March 20, 2009 Volume 110 Number 6

AFSCME unit at Multnomah County votes to freeze wages

Union workers at Multnomah County voted by a very strong margin to freeze their own wages — in order to prevent layoffs and cuts to county services. Nearly 1,200 members of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 88 came out March 9 to cast ballots at four locations, and 63 percent were in favor of the freeze. The freeze modifies the current collective bargaining agreement by eliminating step (longevity) raises and cost-of-living increases.

Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler expressed deep appreciation for what they had done at a March 11 press conference alongside Local 88 President Becky Steward.

Local 88 represents 2,700 county workers — about three-fifths of the county’s total workforce, with at least some members in every County department.

“Our members have agreed to make personal sacrifices to save jobs, preserve core County services to the citizens and lessen the overall impact on the local economy,” Steward said. “We won’t save all of the jobs at risk. The deficit is too deep. But we will put a dent in the budget shortfall.”

Home | About

© Oregon Labor Press Publishing Co. Inc.