March 28th, 2014 | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: Labor, City Hall

Strike By City Workers Averted with Tentative Contract Deal

murmurs_4015IMAGE: Major Clanger

The City of Portland has reached a tentative contract deal with 1,600 city workers—again.

The deal for a four-year contract comes three days before the workers—ranging from parking enforcement officers to the street-maintenance crews who plow the roads after snowstorms—were authorized to go on strike.

The agreement (PDF here) between the city and the District Council of Trade Unions was reached near midnight Thursday. It was announced on the website of Laborers Local 88—one of seven unions represented by DCTU—and first reported this afternoon by The Oregonian.

"We expect ballots to go out to members next week, and they will make the final decision whether to ratify," Erica Askin, business manager for Laborers Local 88, tells WW.

They've said no before.

Members of the DCTU voted Feb. 10 to reject a new contract with the city, repudiating the bargain reached by city officials and union leadership after more than a year of negotiations. The hang-up: Workers are adamantly opposed to the city contracting out part-time work.

On March 21, the majority of DCTU members voted to authorize a strike.

WW examined the roots of the workers' rebellion in a story last month. 

UPDATE, 3:20 pm: Mayor Charlie Hales' office has issued a statement celebrating the tentative deal.

These were difficult, hard-fought negotiations, no doubt about it," Hales says in the statement. "But they show that people of good faith and intention can join together to reach an agreement that is fair and equitable for our city employees and all Portland residents."

 
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