The top official at Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette is out after 179 health-care workers fought forâand wonâa union contract in a battle that brought unwanted publicity for the organization. The groupâs board has chosen not to renew President and CEO David Greenbergâs contract, which expires June 30. Service Employees International Union Local 49 organized employees last summer, despite Greenbergâs opposition, and then threatened to picket Planned Parenthoodâs annual fundraising gala in May. Gov. John Kitzhaber canceled his appearance, and the group had to cancel the $250-per-plate event. âThe board decided with David that this was a good time for a change in leadership at the organization,â says board chairwoman Cara Jacobsen, who says the union contract was one of several reasons the organization was looking for change. Adds Greenberg, âIâm OK with that.â The group has not yet chosen a new boss.
Portland Public Schools is paying an L.A.-based consultant $34,900 to recruit a director of human resources. Education-placement specialists tell WW the fee is more akin to the cost of a superintendent search; recruiting for a department director for a district of Portlandâs size usually runs only $10,000 to $15,000. PPS spokesman Matt Shelby says the fee being paid to the Hawkins Company reflects the districtâs high expectations for whoever takes the job. âItâs a significant investment on the front end,â Shelby says, âbut weâd like to do it right.â PPS is filling the job vacated by Hank Harris, the former HR director who left under a cloud last August.
The $458 million budget for 2013 passed by the TriMet board of directors June 13 largely brushed aside an alternative budget from ridersâ advocacy group OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon. OPAL president Jonathan Ostar says his organization will push for greater accountability by taking away the governorâs authority to appoint TriMet board members. Ostar says Metro, with its regionally elected council, should have that authority instead. Such a change would require an act of the Legislature. TriMetâs new budget raises fares, cuts services and ends the free rail zone Sept. 1. âI think there were some board members that came in with their minds made up, just ready to mail it in,â Ostar says.... Meanwhile, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 elected Bruce Hansen president last weekâand rejected Ron Heintzman, the president whose hardball tactics defined the unionâs relationship with TriMet from 1988 to 2002. The unionâs much-vilified contract expires Nov. 30, and Hansen is a 20-year bus driver with little experience at the bargaining table. He didnât return WWâs calls by deadline.