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Published: 11/27/2012

Toledo council approves contract with municipal court deputy clerks to freeze wages

BLADE STAFF

Toledo City Council today approved a new three-year contract with municipal court deputy clerks that freezes wages in the first year but grants 2 percent raises in each of the following two years.

The agreement, approved 10-0, progressively makes the more than 60 employees pay more toward their pensions and health insurance, said Clerk of Court Vallie Bowman-English. Council approved the contract during a special meeting held just before its agenda review meeting. Councilman George Sarantou and Phillip Copeland were not present.

The deputy clerks, represented by AFSCME Local 3411, currently get 8.5 percent of their pension share paid. Next year it falls to 5 percent, in 2014 it decreases to 2 percent, and in 2015, the employees must cover the entire cost.

"Health care basically doubles from what they are paying now," Ms. Bowman-English said.

The contract goes into effect Jan. 1.

The agreement continues to provide health-care coverage for employees with increased monthly co-premiums beginning in July, 2013, she said. Other city unionized employees face those same increases.

In other business, city council today reviewed several million dollars worth of repairs to the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant in East Toledo. It could vote on the measures next week. 

Among the requests from the Bell administration is $2.8 million for design of a proposed East Plant Water Quality and Redundancy Improvements project. That project includes two new treatment units that each consist of a flocculation basin and a sedimentation basin, 10 new rapid sand filters, and improvements to water, wash water, chemical feed, and sludge piping equipment.

Council is also expected to vote next week on $1.5 million for the design of Low Service Pumping Station improvements and upgrades. That facility in Jerusalem Township pumps water nine miles to the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant. Earlier this year, two of the four pumps at the station "experienced catastrophic failure causing them to be shut down and unavailable for use until emergency repairs were accomplished," city records said.

There were also requests to purchase, upgrade, and install a new supervisory control and data acquisition system at the plant and spend $40,000 to buy leak detection equipment.

The Ohio EPA, in two recent reports, blasted the city of Toledo’s drinking water treatment plant — warning officials that the aging facility has operated for years without preventative maintenance that could lead to a catastrophic failure.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171.



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