Laborers Local 483 reaches tentative agreement at Metro

Laborers Local 483 reached tentative agreement Aug. 14 on a new collective bargaining agreement with the Metro regional government, covering about 500 workers at the Oregon Zoo and Metro’s regional parks and natural areas.

The four-year agreement provides an immediate 2.5 percent cost-of-living wage increase, followed by annual raises equal to the increase in the Consumer Price Index (minimum 1.25 percent, maximum 3.5 percent).

The agreement grants up to 50 hours of paid sick leave, institutes premium pay for split shifts, and guarantees at least four hours of pay when an employee reports to work.

It provides new rights to workers who are classified as “temps”: After 2,080 hours (two years), they will no longer be considered at-will employees, and will have the right to contest unfair discipline through a grievance process and binding arbitration. The agreement also improves the contract’s definition of temps.

Local 483 agreed to halt further informational picketing at the Zoo as part of the agreement.

Local 483 also made several concessions. The agreement increases employee contributions to health insurance premiums to 8 percent, up from the current 6 percent. It also adds a new parking charge of $10 a month starting January 2016 ($40 a month for those who don’t currently have a parking spot.)

If approved, the contract would be retroactive to July 1, 2014 and would run through June 30, 2018.

Members were slated to vote on the agreement the first week of September.

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