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Lane County Workers Continue Strike

Rachael McDonald

Hundreds of Lane County workers are in their second day on strike Thursday. The union and county negotiators go back to the bargaining table Friday.

On a rainy afternoon, members of the AFSCME union hold signs, chant and cheer when cars honk as they drive by the county building.  
Tad Larres is a case manager for adults with developmental disabilities. He says it’s cold and wet and he’d rather be inside at work. But Larres says he and his fellow workers have been making concessions to the county for years and wages are no longer competitive.
“And as a result we’re having trouble retaining quality staff. And that has an impact. For me, myself, that means as a case manager we have excessively high case-loads which I think, it’s unprofessional and it’s not appropriate.”
The county’s latest offer includes pay raises. But the union says it’s not enough. County spokesperson Devon Ashbridge says about 20 percent of union members have returned to work. The union represents 692 employees – including nurses.

You can find information on county services affected by the strike at the Lane County website.


Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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