JFS, union work on new pact

Negotiations continue between the employee's union for Job and Family Services and Huron County, but both sides remain mum on details causing a delay in a contract. Lowell Etzler, interim director for the agency, said talks began in early July to replace a three-year contract agreement that expired June 30.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010


Negotiations continue between the employee's union for Job and Family Services and Huron County, but both sides remain mum on details causing a delay in a contract.

Lowell Etzler, interim director for the agency, said talks began in early July to replace a three-year contract agreement that expired June 30.

Sources said the employees' union met Monday night to discuss a settlement, but union president Robin Hunt refused to confirm or deny a meeting was held.

Etzler discussed the negotiations with Huron County commissioners last week, but said nothing has been finalized. "We discussed some possibilities," he said. "The same discussion was held with the union. As a result, we're still in the process of negotiations so I can't go into any detail."

The commissioners did pass a resolution last week, however, to bring county policy regarding "bumping" when employees are laid off in Job and Family Services in line with state law. Etzler said a new state law passed under House Bill 187 does not allow management employees to "bump" or take a union job from another employee if the manager is laid off.

"That is a requirement of state law," Etzler said, adding that managers serve at the discretion of the agency director.

Another issue that faces the agency, he said, is salaries of managers compared to pay scales for employees. Some managers, who are paid a set salary, earn less than the employees they must oversee because employees can earn overtime pay.

"We're in the process of discussing that right now," Etzler said. "Over the period of several years, it just evolved into that." He said that issue is not a part of contract negotiations.

Etzler said he had no predictions as to how long negotiations might continue. Any changes in the contract might be retroactive to July 1 since the old contract has expired, he said, "but not necessarily."


Beth, Sandy, Rh...

Editor's note: This comment has been removed. It was not written by its purported author.

swiss cheese (A...

seems to me by the date stamp on your message, you all are at work. I think a heads up to your director you may get you computer reviewed.

Yipeeee (Anonymous)

Just what we need to do, pay the people at that office more money not to work. Our tax money hard at work and you are right Swiss, what are they doing posting during work hours. What a waste of our hard earn money.

nope, not worki...

guess again! and make sure you use names!

yeah, swiss... ...

have 'em review it...they'll wonder who the hell I am for sure! I'm here to make your life miserable. For every shout out you got- I got two.

Waste of dough ...

I can see that $187,00 saved by the firings going right back out the window. Why do you need overtime at JFS?

re waste of dou...

I seems to me with the postings that have been done by the staff, they need over time to make up for the time spent wasted on the internet. I can see where Children Services may need OT, they are called out on nights and weekends but the rest should be able to do their jobs during business hours, if not then someone needs to evaluate the staffing needs.

! (Anonymous)

Childrens Service is the only dept that gets ot.

Re ! (Anonymous)

Not what the time sheets show for JFS. Public record we can see who is working overtime and who isn't. We can also see when they are there and when they are not. Pay is also public record. I think tax payers need to see these records to hold that office accountable.

to: re waste of...

You people assume that if someone post something positive about this issue, then "OH YOU MUST WORK THERE..." There is a reason stupid people don't have jobs, and you are proof.

waste of dough ...

You assume I do not have a job, let me tell you I do have a job and a very good one. You must work there, you think everyone but you are on food stamps and unemployed. That is their thinking, they are the "GODS" of Huron County. Trust me more heads will roll.

Re: waste of do...

Thank you! I never considered myself a GODDESS before, but you cleared that up for me...and I still don't work there. I work retail...come buy something from me! Maybe I'll throw in an autograph! Love, Goddess

idea for newspa...

I think the Reflector should run a few articles of the top wages of every county and city department employee in the area. I think this would be very interesting and also may open some eyes. They used to do it for like the top paid city workers but I haven't seen one in a long time.

Re: Idea (Anonymous)

and then add the wages of the people that really do the work for the top. I bet you would find quite a difference.

so sad (Anonymous)

I think you will find out they make very good money and with benefits. Some of us work for minium wage and no benefits and we have to work. I work at a factory for $8.50 an hour with no way to pay for benefits for my 2 children. Yes I graduated high school and married my children's father and yet when I went in for help with insurance and food for my children, I was investigated because they knew I was lying about having a man in my home. I work very hard and by the time I get home I am to tired for anyone except taking care of my children. I have a friend that works there, some of them are making over $13 an hour with full benefits. I go to work everday, take care of my children and I needed help but I am a liar and have to be investigated. By the way they could not find evidence of a man in my home because there is none.

