By MALLORY GRUBEN
The union representing nearly 400 Yamhill County workers declared an impasse in negotiations on Sept. 26, citing insufficient cost of living raises proposed by the county.
AFSCME Local 1422, also known as the Yamhill County Employees Association, is the largest of five unions representing Yamhill County workers. It covers workers in nearly every county department, including public works, information services, and planning. The union started bargaining for a new contract in March, and the previous agreement expired June 30.
On Oct. 2, both parties made their “final offers” and entered a 30-day cooling off period, as required by the state law that governs public employee bargaining. (During that period, the parties can continue to meet and may even reach a tentative agreement, but workers cannot strike until after the cooling off period ends.) In their final offers, the county proposed an 11% raise over three years, while the union asked for an 18% raise over three years, plus a one-time “market adjustment” of 9%, effective this year. Under the union’s proposal, the first year of raises would be retroactive to the previous contract’s June 30 expiration date. The county’s offer does not include retro pay.
Another mediated bargaining session was scheduled for Oct. 27. Members voted Oct. 12 to authorize a strike and could walk out in early November after giving 10-days notice, as required by law.
CORRECTION: The next mediated bargaining session was scheduled for Oct. 27. An earlier version of this story included two incorrect dates for additional mediation.