News briefs

Laborers 483 gets first contract for PHC landscapers

About 30 new members of Municipal Employees Laborers Local 483 ratified a first contract with the landscape division of Portland Habilitation Center (PHC).

The new agreement provides wage increases of between 10 to 20 percent for the low-wage workforce. It expires June 20, 2004.

"It takes wages from $7 to $11 an hour to $9 to $14 an hour," said Local 483 Field Agent Ben Nelson. Employees receive health insurance coverage under Kaiser Permanente and the contract contains union security language.

PHC is a multi-million-dollar non-profit corporation that offers employment and training services to people with disabilities. It has landscaping contracts with the City of Portland, Multnomah County, Washington County, Bonneville Power and other public agencies.

PHC is the same company that has the janitorial contract at Portland Public Schools.

Landscape workers voted to join Local 483 more than a year ago. It took a federal mediator and placement on the Unfair List of the Northwest Oregon Labor Council before an agreement was finally reached. With ratification of the contract, PHC has been removed from the labor council's boycott list.

Seaside Providence Hospital nurses vote for ONA

SEASIDE - Registered nurses at Providence Seaside Hospital voted 41-6 Oct. 2 to join the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA).

There are approximately 57 persons in the bargaining unit at the 34-bed acute care facility on the North Coast. They will join three other ONA-represented Providence facilities: St. Vincents in Portland; Providence Medical Center in Portland, and Providence Hood River.

Nurses approached the union last summer seeking a greater voice over staffing levels and work-related issues. "Nurses were being asked to work multiple departments and on occasion were responsible for several departments at the same time," said ONA organizer Jason Hatch.

He said after the collected authorization cards from 90 percent of the nursing staff the hospital did not aggressively fight unionization.

Hatch said a bargaining committee will be established and issues will be prioritized before negotiations are scheduled. Just over a year ago nurses at the hospital decertified from the Steelworkers Union by a single vote.

Tradeswomen land grant from DOL

Oregon Tradeswomen Inc. of Portland has received a $55,000 grant from the U.S. Labor Department's Women's Bureau to promote women in apprenticeship and non-traditional occupations.

The group is one of 11 nationwide to be awarded grants totaling $1 million to provide on-site technical assistance to employers and unions that develop ways to increase employment of women in apprenticeship and non-traditional occupations.

The Oregon Tradeswomen grant will be used to build on their Pathways to Success project and for mentoring Portland Youthbuild, a pre-apprenticeship program. Pathways to Success recruits and places women in non-traditional jobs with particular emphasis on the high-tech industry.

October 18, 2002 issue

Home | About

© Oregon Labor Press Publishing Co. Inc.