By Don McIntosh
About 2,000 AFSCME Local 88 members are getting a nice “thank you” Dec. 15—a $1,500 check to recognize frontline employees at Multnomah County who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local 88 president Josyln Baker says the bonus owes something to the persistence of outgoing AFSCME Local 88 president Percy Winters, who met with Multnomah County Chair Deb Kafoury to make the case for it. Initially the County wanted union concessions in return—extending the contract by a year and capping a cost-of-living increase. Local 88 declined to make those concessions, and the county went ahead with the payment anyway.
The bonus will be for members of Local 88 as well as members of other County unions and some unrepresented employees.
“We thank these outstanding employees for keeping critical community services open to the public during the longest public health crisis in modern times,” said MultCo Matters, the county’s internal email newsletter.
The payments go to frontline workers, those who worked onsite or with clients or the public in the field for the County for at least 320 hours between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.