Lane county prepares for employee strike

Lane County is preparing for more than 650 of its employees to go on strike Wednesday morning.

Posted: Oct 15, 2017 6:05 PM
Updated: Oct 15, 2017 6:05 PM

EUGENE, ORE. -- Lane County is preparing for more than 650 of its employees to go on strike Wednesday morning. The strike comes after Lane County did not reach a contract agreement with union member employees.

AFSCME is the union advocating for Lane County union employees. AFSCME claims the county is not meeting their pay and health insurance demands.

"We think this is the county driving this not necessarily the union, " said Coucil representative for AFSCME, Jim Steiner.

The county said it is trying to find a balance between providing competitive wages and benefits to its employees while also being good stewards of tax payer dollars.

The strike is expected to impact multiple public services Lane County offers. Health centers, behavioral health, and waste management are among the services that will be impacted. Lane County staff said counseling appointments will be cancelled and services at school-based health clinics will be suspended.

At least five Lane County health clinics are expected to be closed and all the services they provide will be unavailable for an undetermined amount of time.

Devon Ashbridge, a spokeswoman with Lane County, said they are making the necessary adjustments to prepare for the strike, but they do not have an idea how long the strike will last.

"We are trying to make people understand what the impact might be, help people plan around that, " said Ashbridge. "Of course, as we're doing this we're working hard to resolve the contract with the AFSCME employees so that we can get back to business as usual."

The county also created a hotline for community members to find out more information about the strike and the resources that will be impacted. The hotline number is 541-682-3977.


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