#1 How would you work to bring stability to the City's workforce and service levels while managing revenue volatility?

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1 AFSCME LOCAL Candidate Questions Revenue Represented employees, who as a group have little to no input on the budget, watch management try to address budget challenges year after year. The City has often balanced budgets on the backs of front line workers without regard to the impacts on workers and the services they provide. Increasing revenue and management span of control have been offered in the past as possible solutions. #1 How would you work to bring stability to the City's workforce and service levels while managing revenue volatility? From my conversations with AFSCME, other unions representing city workers, and others in the community, it is clear that labor relations at the City are deeply broken. There is a deep feeling of mistrust of the city human resources staff and a feeling that disputes are needlessly pushed to the point of a formal grievance and unfair labor practice rather than working to address the problem immediately. With more labor relations staff in Portland than at the state level, the relationship between labor and the City should be better, not worse. The same problem exists when it comes to managing changing budgets and making workforce decisions. This culture needs to change and I am committed to changing it, bringing the same approach I did when I was chair of Multnomah County. I will reform both HR and labor relations to be more responsive to the concerns of city employees, and I will seek to bring HR and labor relations directly under control of the mayor. I have always and will always maintain an open door policy with labor, ensure there are regularly scheduled meetings open to all bargaining units that wish to attend, and increase opportunities for direct and informal contact on an ongoing basis. When I led the County, we faced a crippling budget deficit that forced very difficult choices about staffing levels and compensation. But rather than descend into acrimony and conflict, I was able to work with labor and our front-line workers to minimize the impact of the cuts, both in terms of layoffs and reductions in service to our clients. Labor played a key role in helping us identify ways to save money without jeopardizing job security or service delivery. City employees who are at the front line of service delivery are in the best position to know what tools, training, and support they need to deliver those services effectively. At Multnomah County some of the most important reforms we made to our service delivery were ideas brought forward by front line employees. I don t want to pretend it is easy people went without raises and other expected compensation but we were able to do it together in a way the benefited the employees of the County and the

2 community as a whole. It is my pledge to build the same relationship at the City, providing an open door and collaborative communication to labor. Beyond what we can do to effectively manage budget shortfalls when they arise, we can do more to create financial stability at the City level. Looking at staffing levels and management span of control is one way we can look at to cut costs. But we can also look at others, like insourcing bringing formerly contracted services back into the City a strategy we used to cut costs and improve quality at the County. We also need to be careful stewards of the tax dollars we receive and show best management practices to our lenders. For instance, at the State Treasury we have worked successfully to demonstrate careful fiscal management. This resulted in an improved bond rating that is saving the state millions. Finally, where appropriate, I will be supportive of measures to create additional revenue. That is why when I announced my campaign I offered my support for a city gas tax to repair our crumbling roads. Giving voters confidence in how that money will be spent and that we are being careful stewards of our revenues is critical to securing the public support to ensure we can properly fund city services. Equity Pay Equity is a problem gaining focus nationwide as well as in Salem. It is widely recognized that women earn significantly less than similarly qualified males. In the City of Portland, there are several examples of positions traditionally held by women that are not paid at a rate commensurate with the required skill set. One example is the Police Records Specialist, which is 78% female. Compensation in this class is much lower than limited-skill, but generally male-dominated classifications. They have also fallen well below regional pay levels in the law enforcement / public safety field. Finally, we as labor advocates, see this as a barrier to employment for many in our community, including women and people of color. #2 What would you propose to help bring hiring AND pay equity to the City of Portland? I have been a strong supporter of pay equity throughout my time in public office. Everyone deserves equal pay for equal work. If there are pay inequities occurring in any bureau, I would want to work with the City Auditor and labor representatives to identify what positions are being disadvantaged and how we can bring them up to offer comparable pay for comparable work. I would want to work with my fellow commissioners to ensure those recommendations are being consistently implemented in each of the bureaus. I would also like to look at pay disparity among English and non-english proficient workers. I have heard anecdotally that these workers, some who have worked for years at the City, continue to face wage inequities and barriers to advancement. We should investigate those questions and also provide better opportunities for those workers to gain language and other skills necessary to enter into better positions at the City.

