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Neither side will budge in labor negotiations, strike continues

County officials said they don't have the resources to offer an increase of more than $8.8 million but the AFSCME union said it's not good enough.

Posted: Oct 22, 2017 6:05 PM
Updated: Oct 22, 2017 6:05 PM

EUGENE, Ore. --- Negotiations are at a stalemate between the county and the workers union.

Lane County remains firm at $8.8 million increase in compensation that will go into effect on October 21, 2017.

County leaders said after months of attempting to reach an agreement between the county and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), they offered an $8.8 million increase in compensation.

"We have been actively negotiating since March and, from that time until now, our commitment has been to present a contract which meets the needs of our AFSCME members and Lane County's ability to sustain the invaluable services our community depends on," said Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken. "There are very finite resources at our disposal to resolve this situation. Unfortunately, the resolution that AFSCME has demanded would require resources that simply aren't available and would necessitate the county to identify new revenue streams."

The county said it will remain firm given all the options and resources available.

Meanwhile, AFSCME said the county is wasting taxpayer resources by not negotiating with them. The union wants Lane County to come to the table with a legitimate deal in order to end the strike.

The union released a statement Friday evening that read, "AFSCME disputes the commissioners belief that the parties are as far apart as they say and believe it is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public on the nature of negotiations. We believe we are about $1million dollars over 3 years from each contract and are committed to bargaining a fair settlement." 

AFSCME leaders put a hardship fund in place to help families who are on strike. The fund consists of donations from organizations that support them.

They said they will file an unfair labor complaint if the county doesn't present a legitimate deal and will continue to strike until an agreement is made.

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