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About Northwest labor press. (Portland , Ore.) 1987-current | View Entire Issue (July 21, 2006)
Oregon’s top wages in 2006
Among occupations with more than
20,000 workers in Oregon, general and
operations managers had the highest av-
erage hourly earnings in 2006 at
The highest-paying non-managerial
occupation is registered nurse, with a
$29.57 average hourly wage.
Several of the most common occu-
pations tend to provide seasonal or part-
time employment, which cuts into their
annual earning power.
These occupations include retail
salespersons, janitors and cleaners,
waiters and waitresses, and combined
food preparation and serving workers
(including fast food).
Of these occupations, retail sales
persons had the highest average hourly
wage at $12.25 — and it makes up the
largest occupation in Oregon, with over
Customer Service &XVWRPHU6HUYLFH5HSUHVHQWDWLYHV
Office Clerks, General 2IILFH&OHUNV*HQHUDO
Freight, Material Handler
Janitors and Cleaners -DQLWRUVDQG&OHDQHUV
Waiters and Waitresses :DLWHUVDQG:DLWUHVVHV
Food Preparation, Fast Food
Source: Oregon Employment Department
Carpenters Union conducts pre-apprenticeship
training to prepare California inmates for jobs
SACRAMENTO — Sixteen inmates
at California State Prison in Sacramento
graduated June 28 from a pre-appren-
ticeship training program conducted by
the Carpenters Union.
After completion of the training —
the first of its type in the nation — parol-
ing inmates will be eligible for place-
ment in the apprenticeship program of-
fered through the Carpenters Training
Committee for Northern California.
The pre-apprenticeship program,
which started last year, is operated by
the California Department of Correc-
tions in partnership with the Prison In-
dustries Authority and the Northern Cal-
ifornia Carpenters Regional Council.
The PIA is a state organization that pro-
vides jobs for inmates. They make
goods that are sold to other government
entities, including flags, shoes, eyewear,
license plates, clothing and furniture.
PIA will pay the initial union dues
and provide a full complement of tools
to inmates who complete the program
and enter Carpenters Union Local 46.
In addition to classroom instruction,
inmates are getting practical experience
making modular buildings at Folsom
State Prison and converting an old fire
camp on the hill above it into a training
and engineering center.
“Inmates can learn various carpentry
skill sets that are easily transferable to
jobs on the outside,” said Charles Pat-
tillo, PIA’s acting general manager. “I
am enthused about this program because
by preparing inmates prior to their re-
lease, we can address the issues of un-
employment among parolees.”
Construction is the third-fastest
growing industry in California, accord-
ing to the State Employment Develop-
ment Department. The number of jobs
is projected to increase 30 percent in
construction and carpentry by 2012 .
“We’re hoping to get some good
folks out of this,” Paul Cohen, a
spokesman for Northern California Car-
penters Regional Council, told the Scra-
mento Business Journal. “We see a lot
of work coming.”
The council, based in Oakland, in-
cludes Greater Sacramento and covers
29 locals with about 40,000 members
from Visalia north to Oregon.
“This is truly an investment in public
safety, because employed parolees mean
safer communities,” said PIA Secretary
IBEW Local 659 ends 10-day strike
at Eugene Water & Electric Board
EUGENE — Workers at Eugene Water & Electric Board returned to work
July 14 through 17 with a tentative agreement that ended a 10-day strike — the
first ever at EWEB in its 95-year history, and only the second by members of the
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 659.
The unit of 156 workers unionized August 2003 and got its first union con-
tract, a one-year deal, in January 2005. The union began negotiating the terms
of a second contract in October 2005. The old deal expired Dec. 31, and when
management unilaterally imposed the terms of its last offer May 28, union
members decided to strike. They began their strike July 4.
EWEB is Oregon’s largest public utility, providing water and electricity to
Eugene and several communities further up the Willamette River.
EWEB continued to provide water and electricity service during the strike,
and the utility’s nonunion employees and a private contractor operated facilities.
EWEB has three times as many employees in nonunion classifications as it
does in union jobs.
Meanwhile, Lenny Ellis, assistant business manager at Local 659, said the
strike brought about an unprecedented feeling of unity among the members of
the unit. “Very few people crossed the picket line, and members got to meet
co-workers from different shifts and locations that they’d never met before,”
Three issues were at stake in the strike, and all were resolved in the strike set-
• EWEB had proposed annual out-of-pocket health care expense caps of
$3,000 per individual and $6,000 per family, but agreed to limits of $2,000 and
• IBEW members wanted Veterans Day to be added as a paid holiday;
• IBEW members wanted the new contract’s pay raise to be retroactive to the
expiration of the old contract. The union gave up that demand, instead changing
the contract term. The new pact, which lasts three years, will expire mid-2009.
Under the new contract, general laborers get three annual raises of 2.5 per-
cent, while water and electric workers get raises of 4.4, 4, and 4 percent. De-
pending on classification and experience, pay among EWEB’s union workers
ranges from $16.80 to $39.61 an hour.
Also, employees continue to receive employer-paid health insurance. EWEB
pays 100 percent of the premium for individual coverage, and 75 percent for
family coverage. Employees who opt-out of the employer-sponsored coverage
get 50 percent of the premium “cash back.”
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