By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Yamhill County disputes employee union spying claims

Employees authorize strike if mediation fails

Only online subscribers may access this article.

One-day subscriptions available for just $3. Click here for one-day access.

For all other subscription offers, click here.

Already a subscriber, please .


Don Dix

362 members -- 'overwhelmingly' voted to strike if negotiations reach impasse.

Since HHS is about 2/3 of union county employees and seems to be where most complaints against the county originate, the odds are that's where the union handlers found those numbers.


A union that resorts to tactics such as an attempt to "bully, threaten, and posture with legal action,” is pretty much how I imagine unions behave. The real challenge is to stay the course and avoid the pitfalls that the local playground bully employs like name calling, vague and not so vague threats, and posturing in the schoolyard during recess.

It seems to me that not just an ethic's violation was recorded with the misappropriation (theft) of vital information, but that a crime was committed. Maybe now it is time to call in OSP and let them do a forensic investigation and determine if any laws were indeed broken and then seek prosecution accordingly. All of these "he said - she said" accusations are leading to an impasse that in the end has the potential to cripple our present day essential services.

In the best interest of the County and her citizens, let's hope that somewhere down the road (and soon) they can resolve this dispute in an amicable manner and be able to lay down a foundation able to be built on for years to come. From the beginning of this ordeal we have been bombarded with characters acting up, acting out, and just plain acting. It is time to put this horrid little off-off-off Broadway play back to bed and move on, as there are more pressing matters to consume our attention and suck the life blood out of us.

A New Generation

ERB willl get to the bottom of the investigation. Don: and your point is? Yes, HHS is by far the largest County Department, so it would follow that there would be a commensurate number of complaints, but look at recent history (the debacle at Public Works, the Paolo lawsuits, the current and former DA and Sheriff lawsuits (and those are two different unions altogether). They say the best predictor of behaviors is past behavior, and the County gets an 'F' for continuing to step in it, rather than conduct themselves in an ethical and businesslike manner. The Sheriffs department cited turnover as criteria for their 30% pay increase. I see little to differentiate the importance of the work done by Public Works, Public Health, Planning, Clerk's Office, and yes, HHS.

Don Dix

The 'point' -- clearly stated.

The Sheriff's Dept. pays for the training of prospective deputies, only to have some graduates poached by other law enforcement agencies offering better salaries.

Asking for competitive salaries to keep new deputies is totally different than an employee improperly accessing county records -- changing the conversation doesn't diminish the possibly of criminal union activity.