Portland city workers strike narrowly averted with last-minute deal

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The District Council of Trade Unions, which represents nearly 1,200 city workers in almost every office in Portland, including accountants, water workers and building inspectors, rescinded its threat to strike today, signing a tentative contract with the city hours before leaving work.

The union authorized a strike on January 21, which would have started on February 10.

The four-year contract increases pay by 2% beginning in July 2024. Each member will receive a one-time bonus of $3,000 and a cost-of-living adjustment of 1.6% will be applied retroactively to 2021. In July of this year, employees will see a cost of living adjustment of 5%.

Employees who work night shifts, relief shifts and relief shifts will see a slight increase in their hourly wage for those shifts.

“This contract reflects engagement with employees and community members, and our commitment to respond to what we have heard,” the mayor and city commissioners said in a joint statement.

The DCTU and the city had failed to agree on a new contract since the previous one expired more than a year ago, and union leader Rob Martineau, who works for the Water Bureau, says the parties have remained apart, mostly over wages.

“For more than 25 months, our bargaining team worked tirelessly to negotiate a strong contract on behalf of six distinct unions, with an incredible diversity of positions, departments and interests,” said the American Federation of Employees. States, Counties and Municipalities, Local 189. Statement. “As we have stated in the past, we are very disappointed with the way the city conducted itself during negotiations, and our work to correct the staffing issues will only intensify at the end of this contract. . »

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