Oregon State Workers Reach Tentative Agreement on Historic Contract

Salem, Oregon — In a landmark move that signifies the power of union action, state workers represented by Oregon AFSCME have reached a tentative agreement on their new contract with the State. This agreement brings unprecedented Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increases for the state workers amidst the rapid rise in inflation and the current statewide staffing crisis.

Under the agreement, workers are set to receive a 6.5% COLA increase in December 2023, followed by another 6.55% COLA increase in early 2025. These increases are the highest ever seen in a contract for state workers, demonstrating the impact of united action and negotiation.

In addition to the COLA increases, the agreement also includes a one-time bonus payment of $1,500 to offset the higher cost of living, which will be distributed in September 2023, following the contract's ratification.

"This is a historic moment for Oregon state workers," said Oregon AFSCME Associate Director Joe Baessler. "This contract is clear proof that when workers come together, they have the power to significantly improve working conditions and compensation for all workers.” 

“The fight for fair pay with rising inflation and a staffing crisis has been hard-fought, but through collective bargaining and action, we've managed to secure a contract that recognizes our value as state workers,” said Christina Sydenstricker-Brown, President of Oregon AFSCME Local 1246 and a member of the state workers’ bargaining team. “These COLA increases are going to make a huge difference in my ability to support myself and my family, and I know they will help a lot of state workers who are struggling to make ends meet right now."

Next, the contracts will need to be ratified by Oregon AFSCME members to go into effect, a process that is expected to be completed within the next 30 days. This new agreement stands as a testament to the resilience and unity of the Oregon state workers in advocating for fair and deserving compensation in challenging economic circumstances.