AFSCME's newest local, the Newberg City Public Works #1569,
overwhelmingly ratified its first contract this week
Oregon AFSCME Local 1569,
Council 75's newest local representing City of Newberg Public Works employees,
has overwhelmingly ratified its first contract.After a well-orchestrated effort by AFSCME's Organizing Department,
the union entered negotiations with the city in September and built a contract
The new Local 1569
represents about 30 Newberg workers. Council 75 Staff Representative Justin St.
James says highlights of the two-year agreement include:
áJust cause and a fair
grievance procedure, neither of which existed in the city previously.
áNo changes in health
care, retirement or deferred compensation plans.
áThe unfreezing of
áCOLAs of 2.5 percent
for the first year and 2 percent plus a cash bonus in the second year of the
áImprovements to standby
pay, the ability to choose overtime rather than being forced to take
compensatory time, and inclement weather pay.
"For a first contract
campaign, the local showed enormous solidarity and supported the bargaining team
at every turn," said St. James. "Our bargaining team worked incredibly hard to
get the local the best possible contract. They were a smart and talented group
that spent months negotiating every last article in the new contract, yet they
remained positive and focused even during the longest days of bargaining."
In addition to St. James,
the Local 1569 Bargaining Team included Mike Conway, Brittney Jeffries, Bryan
Jones, Craig Pack, Karen Tarmicheal and Ed Thomas.
St. James also cited Oregon
AFSCME Organizers Dan Abernathy and Tyler Woodard for their help during the
The members of Local 173 (Polk County) made some strong economic gains
in a recently settled wage opener in their contract
The members of Local 173
(Polk County) made some strong economic gains in a recently settled wage opener
in their contract.
Council 75 Staff
Representative Justin St. James says local union unity played a key role in
successfully bargaining cost-of-living adjustments and other enhancements for
"The local turned out in
great numbers throughout the bargaining process to help the bargaining team
know how they felt," said St. James. "That display of unity helped move the
"For example, the county
told us that increasing salaries for office specialists was off the table at
the beginning of bargaining, but we won a two-step increase for all of them,"
St. James noted. "And having a county-wide COLA again after no increase in the contract's
first year will help our members deal with the rising price of gas, food, and
Economic highlights of the
A 1.5 percent COLA
Members with step increases get to keep them,
which was in doubt at the beginning of bargaining.
The following classifications were increased by
either one or two steps, with steps being worth 4 percent —
Accounting Technician (2 steps), Appraiser (1 step), Juvenile
Administrative Specialist (2), Medical Assistant (1), Medical Clerk (1),
Nurse Practitioner (2), Office Specialist (2), Public Health
Administrative Specialist (1), Public Works Assistant (1) and WIC
The wage opener agreement is
for the period running through June 30, 2013. The full contract runs through
June 30, 2014. In addition to St. James, the bargaining team included Local 173
President Dustin Breitwieser, Treasurer Wendi Hamilton and Esther Hildebrandt.
Terri Michel, Luke Shepard, and Officer Charlie Stewart bargaining team
Members of the Local 2734
(Tillamook County) sub-local at the City of Rockaway Beach have a new two-year
contract. The agreement comes on the heels of a successful recall election
earlier this year when AFSCME members joined with a coalition of concerned citizens
and city fire department supporters to oust the Rockaway Beach mayor and one
Council 75 Staff
Representative Evan Wickersham reports employees successfully fought off an
effort to double the employee health care premium contribution, ultimately
agreeing to a health care status quo. The members covered by the contract will
also receive a 2.33 percent raise for each of the contract's two years.
Additionally, the group
strengthened contract language around the issues of union orientation, sick
leave donation, an increase in money for laundering police uniforms and
improved layoff language.
"On that last point, the
city now cannot layoff workers while temps or volunteers are doing similar
work, nor can they use them while anyone is on layoff status," said Wickersham.
"That was a good gain for us."
Local 2734-1 represents
about a dozen Rockaway Beach city employees. In addition to Wickersham, the
bargaining team included Terri Michel, Luke Shepard and Charlie Stewart.
Members of Local 2936 have a new successor contract with Coos County
that goes into effect July 1
Members of Local 2936 have a
new successor contract with Coos County that goes into effect July 1. It's a
two-year deal that runs through June 30, 2014; Local 2936 represents about 105
Coos County is one of the
Oregon counties hit the most severely by the federal timber payments crisis.
