How befuddling is the city contract drama?

On Oct. 29, AFSCME leaders sent a note to its members recommending they not approve the proposed contract between the City of Portland and the District Council of Trade Unions (See "Pain in the AFSCME," WW, Oct. 31, 2001).

Two days later, AFSCME, the largest member of the DCTU, followed up with a memo saying its Oct. 29 memo was not to be interpreted that members "actually vote 'No' on the contract proposal."


"AFSCME is trying to backpedal gracefully," says city Human Resources Director Yvonne Deckard.

Backpedaling or not, AFSCME spokesman Don Loving, who's officially neutral in these matters, says he expects the contract to be approved on Nov. 9 by a narrow margin. If not, Deckard says, the city will mull its options--which include implementing a previous contract that contains higher health-care premiums than those included in the proposal the union is voting on this week.