Hillsboro school employees reject outsourcing plan

Unionized support workers at Hillsboro Public School District 1J sent a message to the district: They will not be divided.

Over 350 workers — members of the American Federation of Teachers-Oregon Local 4671 — turned out for an Oct. 19 union meeting, where they voted down the school district’s contract offer by a two-to-one margin.

That offer included 2.6 percent annual cost of living increases and $50 increases in the employer’s capped monthly insurance contribution. But it also would have allowed management to contract-out the jobs of 56 custodians, and would have required about a third of new hires to pay a portion of their health care premiums.

The bargaining unit includes teaching assistants; custodial, maintenance, and cafeteria workers; and office and clerical support staff. There are 1,037 workers in the unit, and about 650 are dues-paying union members. [The union, American Federation of Teachers (AFT)-Oregon is obliged to bargain for all the workers, but the district is an open shop, meaning union membership — and dues — are voluntary.]

Saying “no” to outsourcing was the main reason members voted down management’s offer, said AFT-Oregon staff representative Claudia Pitzler.

“It would have been a crack in our unity,” Pitzler said.

The union bargaining team opposed the offer and scheduled the vote to show management that members opposed it too. The two sides began mediation Nov. 1.

Home | About

© Oregon Labor Press Publishing Co. Inc.