The president of the District Council of Trade Unions announced Thursday the labor coalition, which represents roughly 16% of the Portland city workforce, will soon go on strike over wages.
DCTU head, Rob Martineau, said the coalition had directed the chief negotiator to notify the city that workers plan to strike on Feb. 10. A strike can take place ten days after the coalition informs the city.
Martineau announced the decision at a rally outside of City Hall Thursday evening.
The District Council of Trade Unions represents about 1,100 city of Portland workers in six unions: AFSCME Local 189, IBEW Local 48, Plumbers Local 290, Painters and Allied Trades District Council 5, Machinists District Lodge No. 24, and Operating Engineers Local 701.
Union members provide a range of services that keep the city moving, including vehicle repairs, water treatment, and building inspections. The water bureau has the most represented employees with 297 DCTU members. The police, transportation, and development services bureau also have over 100 members.
After two years of negotiations over a new contract between the city and the coalition, talks stalled over wages. The city’s most recent offer includes a 1.6% cost-of-living adjustment retroactive to July 1, 2021 and an additional 5% cost-of-living adjustment on July 1 of this year. All DCTU members would also receive a $3,000 bonus under this agreement
But union members say the cost of living adjustments have failed to keep up with inflation, and the bonus amounts to a small pay raise. They say they want wages that are competitive with the private sector.
This story may be updated.