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Published: Tuesday, 10/18/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

Lucas County workers approve new bargaining contract

BY TONY COOK
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Lucas County workers have overwhelmingly approved a new collective bargaining agreement that will freeze wages and cut back on vacation and sick time cash outs.

The agreement will go into effect this month, three months before the previous agreement was scheduled to expire. County commissioners praised the smooth negotiating process.

“In times like these we’re thrilled to have come to agreement with the union,” Commissioner Pete Gerken said. “This is the perfect example why local governments needs to be able to handle their business without state interference.”

That was a thinly veiled shot at Issue 2, which would scale back collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. The board, which is composed of three Democrats, unanimously opposes the Nov. 8 ballot issue.

The new agreement will:

  • Freeze wages for 2012, with re-openers in the following two years. Wages have been frozen since 2008.
  • Cut back allowable sick time cash outs at retirement from 33 1/3 percent of accrued but unused sick leave to 25 percent. The maximum cash out will also be reduced from 320 hours to 240 hours, beginning next year. Commissioners approved similar concessions for non-bargaining unit employees earlier this year.
  • Reduce the amount of unused vacation time that can be carried over from three years to one year by 2014. This will reduce the amount of money the county has to pay employees upon separation. Commissioners approved similar concessions for non-bargaining unit employees earlier this year.

Commissioners and representatives of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 8 will announce the results at an 11 a.m. press conference Tuesday.



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