Home Archives November 2007 State employee union decries deal that gives raises to all state managers

State employee union decries deal that gives raises to all state managers

| Print |  Email
Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rank-and-file state employees have been slapped in the face with the news that Gov. Ted Kulongoski has issued top-heavy pay raises for all state managers.

With 33 years of collective bargaining experience — 16 of those years at various state “central table” negotiations — I thought I’d heard and seen everything. But we are outraged at this proposed package for state managers. After months of face-to-face bargaining with the state, we feel like we’ve been lied to.

Some quick background: We, AFSCME, are the second-largest union of state employees, and we represent several state agencies with unique jobs that are difficult to fill. We represent a variety of scientists and others with advanced degrees at DEQ, DLCD, the State Lands Division and more. We represent correctional officers and others who work inside prison walls. In the last 15 years these workers averaged a raise only about every other year.

In late August, after months of negotiating for our members, we signed off on a deal that the state said was the absolute maximum it could afford. We spent weeks comparing data from other states and some Oregon counties and with a special eye on classifications where we know the state has special recruitment and retention problems. But the Deparatment of Administrative Services balks at using data from cities and other local governments as comparators, especially the cities of Portland and Salem that absolutely compete with the state for employees. Yet DAS is happy to turn right around and use such cities as comparators for justifying management raises.

This management package is more than triple what our agreement was, and the state has unilaterally given this across-the-board increase to every manager. Every state agency will now have to eat the costs of these raises, meaning our members could face layoffs or increased workloads.

This move is shortsighted because it portends a bad future for the state in upcoming negotiations. How can we trust DAS when it tells us “this is all we can afford” in the future? Why would we ever settle again before we find out what managers are giving themselves? Our trust has been violated and we will not forget it.

Ken Allen
Executive director
Oregon AFSCME Council 75
Portland

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Powerlist: Law Firms

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with leading partners at law firms in Portland and eastern Oregon, followed by October's powerlist.


Read more...

Healthcare pullback

News
Thursday, November 20, 2014
112014-boehnercare-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


Read more...

The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

The Latest
Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


Read more...

The Bookseller

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Everyone knows college is expensive, but a look at the numbers brings that into sharp — and painful — focus.


Read more...

Innovation: a critique

News
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
1008 innovation thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A Design Week panel discussion raises questions about how innovative we really are.


Read more...

The Diaspora

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

Former newspaper reporters move into brand journalism.


Read more...

Revenge Forestry

November/December 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS