The City of Portland and Laborers Local 483 (LL483) have reached a tentative agreement after contract negotiations involving Portland Park Rangers. The parties entered into the recently-concluded negotiations in order to craft a mutually beneficial agreement over wages, hours and working conditions.
“Portland Park Rangers serve admirably as the goodwill ambassadors of our parks and natural areas, and I am pleased we have come to this agreement,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “We thank our Rangers for continuing to provide a positive presence for all visitors to Portland parks and park facilities, for doing an excellent job in offering social services to those in need, and for keeping their sharp eyes out for any potential problems.”
Highlights of the new contract include:
-Both seasonal (those who work up to a maximum of 1400 hours annually) and full-time Rangers will receive a pay raise to keep them on par with competitive salaries.
-Starting Jan 1, 2015, seasonal Rangers will be eligible for health care benefits under the City of Portland’s Seasonal Workers Plan.
-Seasonal Rangers who perform satisfactorily will be given priority to return to work in the upcoming year if they wish.
-Full-time Rangers gain seniority rights.
-Seasonal Rangers gain discipline and grievance rights similar to the established system used for the City’s seasonal maintenance workers.
”Both the City and Rangers have an interest in and commitment to a well-trained work force and safe work environment,” says Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté. “I want to commend and thank our rangers for continuing to distinguish themselves by their work ethic, dedication, and compassion.”
The agreement is expected to be formally signed on Friday, October 31, and will run through June 30, 2017.
Rangers serve multiple roles by providing information, helping solve park user conflicts, and enforcing City Code such as dog leash/scoop laws, proper use of park permits, prohibitions against camping, alcohol consumption, and other park rules.
Rangers are non-sworn (law enforcement) officials who are given the authority under City Code to enforce park rules and issue park exclusions, if necessary. All Rangers are trained to assess a given situation and use verbal persuasion and problem-solving skills to gain voluntary compliance. If warranted, they call police or other responders to address the park concern.
In 2012, PP&R expanded the Park Ranger program to provide service in the central business district/downtown area year-round during the day and early evening shifts. The Rangers maintain security in 16 downtown/central city parks and work closely with other partners such as the Portland Police Bureau, Multnomah County, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, JOIN, and other social service providers to address needs and issues that arise in downtown parks.
For non-emergency park-related problems or special situations, the public may call the Park Ranger hotline at 503-823-1637.
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