City of Eugene workers, represented by AFSCME 1724, reached a tentative agreement (TA) earlier this week. AFSCME 1724, which represents roughly 630 workers across just about every department at the City of Eugene, has been bargaining since early March. The union picked up pressure in the last couple months as they headed into mediation. Workers secured wage increases and lowered health premiums in this agreement.
The TA provides a 2% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for their wages retroactive to July 1 of this year and 4% COLA on July 1, 2022. Come July 1, 2023 workers get a 2-4% COLA tied to CPI-Western. In addition to the COLAs, about 60% of classifications get a one or two grade pay increase, 4.5% or 9%.
After wages, workers second biggest priority was health care. Under the TA, health insurance premiums for employees will lower from 8% to 5% by 2023. In addition they secured decreases to the cost of family health insurance for part time employees and limited duration employees.
Workers took to picketing earlier this week and on Saturday, standing out amid rain and wind. Since the beginning of bargaining workers have been making the case that they are essential workers, and noting how many of them have been working on-site throughout the pandemic.
In addition to picketing, the union credits members showing up at rallies, speaking out at City Council meetings, and circulating petitions for their contractual gains.