As Some Workers Return From Picket Lines, Lane County Shuffles To Restore Services

Oct 23, 2017

Lane County officials say as of today, about 150 of nearly 700 striking workers have gone back to their jobs…enabling some services to start up again.  

AFSCME picketers outside Lane County Health and Human Services on the afternoon of October 23, 2017.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Spokeswoman Devon Ashbridge says Behavioral Health and Veterans Services are back to normal business hours.  And the Methadone Treatment Program Group Therapy resumed today.  Ashbridge says Lane County’s trying to be creative in placing these workers.  

Lane County Spokeswoman Devon Ashbridge.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

“So we’re trying to look at where we’re at with staff who are returning, what may be “secret skills” we have of employees who in a previous life, may have worked in a different division or department, and could be useful there again so we can bolster those services,” she told reporters at a press conference. 

Meanwhile, AFSCME President LaRece Rivera says they’ll welcome anyone back to the picket lines.  She says AFSCME has a “hardship” fund to help cover a striking worker’s lost wages while negotiations continue. 

Talks have gone on since May between the county and two bargaining units on this latest contract.  The latest session ended at an impasse Sunday.  Parties plan to have another session Wednesday.

Copyright 2017, KLCC.