Just over 60 percent of the county's landmass consists of federal or state
forestland, meaning it won't ever be developed or taxed. For years, Coos and
rural Oregon counties like it depended heavily on their share of federal timber
receipts to fund a large portion of county government. Changes in economics and
environmental rules have curtailed logging as much as 90 percent.
Since 2000, the Secure Rural Schools and
Community Self-Determination Act provided "county payments" in lieu of the actual timber receipts, but
in recent years Congress has been reluctant to reauthorize the act,
consistently passing it in the 11th hour while reducing the payment
amounts. The current Congress did not re-up the Secure Rural Schools plan,
leaving many counties such as Coos without their federal lifeline. At $1.08 per
thousand, Coos County has one of the lowest property tax rates of Oregon's 36
scenario, Oregon AFSCME Staff Representative Rodney McCambridge said the county
was understandable cautious during bargaining, and unwilling to discuss more
than a two-year contract.
wants to see how the local, state and federal elections play out, see where the
budgets fall and see if any of the federal money comes back," said McCambridge.
"We did what we could, targeting our lowest paid members as best as possible,
going with the philosophy that a rising tide raises all boats."
the contract include:
A general wage increase of 70
cents per hour in the first year of the contract. The county was adamant
it could not afford a percentage increase, but McCambridge says the 70
cents is significant for lower paid members, some of whom are in the
$10-$12 per hour range.
A flat $50 per month increase from the county on
insurance, which McCambridge notes represents "$50 a month in the members'
The local did not get a raise in the second year
of the contract, but agreed in lieu of an increase to a "me, too"
clause relative to other county government unions. McCambridge says Local
2936 had "me, too" protection for many years, gave it up several years ago
during tough bargaining and is pleased to get the language back in the
"The clause offers our
members some protection should things get better with the federal payments," he
said. "Given the overall circumstances, our folks are happy with the deal."
In addition to McCambridge,
the Local 2936 Bargaining Team included President Jan Long, Vice President
Daniela Kellum and Toni Kirkeby.
Oregon AFSCME Local 2892 and the City of Coos Bay have signed a new
Oregon AFSCME Local
2892 and the City of Coos Bay have signed a new four-year contract. The
contract is effective June 1 and runs through December 2016.
The agreement covers
about 30 union-represented city workers. Council 75 Staff Representative Rodney
McCambridge said both sides walked away from the negotiations feeling that the
process had worked.
"I think it's fair to
say that both the city and the union felt pleased with the final contract,
especially given the current economic landscape of not only the City of Coos
Bay, but also the county and the state," said McCambridge.
The Coos Bay-North
Bend area has long been hard hit by cutbacks by lumber mills and Pacific
fishing/shipping, with Coos County being one of the primary Oregon country
jurisdictions struggling from the lack of federal timber receipt payments.
Those factors, says McCambridge, quickly trickle down to city government in an
economically distressed area.
Some highlights of the
A first year wage increase of
2.7 percent, up from the city's initial offer of 1 percent and,
importantly to the membership, the same increase as city management will
receive in the same time period;
Wage increases in years two
through four of the contract between 2 and 5 percent, based on the
Consumer Price Index;
An increase in vacation hours
for those with over 300 months (25 years) of service with the city;
A boot allowance for employees
that work in parks and street shops of $175 per year;
Insurance co-pays to remain the
same for the next four years;
Improved union leave language;
education money of $750 per fiscal year per employee; and
A variety of contract language
improvements, including a better definition of "immediate family."
In addition to
McCambridge, the Local 2892 Bargaining Team included Local President Deb Erler,
Jared Anderson, Crystal Barr, Frank Kaiser, Julie Kremers and Lisa Magill.
The deal was extremely good for people who have not topped out
Attempts to bully Local 2734
in Tillamook County backfired recently, and the end result is that the 118
AFSCME members who work for the county have ratified a new three-year contract.
Council 75 Staff
Representative Evan Wickersham said county negotiators opened bargaining
earlier this year offering nothing but zeroes and take-backs.
"We had to work our way
through a bunch of proposed takeaways, and I really think that was a ploy by
the county, hoping to make us happy just to fight back to zero," says Wickersham.
