City of Portland

Almost 900 strong, our Portland members keep the city moving, performing vital services in nearly every bureau that benefit the Portland community.

Wildfire and Trauma Response Resources

In an already extraordinarily stressful time, wildfires that began over Labor Day weekend have further impacted us all. Dozens of our members have had to evacuate or prepare to do so, or host evacuated friends and relatives. The hazardous air quality has affected everyone, and particularly people with pre-existing health challenges. Under such conditions, everyone feels the effects of these traumatic events. You, your family, and your friends may have logistical, emotional, or medical needs. At a minimum, all of us need extra kindness, support, and understanding right now.

While the air has begun to clear, the trauma we feel may not have lifted.  Two helpful videos and two handouts were shared by PBOT that could help all of us right now.  You can use these to help yourself, your City colleagues, and your loved ones cope with these stressors. 

The City’s Employee Assistance Program, Cascade Centers, which you all have access to as benefits-eligible employees, has recorded a sixteen minute video called “Wildfires and Trauma Response” about common reactions to trauma, self-care measures to counteract trauma, and a brief overview of their services. The speaker is mental health counselor Rick Baumgartle. 

Additionally, Cascade has provided two handouts that might be helpful, and they are linked here as well:

Prior to the fires, PBOT worked with a firm called Lumos Transforms to provide a series of webinars called “Anchoring Resilience in Turbulent Times.” One of those sessions is now available to view on You Tube. (About the first four and a half minutes of the video are set up time as the webinar got started, so go ahead and just skip to the 4:40 mark to reach the content.) In the approximately 50 minute session, speaker Nkem Ndefo explains the central nervous system’s natural response to stressful circumstances and how you can understand and work with it to experience relief from excessive levels of stress. She shares several short exercises you can use (or teach a loved one to use) to calm your nervous system in a tough moment.

September is Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month, but we know the stressors of life are felt year round. Cascade Centers has counselors available 24/7 to discuss any need or topic on your mind. If something feels overwhelming to you, call them at 1-800-433-2320 or text them at 1-800-850-7721. It is free, confidential, and will NEVER be reported to your employer.

Remember, you are experiencing normal reactions to an abnormal situation. The people around you want to help, so please reach out to myself or your HR Business Partner at the City if we can support you during this very tough time.

Letter of Agreement on COVID-19 Economic Impacts approved by Portland members

The Letter of Agreement on economic concessions due to COVID-19 impacts was approved by a vote of the membership and ratified by City Council on June 3.

An FAQ addressing application of the elements of the Agreement is available here. Please review the document as well as resources the City has posted on the Work Share program here.

We encourage all members to follow the instructions provided by the Bureau of Human Resources for enrolling in the State of Oregon Work Share program.  Those instructions were emailed to all employees on Wed., June 3rd. If you are subject to taking furlough hours, you may begin to do so immediately.

Currently, there are additional payments of up to $600 available through the CARES Act for employees subject to a loss of wages and eligible for Work Share or unemployment benefits. The attached FAQ helps outline eligibility, but you should also review the Work Share FAQ and Work Share Handbook on the BHR website. CARES Act dollars are only available for furlough days taken before the week ending July 25, 2020, so don’t delay scheduling your furlough days if you want to take advantage of this program.

Your voice mattered in this process. The member led Task Force that developed a proposal to respond to the City and negotiated on your behalf did so after meeting with hundreds of you in Zoom meetings and reviewing the thoughtful comments you shared in our member survey. Thank you for your participation — keep it up!

If you attended one of our info sessions or any of the many meetings that occurred during negotiations, you will have heard that the City does not yet know the full extent of economic impacts from this pandemic. We agreed to continue to meet regularly with the City and maintain a dialogue about revenue and impacts. It will be critical for our chapter to stay engaged and to carry this momentum into the next fiscal year.

COVID-19 Emergency Benefits

PROTEC17 has been working in coalition with other unions to come to an agreement with the City of Portland to protect your health, safety and livelihoods during the COVID-19 crisis. On March 25, City Council adopted a Letter of Agreement, which includes expanded protections of your wages and benefits, as well as provisional emergency leave benefits, for the duration of the pandemic response.

Below you can find links to the ordinance and LOA, a summary of the benefits in the agreement, and flowcharts that will may help answer any questions you might have. The summary and flowcharts are provided so you don’t have to decipher any of the ordinance or LOA yourself.

Ordinance with the full Letter of Agreement (LOA)
Summary of benefits in COVID-19 LOA
COVID-19 leave flowchart
High risk employees flowchart

Our number one concern is your health and safety, and we know that your wages and healthcare benefits are a part of that. Please contact your Union Representative Rachel Whiteside if you have any additional questions or concerns.

2020 Oregon Primary Endorsements

Following interviews with 15 candidates for Portland City Council and Portland Mayor, PROTEC17 has made endorsements for the May 2020 primary. Please visit our Government Affairs page to learn more: https://www.protec17.org/government-affairs/

Thank you to the PROTEC17 interview committee, which was made up of 7 members from across City bureaus who volunteered for this role.

Paul Cone, Portland Chapter President, Bureau of Technology Services
Mary Edin, Portland Chapter Secretary, Bureau of Transportation
Emily Tabachnick, PROTEC17 Trustee, Bureau of Technology Services
Rachel Burlington, Portland Chapter Vice President, Parks Bureau
Dat Nguyen, PROTEC17 member, Bureau of Technology Services
Michael Goins, PROTEC17 member, Water Bureau
Ian Hackett, PROTEC17 member, Bureau of Environmental Services
Emily Wilson,PROTEC17 member, Bureau of Development Services