Oregon Investment Council raises the bar with Responsible Contracting Policy

In a win-win for all Oregonians, the Oregon Investment Council (OIC) unanimously approved March 11 an updated Responsible Contractor Policy (RCP), that helps protect property services workers (janitors and security officers), commercial real estate tenants and participants in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) from irresponsible contracting practices in commercial real estate markets across the country.

Responsible Contractor Policies are industry standard risk management tools that ensure that commercial office properties and infrastructure projects sustain their value over time by contracting with responsible employers that hire workforces that provide top quality services in a safe work environment. 

With its industry standard policy, Oregon joins large institutional investors from across the country that have successfully employed RCPs for many years as a core part of their real estate investment approach.  The policy will help the OIC meet its fiduciary duty to protect PERS from risks in the marketplace and provide the fund with investment opportunities that lead to sustained, healthy performance. 

Members of SEIU Local 49, working in conjunction with SEIU Local 503 and the Oregon Building Trades Unions, celebrated this important step forward in raising responsible contracting standards. The Oregon Investment Council has demonstrated vision and leadership in adopting a policy that values property service workers and aligns with the long term, sustainable philosophy that guides the fund’s fiduciary duty to plan participants and to the taxpayers of the State of Oregon. 

For property service workers, including the members of SEIU Local 49, it means another major real estate investor will value their work with solid wages and benefits, will ensure their safety is a priority and will respect their right to join together with to have a collective voice on the job through their union.