Oregon City Council will vote on entering into a contract with AFSCME at a council meeting on Monday following lengthy negotiations.
“We did have quite an extended time period where we negotiated this agreement with AFSCME,” said Administrator Ken Filipiak at a committee of the whole meeting last Monday. “On balance, I think it’s a fair agreement. There’s some give and take in here. We addressed a lot of long standing issues that I know ultimately will lead to better efficiency. We addressed a few issues that were important to the union related to their seniority and other matters. It will probably save us a lot of money in the long run.”
The agreement “pretty well reflects what you’ve seen with the other bargaining units to this point, exactly in the same vein as the patrolmen’s,” said Filipiak. The cap for health insurance is the same, with a 90-10 split, he added.
“Unlike the patrolmen, but similar to the firemen, this is a two-year agreement. The two years is two and a half percent the first year, and two percent the second year. The firemen were agreed at two and a quarter percent in each of the first two years. Essentially the same wage package overall,” he said.
Councilman Jerry Peach asked Filipiak to give an example of greater efficiencies provided to the city.
“We made some changes in terms of the break times, providing some flexibility as to when our supervisors can ask our employees to break for lunch. Under the old terms of the agreement, we had a very rigid time frame in which they could take their breaks,” said Filipiak.
“It was a long time coming,” said Council President Mike Sheehy.
“We had a handful of mainly economic issues” that went before a fact finder, said Filipiak. “Both sides presented their case, and before the fact finder was required to provide a report, we were able to reach agreement on those issues that was consistent with what we were able to do for other city employees.”
Filipiak said AFSCME membership “realized the city was trying to be fair in this agreement, yet didn’t want to extend out too far in terms of this agreement with the uncertainty in our economy right now.”
“I think that spirit was reflected in all our bargaining units this year. Once again, we negotiated an agreement where we’re able to move forth, and allows some flexibility down the line in the event we have to make some other adjustments as the economy t