Hey reflector (...

Why don't you do a story on government employees that serve Hurnon County and the Cities. They want to hold people who need benefits accountable for their money, lets hold them accountable to the people of Huron county. Let us see what they are paid, then lets see if they earn it. I would love to see the overtime that is used by them.

Yeah Reflector ...

It looks like this would be a good idea and maybe sell a few extra papers.

RE: so sad (Ano...

Is the husband dead? If he's not living or living there, where is he? Is he helping you at all? I don't think it matters to the 'system' whether you are living together, but rather if you're still married. But I really don't know, that's a guess. Clue me in on your situation, you left some major issues out of your last comment. I hear ya about insurance, my last job, it was offered to singles and familys, but nobody could afford the 'family plan' because it was $127.00 every 2 weeks, for most that was 1/2 their check! I just had to wait 10 months for my current health benefits. It'll get worse before it gets better as long as our gov't. sits back and leaves it on the back burner.

so sad (Anonymous)

No my husband left us and we can not find him and child support is not much help. I am divorced so it is me and my kids. They thought I was lying because I could not tell them where he went. I feel bad that my kids do not have their father in their life but that was a choice he made.

so sad (Anonymous)

They sent an investigator out to my house to inspect it to see if I have mens underwear in my drawers and clothes in my closet. It was degrading, but I complied as I had nothing to hide. To bad they think we all lie.

I do not work t...

Now about the investigations-if you want assistance you have to follow the rules. Cases are audited by the State and by the Feds. A case was found in another county where the boyfriend was earning $17.27/hr. The girlfriend was on foodstamps with their child. His income was not counted and should of been since he is the Dad. The girl told the case worker he didn't live there. No support is paid either. Since the bills were paid and there was no reported income the State auditor investigated. The woman was found guilty of fraud but the county received a penalty for the error in the case. Operating funds were cut and a program to help with rent had to ended. The woman who committed fraud hurt a lot of people. I know several workers in that county. So that is why people are investigated.
Now about the income, it is public record. Go look it up. You will see some have base rates under $10.00/hr and average is a little over $11.00. No dental no optical in the county plan. All county employees pay for their health insurance. The people bitching and complaining are admitting to be client. Even if half are not like this,I cannot imagine listening to all the stories and the bitching all day long. No department out there have mommies for you. These are women with a job to do correctly. On Monday when I get up before the sun comes up to go to work at Furniture, I will happy I don't have to listen to all the clients bitching and complaining.

re i do not wor...

I did follow the rules. Please play God and judge me as they do. Not all people break the rules.

re I do not wor...

You are wrong about the average earnings. Caseworkers start at over $11 dollars and hour ant the office is 98 per cent caseworkers, Wow they don't get dental or vision. Most workers in Ohio don't get insurance at all and not at the price they have to pay. Please do not expect me to feel sorry that they have to listen to people complain. If they don't like it they need to get another job. Maybe if they did that office would be a better place to work.

AlterEgo (Anonymous)

I am not contradicting any other arguments, but don't quote incorrect facts. The truth is that just over 10% of the people in Ohio had NO health insurance for atleast a month from 2004 to 2006 (the actual number is 10.7%) When that number is coupled with the unemployment rate of 5.8% that make just 4% of working Ohioans are without health insurance. Now in a county like our which has an even higher rate, I am sure the number is a little higher but it is still a long way from "most workersin Ohio"

Thank you Alter...

Most people don't do thier homework, if they did they would know this, let alone the low unemployment rate across the entie country. Most who do not receive it probably don't stay at a job long enough to earn it.

Kudos AlterEgo ...

Well said. They just never learn, the ignorant and uninformed.

swiss family .....

i still wish that they would do some cleaning out of alot of the dead weight out there , it would give the HCDJFS"s some respect again , which they have had taken away from them on their own because of their inability to handle situations properly , and it would save the taxpayers a bunch of money as well

Pain in the Gas...

Swiss, if you had half a brain, you'd be dangerous.

swiss family......

to "Pain in the Gas" i do have half a brain , but that gives me 5 times the brain capacity that you have

Pain in the Gas...

Ooooooooooooooooooooh. good one.