Lane County and AFSCME reach a tentative contract

AFSCME members have to vote on the tentative contract before it goes before the Board of Commissioners to be approved.

Posted: Oct 27, 2017 6:14 PM
Updated: Oct 27, 2017 6:14 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- After months of negotiations and nearly a week on strike, AFSCME and Lane County reached a tentative agreement late Tuesday night.

Now that the strike is over, hundreds of Lane County employees returned to work Wednesday, restoring services at all county facilities.

AFSCME members have to vote on the tentative contract before it goes before the Board of Commissioners to be approved. Representatives with the union said they'll be voting on it Thursday night and that the deal could be done within the week.

County Administrator Steve Mokrohisky said they agreed on the contract that was implemented on Saturday, which was an estimated $8.8 million increase, but it'll now include memorandums negotiated by AFSCME for both units.
  
"As well as some additional resources to assist with employees at the lower end of the pay scale to manage the impacts of the health insurance premiums that they'll begin paying on July 1st," said Mokrohisky.

AFSCME Representative Jim Steiner said this contract is a compromise. He sees it as a win for the workers he represents.

"We were able to achieve some of the equity and fairness we were looking for. Did we get all of it? No, but we made some progress in that," said Steiner.

Steiner said all 700 of their members appreciate the community's support.

"It was just huge. We appreciate that and know that our members like serving the community and we're very very thankful for all their help," said Steiner.

Serving the community is something the county and AFSCME said is their priority.

"One thing we all have in common, is our commitment to public. We come here everyday and do the work of the people. We collect taxes and we provide services to the community...so what we're all going to rally around, is that," said Mokrohisky.

Mokrohisky said they don't have a number on how much this strike has cost the county yet.

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