March 19, 2010 Volume 111 Number 6

Lane County Labor Council's Pat Riggs-Henson retires

Pat Riggs-Henson, a 31-year member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2831, retired as executive secretary-treasurer of the Lane County Labor Council. In doing so, she also resigned her seat on the Oregon AFL-CIO Executive Board.

Riggs-Henson, 59, retired from her day job as a career adviser for the Lane Workforce Partnership in Lane County in July 2008. There, she helped workers over 55 who have been downsized, dislocated or need job retraining.

She continued serving in the elected post for the labor council (she was the first woman to be secretary-treasurer) until her term expired this month. [See Lane County Labor Council election story below.]

Now, she is a candidate for an open seat on the Lane County Board of Commissioners. She ran unsuccessfully for the County Commission in 1989.

Over nearly three decades, Riggs-Henson has been a union and community activist. She served AFSCME Local 2831 in various positions, including president and chief steward. She was on the Oregon AFSCME Executive Board for many years and, for the past several years served as a Council 75 trustee. Her stint on the Oregon AFL-CIO Executive Board lasted 10 years. She represented Oregon on the national AFL-CIO Central Labor Council Advisory Committee and, after retiring from her day job, worked for the Oregon AFL-CIO as director of the coordinated campaign in Lane County.

Her résumé also includes 14 years as an elected member on the Lane Community College Board of Directors, 10 years on the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) Board of Directors, plus terms on the boards of the Northwest Youth Corps, Lane Council of Governments, Democratic Party of Lane County, and the United Way.

Riggs-Henson grew up in Minnesota, where she was introduced to organized labor by her father, who worked in the open-pit mines there.

She moved to Springfield in 1975.

She met Rick Henson, now a staff representative for Oregon AFSCME Council 75, in 1985. They married, and between them have four grown children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Riggs-Henson is now busy campaigning for the Lane County Board of Commissioners, Position 2. Bill Dwyer, who has held the seat since 1999, is not seeking re-election. She is one of seven candidates — and the only woman — filed to run. [In fact, among 17 candidates filed to run for three spots on the five-member Lane County Board, Riggs-Henson is the only woman.] If any candidate captures over 50 percent of the vote in May, they win. Otherwise, the top two vote-getters for each seat advance to a runoff in the November general election.

Riggs-Henson is phone banking every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and canvassing every weekend.

For more information about her campaign, or to volunteer, go to:


Lane CLC elects CJ Mann, Rick Henson to top posts

Cj Mann has been elected executive secretary-treasurer of the Lane County Central Labor Council. She succeeds Pat Riggs-Henson, who retired.

Mann, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3267 at the Housing and Community Services Agency of Lane County, was president of the labor council, which represents 42 local unions and 11,000 union members.

Succeeding her as president is Rick Henson, a business rep for Oregon AFSCME Council 75. Rick is married to Pat Riggs-Henson.

Also elected at the Feb. 24 delegates’ meeting were: First Vice President LeRoy Marney of Laborer’s Local 121; Second Vice President Patrick Smith of Painters and Allied Trades; Recording Secretary Diane Alldredge of AFSCME Local 2831 Lane County Employees; at-large Board member Merlene Martin, president of the Oregon School Employees Association-American Federation of Teachers; and Trustee Gary Lyle of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555.

Not up for election and still serving on the labor council Board are at-large members Kevin Gray of Fire Fighters Local 1395; Steve Devereaux of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 916; Keith Appleby, Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation Local 3544 at the University of Oregon; and Tom Shackelford of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757.

Continuing to serve as trustees are Bob Baldwin, president of Lane Community College Employees Federation Local 2417, and Marcia Bell of Local 2417. Locals 3544 and 2417 are affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers.

The newly elected officers will be sworn in at the March 24 delegates’ meeting. They take office April 1.

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