City participates in mediation, finalizes citywide preparations for labor strike

Press Release
The City offers significant pay increases while cross-bureau planning efforts get finalized to ensure the essential services Portlanders rely on everyday are minimally disrupted should a strike begin Feb. 2 at 12:01 a.m.

City’s offer includes pay increases ranging from 12.4% to 42.1%, mediation continues today

Labor update

The City of Portland is prepared should City employees represented by the Laborers’ Local 483 go on strike Feb. 2 at 12:01 am. The City and Laborers' Local 483 – Portland City Laborers, known as PCL, have been negotiating a new contract since last spring.   

The 615 City employees represented by PCL are primarily located within the Bureau of Environmental Services (95 members), Portland Bureau of Transportation (278 members) and Portland Parks and Recreation (224 members) and perform functions that include wastewater treatment operations, pollution testing, street maintenance, and park ranger services.  

The City and PCL began negotiations in March 2022 and met 19 times before PCL requested mediation in November. Following two mediation sessions, PCL declared an impasse and both the City and PCL submitted final offers on Dec. 29.  

Employees represented by PCL currently make an average of $65,389 a year and would make an average $76,288 per year beginning July 1, 2023 under the City's latest proposal, an increase of $10,899, which does not include any progression through newly negotiated step increases. The union has rejected that proposal and instead has decided to keep the strike looming. Mediation continues today.

Wage table showing the average hourly rate and average annual salary.

As announced last week, the City’s latest proposal to PCL leadership includes market-rate wage adjustments to more than half of PCL’s job classifications. Additionally, all PCL workers employed as of June 30, 2022 will receive cost-of-living and across-the-board increases: 

  • A 5% cost-of-living adjustment, retroactive to July 1, 2022 

  • A 1% across-the-board pay increase, retroactive to July 1, 2022 

  • A 5% cost-of-living adjustment on July 1, 2023 

  • A 1% across-the-board pay increase on July 1, 2023 

Considering the market rate wage increases, cost-of-living adjustments and across-the-board increases offered by City leadership, current PCL workers employed before June 30, 2022, will see annual wage increases ranging from $7,072 (or $3.40 an hour) to $24,835 ($11.90 an hour) beginning July 1, 2023. PCL workers will also receive retroactive wages to July 1, 2022.

Proposal offers substantial wage increases 

Current and proposed wage rates for some common job classifications are shown below for comparison. Current wages are hourly rates determined by the contract that expired last year. Proposed rates are hourly rates that were in the City's most recent offer and would be effective July 1, 2023.  

This tables shows the published wages of various job classifications. It may be more accessible to download the Excel document.

The City’s offer also includes:  

  • Shift premium increases 

  • An increased tool and clothing allowance 

  • Removed cap on sick leave for dependent care 

  • 1,000 hours of City-paid union time per fiscal year, to be used among all designated representatives 

  • Increased hours for seasonal park rangers 

  • Increase in employer-provided healthcare contribution for seasonal park rangers 

  • Reduced waiting period for new hire sick leave and vacation 

PCL employees have the legal right to choose whether or not to strike and the City will not retaliate against any employees who choose to go on strike.  

Citywide preparations  

Citywide planning efforts are being finalized and critical operational needs, personnel coverage, resources, and contingency plans have been identified with to ensure essential services that Portlanders rely on everyday are minimally disrupted for the duration of a strike. 

More details on the city service levels Portlanders can expect during the workforce disruption are expected to be announced on Thursday. 



Office of Management and Finance Media Contact