By News-Register staff • 

Yamhill County workers go on strike

Rusty Rae/News-Register##Striking Yamhill County workers started forming a picked line early on the morning of Friday, Nov. 3 in front of the courthouse.
Rusty Rae/News-Register##Striking Yamhill County workers started forming a picked line early on the morning of Friday, Nov. 3 in front of the courthouse.

Yamhill County Employee Association workers and the county could not come to a labor agreement during a mediation session on the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 2, and as a result, an estimated 150 union workers began striking Friday morning in front of the courthouse.

Sign-carrying workers were outfitted in green attire. They were extremely vocal in delivering various messages. Strikers were supported by many people in vehicles passing by on Northeast Fifth Street who honked their horns in apparent support of their cause.

“Mediation only lasted a couple of hours yesterday (Thursday),” YCEA President Michelle Mendoza said. “We were hoping for a settlement. Unfortunately, that did not happen. The county did not have anything new to propose and the day prior we had already given them our bottom line proposal. So now, here we are.”

County Administrator/Budget Officer Ken Huffer and Mendoza confirmed the next mediation session is scheduled Tuesday, Nov. 7.

“However, it is my understanding that we can be called in at any time,” Mendoza said.

Union workers are scheduled to rally Saturday and resume picketing Monday and in the days ahead until an agreement is reached.

“The county is committed to ensuring the continuation of critical services to the public while represented employees engage in their right to strike,” Huffer said.

YCEA workers not only are picketing in McMinnville but in Newberg also, according to Mendoza.


Fern leaves

The leadership (commissioners and Administration) is completely incompetent. They try to convince the employees that there isn't money to even begin to address the reasonable asks. The moeny is there, the budgets are online, go take a look for yourself. Pay special attention to the reserve accounts and unappropriated ending fund balances (i.e., slush funds). Huffer says they've negotiated with the other unions, yet the other two units (FOPPO and the deputies) are small in comparison and further the history of the Sheriff's Office staff is that they have received LARGE raises in recent years to supposedly compensate for comparable inequities - which is the same thing YCEA is asking for. The county leadership selectively uses comparables when they work in their favor - and resists them when they know they will show the truth. This entire fiasco is due to very poor/non-existent leadership at the commissioner and county administrator level. The cost of work interruption and the lack of trust in the organization is very high.

Fern leaves

BTW, the county administrator has a loaded salary way over $250,000/year. He doesn't care about the employees. According to PERS Tschabold's final average salary was $166,450/year - before benefits. Huffer's is higher than that.

Bill B

It would be helpful to those of us not in the fight to know whether the claim that wages are below the living wage criteria are factual.

Don Dix

Bill B's suggestion would either support or refute the comparison to other counties. Put those comparables side by side in print. If true, support will follow -- otherwise, not so much

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