JFS hikes bosses' pay in midst of union talks

The interim director of Huron County's Job and Family Services (JFS) said 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," Lowell Etzler, interim director, said. "They've been out of line for quite a number of years."
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010


The interim director of Huron County's Job and Family Services (JFS) said 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," Lowell Etzler, interim director, 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. (See the box accompanying this article).

Etzler said the raises had been planned for some time and estimated the raises only increased total salaries for administration by about 3 percent. "If you compare it to the job they're doing and the responsibilities they have, I'd say it was in line," Etzler said. "They were way underpaid," in comparison to JFS workers in surrounding counties, he added.

"In the whole realm of reorganization, this was a part of the total reorganization," said Etzler, who makes $58,000 for his JFS position. "There are still some adjustments planned," he said, but they will probably not affect salaries.

Nancy Brown, administrator of the child support area, retired in September, and Etzler said the position will not be filled at this time. She earned $55,700 per year.

Another six supervisors or administrators were given longevity raises, which Etzler said are required by federal civil service regulations. Five of these administrators received five cents per hour raises, while one received a 20 cents per hour longevity raise. The 20-cent per hour raise amounts to $416 annually.

JFS has been negotiating with union employees since their contract ran out at the end of June. Etzler said JFS has filed an unfair labor practice against the union, so he declined to discuss the progress of negotiations. He said he is waiting to hear if the state Labor Relations Board will grant a hearing on the agency's filing.

Etzler said he has no idea how the news of raises for administrators will factor in to negotiations. He would not reveal the latest offer on the table for the union to consider. "I won't even discuss that," he said. "We're still in the process of negotiations."

In August, three positions were elimated in a move that agency officials said had to "do more with less and being more efficient." The JFS allocation for the fiscal year 2008 was reduced by $411,000, according to information from the agency, and the three cuts were supposed to save the agency $172,701.

The job cuts were the latest in a series of shakeups at the JFS agency, which came under public scrutiny following high-profile cases involving Michael and Sharen Gravelle and Paul Efaw. Earlier this year, Etzler was named interim director, temporarily replacing Erich Dumbeck, who resigned. Then, Teresa Alt was appoined to replace David Broehl as program administrator of the children services unit.

In August, a screener was fired for allegedly threatening one of the agency's clients and using computer equipment to access pornography. In response, she sued JFS. The case is set to go to trial in July.


re swiss family...

You sure have rightous aren't you. Boy it must be good to get up in the morning with the I am better than everyone else attitude. How can you stand to be around all the rest of the low life people. You assume no one that post here works and they get benefits. Since you are on here so much maybe you are the one that does not work and gets benefits. Time to shut up and clean your dirty house welfare momma.

swiss family......

what are you talking about now... what is the self rightous attitude that you aew referring to, i was bashed and accused of ripping off my employer, by using their computer while i was ay work, so i told everyone how i can type this at work, i was trying to clear up any misunderstanding, as far as the overcharging b the Norwalk gas station owners go , . they really have been overcharging their customers for far too long!! so i will buy my gas elsewhere , where i don't have to keep looking over the owners shoulder, to make sure that they are charging me a fair and reasonable price.. i will go elsewhere , outside of Norwalk , where they are all trying to charge the lowest price possible, instead of the highest !

WTF??? (Anonymous)

Swiss, what in the world goes on in that head of yours?? YOU MAKE NO SENSE WHAT-SO-EVER! Just go away!

Anti-social beh...


PS. swiss chee...

maybe you should ask the wizzard for a brain!

lol (Anonymous)

Someone is paying attention to this blog as the water was all the way up to almost tepid today. Keep up the good work. At the present day, dental costs almost equal to medical. It is not a package deal.

re swiss (Anonymous)

If Norwalk is so bad and I assume you live and work here then why do you stay. This article was not about the price of gas it was about raises at JFS. Maybe if you got off your better than thou attitude and come down to earth with the rest of us you could be on the same page we are. But by your posting your are toooooo goooood for the Norwalk people.

re lol (Anonymous)

At least they are offered dental benefits, most people working in the area are not.

How many times ...

do you have to be told.

There is no dental insurance at jfs!!!!!!!!

re how many tim...

Yes there is, ask Charlene how she had her teeth fixed. Keep your mouth shut if you don't know what you are talking about. I used to work there and I had dental insurance.

To rude person ...

It is not offered in the insurance, you can buy it extra. But it is not automatic with the ins package. Neither is vison.
I know people that have had to take out loans for dental work. The one you can buy is not worth the money, for what little it covers.
And, I DO know what I am talking about.

lol (Anonymous)

Amen, you've told it like it is! Expensive and not worth it!

Re to rude pers...

It is a dental insurance plan, yes it is expensive and not it does not cover a lot but it is better than most get. Quit crying about it and be grateful you have anything. That is the problem with the people in that office, they don't appreciate what they have. Go to work at Berry's or some other factory and see what you get for $8.50 an hour.

re re to the ru...

i dare to say that you're off in the reasoning department. okay, say for instance since julia roberts gets several million dollars for acting in a movie then everyone who works near Hollywood should earn several million dollars because they happen to work in the vicinity? no. compare apples to apples. now if you're meg ryan then you can expect similar pay and have a valid argument. understand the difference? and if meg ryan only got paid one million instead of several million then she may just have a reason to ask why, and to "complain" or "boo hoo".

re re re to the...

