News briefs


UFCW¡s Anderson retains chair of Wage-Hour panel

Jeff Anderson, a union representative for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555, was re-elected chair of the Oregon Wage and Hour Commission at the annual reorganization meeting held Jan. 15. Anderson was appointed by former Governor John Kitzhaber to the three-member commission to represent labor. The commission has jurisdiction over Oregon¡s child labor laws. Anderson can be reached at 503-551-8199.

 

New legislator with labor ties appointed in Lane County

EUGENE † Lane County Commissioners voted unanimously Jan. 16 to appoint Carpenters Union organizer Paul Holvey to fill a vacant seat in Oregon House District 8. The former occupant, Floyd Prozanski, was appointed to fill the State Senate District 4 seat vacated by Tony Corcoran, who resigned to take a job with the State of Oregon. Corcoran is a former union organizer for the Service Employees International Union. For the last four years, Holvey has worked for the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters as a representative in organizing. Prior to that he was a member and officer of Eugene-based construction Local 1273 for 10 years and served as first vice president of the Lane County Labor Council before the Carpenters pulled out of the AFL-CIO nationally. Holvey was one of three people nominated by the local Democratic Party, which is headed by Pat Riggs-Henson, who is also executive secretary-treasurer of the Lane County Labor Council and a member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Riggs-Henson said Holvey was recruited as part of a long-term campaign to get more union leaders elected to public office. Holvey ran unsuccessfully in May 2003 for a spot on the Lane Community College Board. The Legislature is currently out of session, but Holvey would serve if a special session is called, and will be listed as the incumbent in the May 2004 primary election for the spot. Holvey said his priority is to get the economy back on its feet by promoting living wage jobs. Campaigning for re-election, he said, will be a chance to bring a labor perspective to a wider audience.

 

Shiprack named to Energy Facility Siting Council

Bob Shiprack, executive secretary-treasurer of the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council and a longtime member of Portland Electrical Workers Local 48, has been appointed to the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council by Governor Ted Kulongoski. The council is a seven-member citizens¡ board, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate, which decides whether large energy facilities can be built. Those facilities include power plants with a capacity greater than 25 megawatts, high-voltage power lines, natural gas storage facilities, and major intrastate natural gas and oil pipelines. The Oregon Department of Energy staffs the council. Current council members are from Bend, Corvallis, Gresham, Hermiston, Portland, Salem and Troutdale. Karen Green represents the Central Oregon area; Martha Dibblee, David Ripma and David Tegart represent Northwest Oregon; Russell Dorran represents the Eastern Oregon region, and Hans Neukomm represents Southwest Oregon. Department of Energy employees serve as staff members for the council. Staff members are energy experts who research the issues involved with locating, building and operating large energy facilities. They make recommendations to the council based on their research, but the council is responsible for making the final decisions. The council evaluates whether a proposed facility meets a minimum set of performance standards. If it doesn¡t, an application to build may be denied. The siting of energy facilities is a one-step process, with all state and local permits, licenses and approvals an applicant needs decided during the siting process. There is one consolidated hearing, and there can be only one appeal, which goes directly to the Oregon Supreme Court. Since 1994, the Energy Facility Siting Council has approved a natural gas pipeline, six power plants and a wind generation facility. The next council meeting is Friday, Feb. 13, at 8 a.m. at the Klamath County Fairgrounds in Klamath Falls.

 

Former union leader named interim president of SAIF Corp.

SALEM — Cecil Tibbetts, former executive director of Oregon Council 75 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, has been named acting president and chief executive officer of SAIF Corp. following the resignations of president and CEO Katherine Keene, and chief financial officer Brian Steffel.

SAIF, a state-owned workers’ compensation insurance company, has been under fire for several months following revelations that its top officer awarded a no-bid, million-dollar consulting contract to former Governor Neil Goldschmidt, and awarded a quarter-million-dollar severance package to an ousted vice president.

Keene had been employed by SAIF since 1989. She was named president in 1992.

Steffel joined SAIF in 1983 and managed many aspects of SAIF’s operations in his 21-year tenure.

Tibbetts has served as an executive officer at SAIF Corporation for the past 11 years, most recently as vice president for human resources and external affairs.

Prior to joining SAIF in 1993, he was executive director of AFSCME Oregon Council 75. He served on the Mahonia Hall task force of labor and management representatives that produced the 1990 workers’ compensation changes.

Tibbetts will serve as acting president pending the selection of a permanent president.

SAIF Corp. is the largest carrier of workers’ compensation insurance in Oregon.


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