After a three-day strike, a tentative agreement has been reached between City of Portland and LiUNA, Local 483, Portland City Laborers – a union representing 615 employees who provide essential services including wastewater treatment operations, pollution testing, street maintenance and park ranger services.
Workers from Portland City Laborers, known as PCL, ended their strike at 1 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 5. Workers will return for their regularly scheduled shifts beginning Sunday evening.
“We look forward to reuniting with our colleagues and celebrating the ability to continue serving this community, together,” the union and the City said in a joint statement during the early hours of Sunday morning, following a 12-hour day of mediation.
The new four-year collective bargaining agreement, which is retroactive to July 2022, includes a minimum 13 percent salary increase for all PCL workers by July 1, 2023, with additional increases for some positions to make their pay competitive in the market.
Formalizing the tentative agreement requires a vote by PCL members and the Portland City Council. Bargaining teams for both sides are preparing the agreement for those votes, with recommendations of support. Final cost figures for the agreement will be released when they are available.
During the three-day strike, the City minimized disruption to services through a combination of staff, contracted services and contingency plans.
“We’re grateful that we were able to maintain the essential services Portlanders rely on every day,” said Cathy Bless, the City’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “We’re also grateful that we can welcome our colleagues back to work, bringing their expertise to perform these essential services.”
During the coming days, city bureaus affected by the strike will be catching up from a backlog of work that was put on hold to prioritize essential services. They will also focus on building community among employees who remained at work and those returning from the strike.
This was the City of Portland’s first strike in more than two decades. “We appreciate both sides’ efforts to compromise and come together to an outcome that is mutually advantageous,” Bless said.
Following 10 months of negotiation, PCL and the City moved to mediation in November. Following two sessions, PCL declared an impasse and both sides submitted final offers on Dec. 29. The strike began at midnight on Thursday, Feb. 2, and ended on Sunday, Feb. 5.
Tentative Agreement Highlights
4-year contract term: July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2026
Cost-of-living salary adjustments (COLA)
Year 1: 5% retroactive to July 1, 2022
Year 2: 5% effective July 1, 2023
Year 3: 1-5% in accordance with Consumer Price Index, effective July 1, 2024
Year 4: 1-5% in accordance with Consumer Price Index, effective July 1, 2025
A 3% across-the-board increase for all Portland City Laborers classifications, effective July 1, 2022
Market-wage adjustments for employees in specific classifications determined by a market study and through negotiation
Additional enhancements include:
Increases to standby pay
Dedicated length of rest period between shifts
Wastewater premium pay improvements
Eligibility to participate in the City’s language premium program
Addition of the Juneteenth holiday
Increased shift premiums
A reduced waiting period for new hire sick leave and vacation use
Removal of cap on sick leave for dependent care
Increased annual work hours for seasonal park rangers
Premium share for seasonal park rangers’ health insurance benefits increased from 90% City-paid/ 10% employee-paid to 95% City-paid/ 5% employee-paid
Bureau of Environmental Services Commercial Driver License premium pilot
An increased clothing allowance for eligible positions
1,600 hours of City paid time annually distributed among designated representatives to conduct union activities