Deal Reached Between Lane County And AFSCME, Ending Strike

Oct 25, 2017

A deal reached last night  has ended a week-long strike by hundreds of Lane County workers.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, both sides seem mostly satisfied with the new three-year contract.

Striking workers call for honks of support outside Lane County Health and Human Services October 23, 2017.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

The deal ends eight months of negotiations between AFSCME and Lane County.  Administrator Steve Mokrohisky says the agreement is consistent with those approved by five other bargaining units, which had been one of their primary goals.

"It includes a 2 percent annual cost of living increase for each of three years," says Mokrohisky.  "It also includes market adjustments for approximately 63 percent of the classifications.” 

The deal also gives a one-time payment of $100,000 to AFSCME to help lower-wage members manage payments towards health insurance premiums. Those begin in July 2018, six months later than the county proposed.   

An AFSCME member combines activism with a holiday theme outside the Lane County Administration building October 23, 2017.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

AFSCME President LaRece Rivera says she’s happy the strike is over, and believes overall union membership will ratify the deal.  However…

“…the county is not willing to pay our nurses and the members in the nursing unit the fair and equitable wage that they deserve," she tells KLCC. 

"And they may not reach a tentative agreement, and I’m concerned that about a third of that workforce will leave the county.” 

The Lane County Board of Commissioners are expected to vote on the deal at their next meeting October 31st. 

Copyright 2017, KLCC.