EUGENE, Ore. -- Strikers have been in downtown Eugene for three days, demanding what they call "a fair contract."
The county is claiming 20 percent of union workers returned to work on Thursday. Michelle Hampton, a member of AFSCME, said that although the number may be accurate, those are the probationary employees that had to go back to work or get fired.
"We're out here fighting for them too, so we're glad that they're there doing what they need to do and help out with basic services but they're there for a reason," said Hampton.
Some local services are still being affected but others have reopened.
Since 137 union workers have returned to work, some services have reopened. Those that have reopened are:
- Behavioral Health group therapy will resume on October 20, 2017.
- Environmental Health will be resuming inspections on October 20, 2017.
- Lane County Special Waste will begin setting appointments for hazardous waste disposal.
- The Glenwood Transfer Station has increased its hours to better accommodate customers. The new hours for the duration of the strike are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
- Methadone Treatment Program group therapy will resume on October 23, 2017.
- The RiverStone Community Health Center in Springfield will reopen and operate Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
For more information on services that have reopened click here.
The negotiation process has dragged on for nine months. The county said they are trying to balance "competitive wages and benefits with being responsible stewards of taxpayer resources." They offered pay raises for $8.8 million over the next three years but union negotiators are asking for $32.6 million.
The strike has affected many in the community who need help. A hotline has been set up to answer any questions regarding the strike. People can call in Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. It will be open until a resolution is made. The number is 541-682-3977.