Juvenile Department says 'No' to county's 2% offer

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- The Douglas County Juvenile Department is in the middle of contract negotiations with the county, and union members say a pay increase is long overdue.

with all the rain at the Douglas County Courthouse on Thursday, officials say it proved to be anything but picnic weather. That didn't stop them, as just to the right side of the building, members of the Juvenile Department felt this was the perfect time to hold what they called a 'Unity Luncheon.'

It was a sea of green outside, while contract negotiations were taking place between the county and the department.

Many wearing 'No 2%' buttons, staffers like Officer Trevor Aslin from Juvenile are saying it's time for a pay increase to bring them more in line with other juvenile departments. "Through the salary surveys we've performed, we're about 20-30% below our comparable counties," he said.

Aslin says the department has received one cost of living pay increase in the last decade.

Though he says he wouldn't trade his job for anything in the world, he wants to be paid a just wage for doing it. "All I'm asking for is to get paid a fair wage," Aslin said.

Molly Roy says they were happy with the way the event turned out, even despite the gloomy weather. "It's a dreary day outside, and really nothing is going to dampen our spirits today," she said. "We're a pretty strong department and we believe in what we're doing."

A union representative said this is about the sixth meeting they've had at the bargaining table, and they aren't happy with the 2% offer from the county.

Next Friday is the day that either party can declare impasse.

KPIC News left a message with the county human resources director to get their take on negotiations.