anyone getting hurt. If going from a complete stop to tapping the gas once is felony assault, okay. I look forward to discussing it with the police. But I'm actually going to stop posting here, because you people are depressing the hell out of me. Go ahead and call me what you will. I've been called lots of things by a wide variety of people. I just hope people can look at this entire matter and be a little critical about the information coming from both sides. By the way, do me a favor. Ask the people striking who worked with me if I did a good job, and if they respected me. Although I disagree with what they're doing, I bet I know the answer.

My thoughts 01.Dec.2004 18:05

using my own research to come to my own conclusions

This may have already been addressed in this forum, but Parry Center does not have extra money. The money that has been brought up here is the money that is used to cover running expenses that state money, grants, ect. do not cover. The state money and grants only cover 80-90% of Parry, CFH, and Waverly running expenses. The money is listed under "Parry Center" because the fundraising office is located at the Parry Center. (This is my interpretation of the audit.)
I don't understand how Parry can possibly continue to give raises. State agencies have been on wage freeze for four years for the same reason that the Parry Center has been... Oregon is not/can not pay more. The fact that the Parry Center rearranged their budget and managed to give us raises when they weren't getting any more money from the state tells me that the Parry Center does care about their workers. Also, the "trick" offers made by Parry Center were (in my opinion) reasonable offers that said, "If we get more money, you get more money."
Finally, I too am amazed at the lack of ability to look at both sides, or to do research on some of these issues. If I were to 'pick sides' based on actions alone, I would not choose the union. This particular chapter of the union has chosen to walk away from the bargaining table and refused to set dates to return... that doesn't feel like bargaining to me, it feels like quitting. They have sent out emails encouraging members to picket in front of people's houses to bring public attention and embarrassment to those people, and then stated, "It should be fun." One of the strikers who was struck by a "scab's" vehicle is the same striker who actually jumped on a car in order to keep it from entering the parking lot. The name calling in this forum is a reflection of the name calling that has happened on the picket line.
Most of the people crossing the line don't begrudge those of you striking, we don't name call, and we try to understand your side of the issue while standing for what is personally right for us. I will continue to care for these children, and I will continue to do it for my current wages. I consider it a privilege to work with children (as does society and the State of Oregon obviously.)
I hope that as time passes, we will be able to care for the children without fear of choosing between possibly hurting a striker or sitting in our cars while being name-called and slandered. On the same note, I hope that I can post here without being name-called or slandered. We will continue to give you respect either way.
Please stay safe and warm.

reply 01.Dec.2004 22:30

member

On the "jumping on cars", the striker who got knocked onto the CEO's car didn't jump on the hood to prevent him from entering. The CEO hit him three times with his car to move him, wherein the CEO drove with him on the hood for approximately six feet. You weren't there, you don't know, so why draw conclusions without hearing that side. I don't think you did much research friend since you have management's story and clearly aren't a striker. What would you do if people were ramming you with their cars? There are lots of witnesses to this persistent form of attack. I am glad people are stepping down these attacks in light of safety for both, but lets be responsible and call people out for using their vehicles to move people. How would you feel if it were any tool like a motorcycle, shovel, or hammers to move people? A car is no different, it is a weapon.

On the money situation, how do you explain the 100,000$ in lawyer's fees. And on bargaining how do you explain NO counterproposals at all on mandatory items of bargaining. More importantly how do you explain refusing to agree to impartial 3rd party binding arbitration like the Multnomah County Commissioners wanted. How do you explain 7 months of union proposals stepping down from our original requests and no change at all in managements wage freeze or refusal to put any language about safe and legal staffing ratios?

Respect 01.Dec.2004 22:37

Willow Painton: Nursing Student

Okay Guys,
I do not understand striking when one works in a field with patients/clients that need you. Personally, I CAN NOT leave my patients. However, I do respect your decision to do so and all I am asking is that you also respect my decision not to do so, particularly as I am not a part of your union, nor am I being paid.
Also, if you choose to jump in front of my car and my brakes are a little worn, then hey, you may get nudged, thus my advice to you is to look both ways before you cross the street and take a lesson from Ghandi "Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind."
I know some of you who are out there and I have no ill will towards you and I find it very hurtful and counterproductive to your cause to be rude when I am respecting you and your decision.
Please choose to be open-minded individuals and allow all of us to make our own choices without judgment from you.
Sincerely,
Your Friendly Nursing Student

Terrence...Our Contract 02.Dec.2004 10:19

Z

Take another look at our contract Terrence, no where does it state that we will only talk about the Union on breaks. People at work talk about many things that are not Parry Center related, including yourself, and to discriminate against Union conversation alone is not legal. As for the no-strike clause you have half an understanding of that. Yes there was a no-strike clause but the contract is expired. We have been working without a contract since June 30th. There is no more no-strike clause. In terms of bargaining, managament has put forth the same proposal since day one--a wage freeze for 3 more years. We have been making offers against ourselves and that is not really bargaining. Also you should know that the union showed much more flexability in terms of setting bargaining dates than Parry Center ever did. They would pick one or two times a month that they were available and that was it. Management also wanted to go into mediation after the second session. These things do not show good faith bargaining and frankly Terrence, you weren't there.
Also in terms of never voicing your opinions about the union at work. That is simply not true. Saying things like "Nice F...ing Sticker", regarding a Union sticker on an employee at a team meeting, that's voicing an opinion Terrence.

