Corrections staff set March 6 strike in Washington County

The union representing community corrections employees in Washington County notified the county of its intent to strike at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 6.

About 30 community corrections workers in Hillsboro voted more than a year ago to form Local 3913 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. They have been unable to reach agreement on a first contract.

The county has hired the law firm of Bullard Smith Jernstedt and Wilson to handle negotiations — at a cost to date of nearly $88,000, according to the union.

“It’s a complete waste of taxpayers’ money” said Don Loving, public affairs director for Oregon AFSCME Council 75. “This thing could be settled for about $20,000 tops.”

Wages are the primary cause of the dispute. AFSCME is seeking a 3.3 percent cost-of-living-adjustment retroactive to July 1, 2005 — the date it was granted to all other Washington County employees. The county gave the 30 corrections employees a COLA increase on Jan. 14, 2006.

The union also wants the county to undertake an independent wage and classification survey for community corrections specialists, whose job it is to monitor the daily activities of those incarcerated within the county’s community corrections facility, including security checks.

As of press time, no further talks had been scheduled. 

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