>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

La Grande, OR forecast
& Eastern Oregon University Valley Cam

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

Today's front page

Image of The Observer's Front Page

Get Home Delivery of The Observer for only $8.50 per month, $9.50 for motor routes. Just click here and after filling out one simple and secure online form you could be on your way to learning more information about local, state and world news.

manage your account »

Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus



By Alice Perry Linker

Observer Staff Writer

Union County courthouse employees, including the sheriffs department and jail employees, have voted to reject a three-year contract offered by the county.

The major sticking point has been an increase in the employees share of the cost of health insurance, said the countys Administrative Officer Marlene Perkins, who negotiates for the county.

The union representative, Roger Bouch of the Pendleton office of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, was out of town until next week and could not be reached for comment.

County and employee representatives will meet again July 10.

Perkins said the union has a no-strike clause.

Although the county has offered to add $48 per employee per month to its insurance contribution, the insurance cost to employees will offset the 3 percent cost-of-living increase offered by the county. Some employees could see a net loss of about $50 a month.

The countys health insurer is raising rates that, under the current plan, will force employees to contribute $274 per month for full family coverage, up from the current employee responsibility of $139 monthly.

In addition to the sheriffs department employees, AFSCME covers county employees who work in the offices of planning, tax assessment, the district attorney, the clerk and building maintenance. About 50 employees belong to the union.

Perkins declined to comment on the options that may be included as the contract discussions progress. But she did say that there are always a whole lot of ways to negotiate.

Public works employees, including those who work for the road department, are covered by another union. Those employees have not yet signed the tentative agreement offered by the county.

Perkins said that rarely do the county and its employees reach an impasse on a contract. The most recent conflict occurred during the early 1980s, she said, when the contract between public works employees and the county went to arbitration.

This is the first time the courthouse employees have not voted to accept a contract, Perkins said.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

LaGrandeObserver.com works best with the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Apple Safari