By DON McINTOSH
About 400 members of Yamhill County Employees Association returned to work with a tentative agreement Nov. 8 after a five-day strike. They had walked off the job Nov. 3 after bargaining seven months without reaching an agreement that workers could live with.
Yamhill County Employees Association, also known as AFSCME Local 1422, represents Yamhill County workers in behavioral health and public health clinics, developmental disability services, public works, and many other departments.
At the time of the walkout, the union was demanding 15% in wage increases over three years, and the County said it wouldn’t go over 11%. The two sides continued to negotiate, and in the end met half way. The tentative agreement on a three-year contract raises wages 13%.
If ratified by members, the agreement will provide a 7% across-the-board raise retroactive to July 1, followed by 3% raises July 1, 2024, and 2025. The previous three-year contract had also raised wages 13%, but workers lost ground to inflation that totaled 18% over that period. The new agreement also adds a 6% bilingual pay differential retroactive to July 1.