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JFS makes new pact,raises workers' pay

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:06 PM

After months of sometimes contentious negotiations, Huron County commissioners approved three-year contracts today guaranteeing raises of $1.82 per hour for both union and non-union employees at Job and Family Services (JFS).

The amount charged for health insurance was also adjusted for union employees to bring them into line with amounts already charged non-union employees.

All employees will get $.80 per hour raises now retroactive to July 1, 2007, when contracts originally ran out. They will get $.54 per hour raises in July, 2008 and $.48 per hour the following year.

That amount will add up to $1,664 this year, another $1,123 later this year and an extra $998 in the contracts' final year. Current pay for employees ranges from $29,244 to $58,032.

Based on the choice of health care plan employees choose, they must pay from $17.49 each month for single coverage on the base plan to $46.30 for an enhanced plan. Families must pay from $44.60 for the base plan and up to $118.07 for an enhanced plan. Those amounts go into effect this month.

Bonnie Richards, assistant director at JFS, said this morning when she brought the paperwork in to the commissioners' meeting that she didn't know if the employees who already received raises this year will get the additional raises.

Lowell Etzler, the interim director of JFS, said in November almost $42,000 in raises for 10 administrators and supervisors were simply "equity adjustments" that were long overdue.

"We had supervisors that were supervising individuals that were paid more than they were," Etzler said. "They've been out of line for quite a number of years."

Ten of the department's 21 supervisors and administrators got raises ranging from more than $10,000 to $1,600.

Amy Leibold received the largest raise of $10,150, about 25 percent, making her the fourth highest-paid administrator, according to information provided to the Reflector by the department. Etzler said she is in the department's financial area.

Chris Robertson, a work force supervisor, received an $8,000 raise. Charlene Steffani, a supervisor in child support, received a $5,400 raise and Michelle Daniel, also a supervisor in child support, received a $4,300 raise.

Janet Poyer, Brian Lindsley, Connie Leimbach, Alice Hamons, Lenora Minor and Jeanne Fisher also received raises.

Etzler said JFS had filed an unfair labor practice against the union during negotiations with the state Labor Relations Board. As soon as the new contracts have been approved, Etzler said, that action would be dropped.

He also said union representatives have verbally agreed to the contract, but the signature page hasn't been turned in yet.

In their organizational meeting earlier this week, Mike Adelman was elected to serve as president of the Huron County commissioners and Gary Bauer will serve as vice president for 2008.

The commissioners also set their regular meetings for every Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. in their offices at 180 Milan Avenue.

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