Jackson County reaches agreement with employees’ union

MEDFORD, Ore.– Jackson County commissioners have approved an agreement with their employees’ union for a new contract. After more than a year of negotiations, commissioners voted unanimously to authorize the new agreement Wednesday afternoon.

It’s a complete 180 from where the county was a month ago when the union of nearly 450 people overwhelmingly voted to strike.

The county recently presented its final offer and within several days the union accepted. Union employees will now get a 3.5 percent pay increase starting next pay period after the agreement has been ratified by the county.

They will receive a two to four percent cost of living adjustment over the next couple of years. Employees will also be included in the county’s self-insurance plan starting in July.

“It will put money in people’s pockets when they need it, it will give folks security that they have a contract as they move forward,” said Melissa Unger, executive director of SEIU Local 503. “I think it will really get folks into better healthcare at lower costs and so all three of those things are important and good.”

Commissioners congratulated both the county and employees coming to an agreement.

While not all of their demands were met, union officials say members are happy a deal was made especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

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