July 16, 2015
Compiled By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Members of Oregon's two largest state employee unions will be celebrating the day after Thanksgiving this year. It will be added as a paid holiday under tentative contract agreements reached July 7 with Service Employees International Union Local 503 and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 75.
"Getting the day after Thanksgiving off is a big deal. We've been trying to get it for 20 years,” said Council 75 negotiator Ken Allen. “A lot of state agencies have just had skeleton crews come in and others just take a personal day, so it didn't make sense not grant it as a holiday.” Local 503’s four-year deal also includes raises of 1.48% this December and another 2.75% in December 2016, with negotiations for more possible in 2017. Council 75’s two-year deal will give more than 3,000 members raises of 2.25% and 2.75%. The proposed contracts also require workers to pay slightly more if they want the most expensive health insurance, but pay less if they pick any other plan. The state has not reached an agreement with Department of Corrections workers, who are also represented by AFSCME.
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