The Money 02.Dec.2004 11:06

Z

Okay, so let's get's some things straight in terms of the money issue. Let's just say that we accept all of managment's excuses as to why the surplus of $868,000 is not actually a surplus. I then have to wonder why several months ago managment stated that they had spent in excess of $100,000 on legal fees for bargaining. If that was the bill several months ago, I can only imagine what it has grown to now. Our proposal would have cost them half that a year. So managment has made a clear choice to spend lots of money against the workers, but not for them. Secondly we now have this squad of security officers that have video cameras and lots of SUV's. Where is the money coming from to hire them? Management could settle this right now and avoid continued costs in both those areas, but they are chosing to keep spending. Management also lied to the public in saying that they have offered a wage increase when in fact they have not. They tell the public they have no money, but they tell the public they have offered us an increase. It makes not sense. Neither of those things are true. They are spending money like crazy and they have not offered us anything other than a three year wage freeze. As for the pledge that if there was more money they would spread it across the agency. They made that pledge last year as well. We took a wage freeze in honor of that pledge. Following that just about everyone in upper managment received a "promotion". A new job title and a raise to go with it. Furthermore, they opened a new facility in Bend and the employees there get payed significantly more than Parry Center employees do for the same job. The cost of living in Bend is drastically lower than it is in Portland so that excuse, though managment has tried to use it, won't work. Front line employees at all of Trillium's other facilities make more money than those at Parry Center. They also have better benefits. Connect the dots and you will see that there is a concerted effort on the part of management to discriminate against the employees at it's only unionized facility. They do this at the expense of the kids and that is dispicable. There have to be priorities set for spending money and Trillium has shown us that the priority is on appearances and busting the union rather than retaining good staff that can provide consistancy and stability in these children's lives.
Bottom line...Why won't managment agree to Multnomah County Commissioners request for Binding Arbitration. Letting a mutually agreed upon neutral third party make a decision that looks at both parties interests would end this. Why are they chosing to spend money to keep this strike going instead of agreeing to arbitration and ending it.

being realistic 04.Dec.2004 16:07

seanettle

I understand the position of both the picketers and those who have continued to go to work. Regardless of the outcome of this strike the base issue has not and will not be affected. Nationally the importance placed on funding for mental health resources is close to the bottom of the list. Seeing as we are one of the poorest states in the nation and that the mental health budget will again be cut in the next fiscal year, the concern for a long term solution should be placed with our legislators and other elected officials. The resources that we have now to support our most vulnerable population is dwindling and will continue to do so because they are a population of people that everyone else does not want to recognize. In my opinion everyone, from staff to client, is being hurt. Unfortunately striking one smaller organization will not perpetuate a change in the greater system.

Give me a break. 06.Dec.2004 20:05

I don't trust you not to treat me unfairly, so I am anon.

>>No one ever filed a complaint because they know I wasn't doing anything wrong. I have never voiced my opinions about SEIU without being specifically asked, and never at work.<< Um, that's not true. "Nice fucking sticker", "talk about the union on your own time" ... those are absolutely statements of your opinion. Just because you are subtle about it doesn't mean it's not a statement of how you feel. The only TTLs on campus that are outwardly rude to union members are you and Chaney. Even the couple of TTLs on West who don't agree with us are at least neutral about everything. In all the time that I (and others) have worked with you, regarding union matters, you've ALWAYS been rude and unprofessional. I mentally gave ALL the TTLS the benefit of the doubt, and you failed spectacularly. Don't lie to the internet constituency just to make yourself look better. There are a few people on the picket line right now who were on the fence, and were only swayed by the fact that you and Chaney treated them like crap regarding the union.

Don't act all noble like you're doing some great thing by crossing a picket line. You're buying Trillium's party line and spewing lies about the union, just like a corporate lapdog. It's sad. YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE UNION. You're not a union member. You don't even know enough to state that we "have our heads up our asses". You've never been to a negotiation session. Could you be more uninformed? The union is US, your coworkers. It's not some ethereal, nebulous "other" that exists just to make your life difficult. We make the decisions. We decide when we strike, and what actions we take. You have NO IDEA about all of the effort that we've been going through, all of the many, many hours we've put in over the past few months talking to legislators and the media, planning events, leafleting, writing letters ... ALL in the name of averting a strike. You're just absolutely clueless about it all. We didn't WANT to strike! You think I like being poor during the holidays?? I miss the kids and I miss my job. But I am willing to put my ass on the line to try and change the high rate of turnover that makes a child ask me, "Why should I tell you anything? You're just going to leave like so-and-so did."

You've simply read the garbage and the lies the Kim Scott has vomited out into those memos, and taken it for the sainted truth. You could at least PRETEND to be objective. I am ALWYAYS objective when I've spoken to the TTLs and management who were willing to have a rational discussion; in fact, I pride myself on it.

All the shit you're hearing about the picket line is secondhand. The only time you've seen it is for the three seconds while you're speeding by your coworkers in your car. So shush about that one.

You call these people "former friends", and that's sad. Maybe if 90% of your coworkers walk out on the job, it's for a reason. Your "former friends" are smart, free-thinking individuals who are tired of being reamed, and tired of seeing the children get shafted by sub-par, inexperienced people.

Sometimes, Terrence, if you think "everyone else" is wrong, then perhaps it's really not everyone else, but you.