October 15, 2010 Volume 111 Number 20
DCTU reaches tentative contract with City of Portland
Following months of often contentious bargaining, the District Council of Trade Unions (DCTU) reached a tentative agreement with the City of Portland on a new three-year contract. The deal came in the early morning hours of Oct. 5, ending a marathon 22-hour mediation session.
DCTU is a coalition of seven unions representing 1,800 city employees that bargain together with the City. AFSCME Local 189 is the largest local in the group, with about 1,100 members. Others are Laborers Local 483; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48; Machinists Lodge 1005; Plumbers and Fitters Local 290; Operating Engineers Local 701; and Painters and Allied Trades District Council 5.
“This was a long, hard-fought battle,” said Oregon AFSCME Executive Director Ken Allen. “In the end, we accomplished a reasonable settlement. We have a lot of language and economic gains for our members, and the entire DCTU feels good about the settlement. We should feel very good about what we accomplished in these difficult economic times.”
City workers will see no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in the first year, but will receive a COLA of between 1 and 5 percent in the agreement’s second and third years, based on the Portland Consumer Price Index. The employees’ benefit package was fully retained.
There will be no step freezes. Additionally, there is a 3 percent additional step increase for a number of classifications in the third year of the contract that were determined to be underpaid in the market. The additional step will be implemented on the employee’s anniversary date, and will impact over 700 workers.
Other contract highlights:
“I think it is important to emphasize that the bargaining team worked very hard to get the best contract for our members as possible, given the economic climate of the country and Oregon,” said DCTU’s lead negotiator James Hester, who serves as the staff rep for AFSCME Local 189. “All of them put in extremely long hours.”
A ratification vote date had not been set before this issue of the Labor Press went to press. The Portland City Council also must ratify the agreement.
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