AFSCME 189 files charges after City Auditor orders workers to return to office

By COLIN STAUB

AFSCME Local 189 is accusing the City of Portland of an unfair labor practice after management ordered Auditor’s Office employees to return to the office without completing a bargaining process with the union over that.

Auditor’s Office employees had been working remotely since COVID-19 hit in March 2020. Along with other City offices, management in the auditor’s office began discussing re-entry in February and set a timeline for workers to return in mid-April. But in early April, as re-entry drew near, Local 189 asked the auditor’s office to hold off on mandating the return until negotiations between the union and management could finish up. City human resources responded that employees would be expected to come in at least one day a week beginning April 18 while the two sides bargain a longer term solution.

AFSCME filed charges with the Oregon Employment Relations Board April 18, alleging the City bargained in bad faith and implemented its re-entry plan without union agreement. The case has been assigned to an administrative law judge.

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