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Published: Thursday, 7/17/2008

Judge: UAW pay proposal would cost county $2M

Cubbon Cubbon

Responding to criticisms from the United Auto Workers, Lucas County Juvenile Court Judge Denise Cubbon claims that the union's proposal for salary increases would have cost the county $2 million over three years.

Judge Cubbon in June rescinded her permission for the UAW to organize her employees, prompting the UAW and all three county commissioners to call on her earlier this week to reconsider.

According to Ohio law, judges do not have to recognize unions among their employees.

Although her employees voted to join the UAW, Judge Cubbon reversed the court's earlier permission after weeks of contentious negotiations - and claims from the judge of vandalism of her family cars.

The UAW printed an "open letter" to county residents in The Blade on Tuesday, urging them to call on Judge Cubbon to recognize the union.

In a news release Tuesday, Judge Cubbon claimed the commissioners refused to provide "written documentation" about a proposal with the UAW to raise employees' salaries based on seniority.

"To date, it is the understanding of the Juvenile Court administration that there never was an agreement involving all of the commissioners," Judge Cubbon wrote. "It was baffling to read the 'open letter' which states that there was such an agreement reached with the commissioners, and yet these same commissioners refused to document this agreement as requested by Judge Cubbon on numerous occasions."

Judge Cubbon said she would have to lay off workers in order to meet the demands of the union and the commissioners.

Judge Cubbon declined to comment further on the issue. She did not mention her earlier claims that tires on two of her family cars were flattened in June, shortly before she rescinded the union's permission.

In their news conference earlier this week, the commissioners said they did not believe the agreement would have caused layoffs.

Commissioner Pete Gerken, who has taken a lead role in the negotiations, said he wanted to talk about the issue face-to-face with Judge Cubbon, and was rebuffed.

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