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  • 17 Sep 2014

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City contract talks progress, others stall

While TriMet and Portland Public Schools are still struggling to negotiate new contracts with their employees, the Portland City Council is scheduled to ratify two new contract with different union on Wednesday.

The contacts were negotiated with Laborers Local 183 and the Portland Police Commanding Officers Association. They cover a wide range of labor relation issues, including salary increases, benefit payments, ongoing training and position classifications.

The additional costs beyond budget levels are relatively small. Fiscal impact statements submitted to the council says the Laborers Local 183 contract will cost an additional $169,000 a year and the Portland Police Commanding Officers Association will cost an additional $116,000 a year.

Mayor Charlie Hales' office has announced the city has also reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract with the District Council of Trade Unions. The agreement still requires a vote of the membership and a vote of the City Council.

The council, or DCTU, is a coalition of seven unions that operate jointly in bargaining with the city. Affiliate unions are AFSCME Local 189, Laborers' Local 483, IBEW Local 48, Machinists Lodge 24, Operating Engineers 701, Plumbers and Pipefitters 290, and Painters and Allied Trades Council 5.

In the meantime, employees at TriMet and PPS continue working without contracts because negotiation are either dragging on or broken down.

Amalgamated Transit Union 757, which represents most TriMet employees, has yet to submit its complete response to TriMet's most recent contract offer. ATU 757 officials says TriMet has not provided them with all the financial information necessary to finalize the offer.

Negotiates between PPS and the Portland Association of Teachers ended Thursday evening without an agreement on a new contract for the district’s 2,900 educators. District officials say key stumbling blocks in the talks include a longer school year for students, salary increases for teachers, and early retirement benefits.

Officials with the PAT say teachers could strike if PPS imposes its most recent contract offer, as allowed by state collective bargaining laws.