Oregon legislative staff become first in nation to unionize

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Legislative employees within Oregon’s Capitol will become the first in the nation to unionize, after a 75-31 vote by staff members Friday, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports. The unionization, which has been informally discussed for years, means that 180 Capitol aides will be joining International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 89 and can begin taking steps toward bargaining with the Legislature on a contract for the first time. Legislative aides help lawmakers with scheduling, keeping track of bills and votes, community relations, policy work and serve as liaisons between state agencies. The hours they work can be extended beyond the typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as floor sessions and committee meetings can carry on into the night.