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Oregon employees settle after 8-day strike.

Oregon employees settle after 8-day strike

The first major strike by employees of the State of Oregon ended when members of the Oregon Public Employees Union agreed to a contract running to June 30, 1989. The overall costs of the contract negotiated by the unit of the Service Employees International Union were comparable to those of the same-duration contracts negotiated by eight other unions, although there were variations in components of the accords, such as in the size and effective dates of wage increases.

In the 8-day Service Employees stoppage, which reportedly was triggered by a disagreement with the State on how to distribute pay equity adjustments from a fund established earlier by the legislature, not all 16,500 employees were out for the entire period. Instead, the stoppage was staggered on an agency-by-agency basis to minimize the financial impact on individual employees.

The Service Employees accord provided for a 2-percent pay raise retroactive to July 1, 1987, and a 4-percent raise on January 1, 1989. The portion of the $22.6 million fund allocated to Service Employees-represented employees was used to provide additional adjustments to 5,500 workers. Of the 5,500 workers, 4,000 received either 5- or 10-percent adjustments. Similar adjustments for some workers, ranging as high as 25 percent, were also provided by settlements with the other unions, such as the State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents a total of 5,200 workers.

Contracts with all unions established an "arry of benefits" health insurance program giving each employee the option of selecting from various plans and receiving the difference in cash if the plan costs less than the State's financing obligation. The settlements with all of the unions covered a total of 25,000 workers.
COPYRIGHT 1987 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Title Annotation:Oregon Public Employees Union
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Dec 1, 1987
Words:290
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