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Published: Tuesday, 1/9/2001

Fact finder investigates Ottawa County dispute

OAK HARBOR - A state-appointed fact finder met yesterday with Ottawa County officials and union representatives who are locked in a dispute over a county plan to impose health-insurance premiums on nonnurse employees at the Riverview Nursing Home.

Louis Thomson, Jr., of Toledo, said he expects to issue a recom|mended settlement between the county and the workers, represented by Unit 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, in the next two to three weeks. He has up to 30 days to do so.

On Jan. 1, the county began charging monthly health insurance premiums of $10 for single employees and $25 for family coverage for most of its employees. Officials have been negotiating the issue with the nursing-home workers and sheriff's department employees represented by the Fraternal Order of Police, under contract reopeners.

Mr. Thomson conducted a hearing Dec. 29 with the county and the FOP and plans to issue that finding late this week or early next week.

Under state law, a fact finder's recommendations are nonbinding.

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