Portland 911 operators leave AFSCME, join Portland police union

A unit of 123 emergency dispatchers at Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Communications has voted to leave AFSCME Local 189 and join the Portland Police Association (PPA) instead.

The vote was 67 to 7 in a May 21 election overseen by the Oregon Employment Relations Board.

Local 189 represents about 900 other workers in city bureaus, including police support staff, and is part of 26,000-member Oregon AFSCME. PPA, with 900 members, is an independent police union.

The current contract between AFSCME and the City of Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications runs through June 30.

Under Oregon law, emergency dispatchers aren’t allowed to strike. Instead, if bargaining breaks down without an agreement, the two sides present their final offers to an arbitrator, which must pick one side’s offer in its entirety.

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