"But our team didn't fold, and at some point near mid-negotiations it became
clear that the county indeed had some money to put on the table. Ultimately, I
think we arrived at a good settlement."
Wickersham and his
bargaining team moved the county to a "5 x 5 wage scale," meaning there are now
pay increments of 5 percent between steps and 5 percent increments between
ranges. This will benefit workers in all circumstances.
"Members will move to the
step in the new scale; that is an increase," said Wickersham. "Importantly,
nobody goes backwards. The newer you are the better the benefit. Members will
reach the top sooner and earn that wage longer. The deal was extremely good for
people who have not topped out, but also good for those who have."
The union agreed to move
COLA dates from January to July, and locked in increases of 2.5, 2.5 and 1
percent on July 1 of 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively. In addition, employees
will now receive an extra 2 percent longevity wage-only increase after 10 years
of service, and another 2 percent after 15 years.
Local 2734 also gained an
increase in the boot allowance for appropriate members, won union orientation
time for the first time, gained a higher comp time cap and won language
improvements over the issue of reclassifications and related timelines.
Management also agreed to a wage comparison study in the third year of the
agreement. The county is not obligated to implement the study results, but must
report them during the next round of negotiations.
Wickersham said the
bargaining team also successfully fought off an increased health premium share,
a proposal to allow management to lay off personnel out of seniority order and
an effort to remove just cause during promotional probation. Also, the county commissioners
sought an article giving them authority to declare a financial "emergency" and
use furloughs, hour reductions, COLA rollbacks and unpaid holidays to achieve
up to a 5 percent wage reduction; Local 2734 bargainers held firm and the
county dropped the proposal.
If the county thought taking
such an initial tough stance would damage the union, Wickersham says just the
"The union increased its
strength during the campaign," he said. "They are now energized to continue to
In addition to Wickersham,
the union's bargaining team included Local 2734 President Bev Anderson, Roberta
Bettis, Kari Fleisher, Jerry Markee, Jessica Moran, Jeanette Steinbach and
alternate Carol Laurich.
Oregon AFSCME Local 88, which is Council 75's second-largest local
union, has reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year
Oregon AFSCME Local 88,
which is Council 75's second-largest local union, has reached a tentative
agreement on a new three-year contract with Multnomah County. The deal comes on
the heels of several months of arduous negotiations with the county.
Economic highlights of the
tentative pact include the following:
Health care premium share rates stay the same
for the life of the contract. This was the number one priority for the
local, and was a key sticking point in negotiations. Local 88 President
Michael Hanna says his team refused to give on this point, and in the end,
the union won out. There will also be no health care re-opener, something
management pushed for heavily.
Employees will receive a 1.2 percent COLA in the
first year of the contract. There will be no COLA in the second year, but
the money saved will fund Local 88-represented positions and step
increases will remain intact. In the third year, members will receive a
COLA of between 1 and 4 percent, based on the Portland-area Consumer Price
Overtime and double-time language remains
The local, which represents
over 2,800 county workers, will soon begin its contract ratification process.
You can read more details about the agreement on the Local 88
Members Oregon AFSCME Local
3786 (City of Forest Grove) volunteered their time recently during a spring
service day to officially adopt and clean up the B Street Trail.
After spending a day last fall
raking leaves, trimming shrubbery and removing hundreds of pounds of leaves and
sticks from the trail area, members of the union decided to officially ask the
city if they could adopt the park.
"We did a volunteer day in
the fall, just to give back to the community and to spruce up a trail that
everyone uses a lot," said Local 3786 President Marvin Vandervelden. "It turns
out, we liked it so much that we officially have adopted the park and have
informed the city that we will be doing regular cleanings of the trail."
With 50 city employees
comprising the City of Forest Grove's union, there are members in nearly every
city department and there has been a long history of working together between
the city and the union.
"We are happy to volunteer
our time to adopt this trail," said Lisa Van Winkle, the Local 3786 Secretary. "A
lot of us walk on this path and no one wants to see trash spoiling the
Local 3786 members Marcey
Ranes, Audra Stoutt, James Reitz, Scott Peters and Melissa Vandecoevering and
Sharon Cox from the Forest Grove Fire Department were
instrumental in the planning and execution of this successful service day.
Page Last Updated: Dec 20, 2012 (15:47:47)
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