Labor negotiations between Lane County and AFSCME continue

The county said there's a formal mediation scheduled on Wednesday.

Posted: Oct 26, 2017 6:16 PM
Updated: Oct 26, 2017 6:16 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Labor negotiations continue between Lane County and the AFSCME union, representing hundreds of workers.

There's no agreement between the two yet, but one thing they do agree on is that they both want to reach a contract as soon as they can. 

On Tuesday, workers continued picketing outside of the Lane County Public Services Building.

AFSCME members tell KEZI they're frustrated with how long Lane County leaders are taking to look over the most recent counter proposal.

"The county has not been staying at the bargaining table. Our union representatives have been willing to stick in there and stick with it until we get a good compromise...a good fair contract, and the county has been stepping away from the table," said Christy Inskip, Senior Community Health Analyst on strike. 

The county said they received it at about midnight on Sunday, saying they want to understand AFSCME's counter proposal fully before responding.

"We have to be thoughtful and really truly take the lasting impacts. We don't want to find ourselves in a position in the county where sure, we've ended this conversation, and we've got a new contract in place, but the cost of that is so great that we need to consider reducing services in other areas. We don't want to find ourselves in that position," said Devon Ashbridge, Lane County's Public Information Officer.

The county said the union's offer is $1.9 million more than the county's already enhanced implementation of $8.8 million, which went into effect Saturday.

AFSCME leaders told KEZI on Monday the two contracts are about $1 million dollars apart.

Both said they appreciate the community's patience.

As of 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Ashbridge said 170 AFSCME members returned to work and that of 29% of them are probationary.

The county said leaders plan on having a formal mediation on Wednesday.

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