Point taken, but do not say they do not have dental insurance. It is a part of a package they are given the opportunity to either take or not. Health insurance is also a part of the package they can take or not. It is available to them. Some companies do not even offer so the boo hooing should stop and be grateful they have the job they have. Yes everyone wants to make more money and some of the staff there should make more, others need to find another job. They have been there to long and no longer care about the people that walk through the door. Not everyone that needs assistance in a slacker, some are going through rough times and need a little help. That is what the office is for, but they have forgotten the human element. You have about 3 people in the eligibilty department that thinks everyone they see is trying to commit welfare fraud. They are 3 that have been their to long and need a career change. I left Huron County Job and Family Services because of the lack of compasion some of the people had for their fellow man. I now work for a county that treats all with the respect they deserve. Huron JFS needs more house cleaning,they have a good start but it needs to continue. Jon Kelly should not have been allowed to stay, she caused a lot of the problems in the office and will continue.

swiss family......

I am just amazed that anyone at HCDJFS deserves any raise at all .. i was expecting more of them to be fired and let go, for their incompetance, not given raises !

re swiss family...

Boy do you need a lesson in life. Not all the staff is bad, you do have a few that either need to be firmly reminded of their job duties while they do still have a couple that need to be replaced. They can not fire everyone at one time, think about it. Next time make comments that make sense and are not child like.

employee (Anonymous)

It's really interesting how the union is being told how there is no money for raises and they have to up our insurance premiums due to the county having no money, but yet they can dish out all those big raises to management. I would like to know just one supervisor who was making less then the people they are over. I don't believe it. It would be different if the supervisors knew there job as well as the jobs of the people they are over. It is pretty sad when a worker goes to the supervisor for help and the supervisor has to go to another worker they are over to find out how to take care of the issue and then relay it back to the employee who needs help. Looks like to me the line workers are the ones who should be getting the big raise not management. This happens all the time out there. Yes they did get rid of some of the trouble makers recently, but they have alot more to go. Jon is one of those as well as ones back in workforce. They have done nothing but caused problems between the union and management. As far as benefits, that is a joke. The health insurance is worthless, everyday we see people who come in and get medical assistance and walk out with better healthcare free of charge then what we pay for. The dental only covers routine cleanings. Nothing else. You can purchase a supplement to go with it but who can afford it. It's not as great as one would think it is.

re employee (An...

You are right I don't know of any of the staff that is making less money than line staff, yet "IF" line staff is given a raise they will give admin and supervisors another raise. It is not fair but then it never have been. Maybe if they truly fire Jon, who by the way did not have bumping rights, and get rid of Beth, Sara, Rhonda, Marcie maybe the union can do something for the staff. These four people have done nothing good for the office except cause problems. They need to go.

Doc (Anonymous)

So employee, just what do you pay for the so-called worthless health insurance?

Re:re employee ...

maybe YOU need to go. just a thought...

swiss family......

i am just glad that Sally, and Connie H. did not get raises!! they are definately part of the problem out there , with there "better than everyone that they are supposed to help" attitude.. i will just sit back and hope that they do get to them to let them go, and teach them a valuable lesson in life !! but the way that this is turning out, they will probably get raises?? go figure.. i guess the worse job you do out there, the more that you are rewarded!

hey swiss famil...

how would you knkow they are part of the problem unless you are out there getting benefits or work there.

wait let me cor...

I hit an extra key by accident know not knkow even though swiss can't spell anyways.

to T$Robinson (...

Tami, that IS you isn't it?????

I think (Anonymous)

I think Sally and Connie H do a wonderful job. They care about the citizens of Huron County. Beth, Jon Rhonda, Marcie and Sara all need to go. They stir up problems and make life terrible for the good people at JFS. Etzler you still have 5 people to go. Don't stop now. Sally and Connie H the people of Huron County love ya.

pi4life (Anonymous)

Comment deleted for libelous content.

To swiss family...

It is difficult to believe anyone would not know the rules of employment unless you are not employed. Employees do what they are told to do by the managers. You again call attention to the 2 Children Services cases. Huron County did not place any children with the Gravelles. Huron County prosecuted them and took charge of the children. Information rec'd on the case previous to prosecution was logged by a worker, presented to Broehl for action and was told to take no action. The Director was fired and Broehl permitted to stay on until Sept. so he could retire. Do not lay blame on the workers. The Dixon case-a worker is told to approve a foster family. You do not know what went on behind closed doors. You do not know the worker lost, management won and Efaw was permitted to be a foster father. Who do you lay blame on but the workers. Enough about old crap. Huron County workers are paid less than any county around.They know the errors made by management and the Commissioners and see management receive equity increases knowing full well they will also receive yearly raises as well. Some clients are approved and some denied. Trying to decide who is telling the truth and who is not is a large part of every persons job in every unit. People do not like it when questions are asked but they have to be asked. If a worker made an ememy out of you, as I see it that worker did their job well. Working with the public is not easy. Go punch a grocery store cashier for the price of a gallon of milk. Blame the cashier not the store owner. That seems to be your way of thinking.

swiss family......

yes Connie H. and Sally.. the people of Huron CO. love you and all of the hard work that you do .. NOT!!!! when are you going to begin doing any work out there , they pay you for an 8 hour day, could you please at least giv us 2 hours worth of work?? please

pope ottomus (A...

m are the people at HCDJFS the same people that are in charge at Time Warner cable?? it seems weird to me that both are going for a wage increase.. at this time, and neither one deserves it at all !!! just curious???