3 Moreover, I share AFSCME s concern about the disparities in pay at the city compared to other jurisdictions, as well as the general failure to recruit and advance women and people of color. For instance, I have noted that we are facing a watershed moment in the staff of the Police Bureau as we restore lost positions and prepare for baby boomers to retire. We need to think about how we can hire back those positions in a way that reflects the diversity of this community and helps build trust in our officers among the constituencies they police. More generally, it is past time for us to step up our game in recruitment, retention, and promotion of workers of color. We must have a city government that reflects the diversity of this community and gives all of our residence confidence that their concerns will be valued. That includes better outreach and training opportunities for members of these communities. But it also means doing a better job supporting workers of color already on the City payroll, ensuring that there are equitable opportunities for training and advancement. I am a supporter of the newly adopted Charles Jordan Rule to ensure diversity in the hiring of our bureau chiefs. I d like to see what we can do to ensure a competitive hiring process for bureau chiefs and other leadership positions so that a diverse range of candidates can be considered. While I was Chair of Multnomah County, I was proud of the diversity of my management team. Similarly, as Mayor, I will seek to have the most diverse administration in Portland history. Health Care During the 2015 Housing Bargaining, the City presented punitive changes to the City s health care structure. At one point proposing a 3x increase in out-of-pocket premiums. We believe this to be counterproductive not only to those represented, but all City Employees health care goals and financial security. #3 Would you support a collaborative approach with labor to provide positive rather than punitive Healthcare options to incentivize healthy changes? Yes. We are moving as a nation from a model of pricing people out of health care to a model that ensures all people get the care they need. This improves public health and controls costs by ensuring chronic conditions do not go unmanaged. Pricing our employees out of care is counterproductive and mean spirited for our lower-wage workers. I am very supportive of ideas advanced by Commissioner Novick and others that we must focus on being a collaborative partner with our workers to help them pursue healthy decisions and better manage chronic conditions that can become a major source of medical costs. Furthermore, I recognize that some workers choose to work for the city because of the access to stable, comprehensive benefits. Driving up the cost of premiums and other out-of-pocket cost will push workers to look elsewhere, leading to lost talent and experience that will cost the city in the long run. I have supported universal access to health care throughout my career. I have been a proponent of health care as a critical human right. I spearheaded the county s Health Equity Initiative, which seeks to confront health inequities that result from socioeconomic and racial injustices. That initiative is now a national model. Further, I was among the first elected leaders in the Unites States and the first in the State of Oregon to support transgender health care benefits. I did it through executive order while Chair of Multnomah County. While it was controversial at the

4 time, it is now a standard benefit throughout the state. I will continue to provide focused solutions based on my belief in universal health care for all. Labor Relations Labor relations is tasked with negotiation of Collective bargaining agreements on Councils' behalf, during the last negotiations the Labor Relations team declared impasse (a major step in the PECBA process) without the Mayor s knowledge. #4 What do you view as your role in the bargaining process? As the Mayor, the buck stops with me. I expect to have an active role in the bargaining process. I am concerned about the current state of bargaining where negotiations go right up to the edge of arbitration before agreements are reached. This is time consuming, costly and counterproductive. I used a different approach as County Chair and it is the same approach I will bring to the City. It is time to move past protracted negotiations that are dragged out until an impasse or the threat of an impasse is reached. That saps worker morale and the confidence that we at the City care about our welfare of our represented workers. It is my promise that I will stay actively informed and involved through the bargaining process, helping ensure issues are identified and addressed in a fair manner. Grievance handling The employees we represent work under a negotiated contract, When City Management fails to honor this agreement the result is a grievance" and most commonly passed to HR/ labor relations for handling rather than being addressed by managers. This creates an environment where HR are no longer regarded as technical experts and advisors but enforcers. The result is an adversarial and sometimes combative relationship with no shared interest in a remedy. #5 What would you do to improve labor relations and help the City become an Employer of Choice? The number of grievances and unfair labor practice complaints filed is not acceptable and, in my opinion, is reflective of a problem with the culture in City government. We need to instill a culture of collaboration that begins with my office and those of my fellow commissioners, and extends out to include the bureau chiefs and managers. My sense of the current shortcomings in HR and labor relations include: Department leadership s basic approach makes crisis situations inevitable rather than a rarity. There is an overreliance on legal representation rather than on relationship building.

5 Labor relations is heavily staffed, with a larger team than even the state, yet labor relations at the city level are worse, not better than at the state. Communications and trust between HR and labor unions are as low as I ve seen. The relative independence of HR and labor relations from the mayor contributes to a lack of communication and a lack of understanding. The City of Portland can do great things when it comes to the livability and affordability of our community if we are working together. I know that people come to work at the City because they care about our future and they do want to make a difference in the community around them. It is unacceptable when bureaucracy or adversarial relationships get in the way of the important work we do at the City. And changing that culture will begin with me. That is why I will set up regular meetings with representatives of the bargaining units in my bureaus and provide my cell phone number to union representatives. If we are truly going to make a difference on affordable housing, transportation, parks and green spaces, environmental and utility services, public safety, and the host of other things this City does, it is going to be with your hard work. I need your help if we are going to live up to the challenges ahead. I hope you will join me in making the City an Employer of Choice for current and new workers, offering a fair, positive work environment where employees can contribute and succeed.

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