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Labor Negotiations Come To The Table

By Staff | Dec 17, 2009

Palo Alto County Supervisors and representatives of the county’s Secondary Road Department sat down at the bargaining table to talk during Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors. The two sides exchanged their initial proposals in open session before adjourning into closed session as prescribed by the Code of Iowa.

The Secondary Road employees, who are represented by the Public Professional and Maintenance Employees Local 2003, submitted a proposal to the county which called for the addition of language adding parents and anyone living in an employees’ home to the definition of immediate family for purposes of leave.

A proposal was also submitted in regards to vacation policy, changing from three weeks after nine year to three weeks after seven years, and changing from four weeks after 19 years to four weeks after 15 years, as well as adding that employees receive five weeks vacation after 20 years of employment and deleting the requirement of three days advance scheduling to take vacation.

In terms of wages, the union proposed a five percent salary increase for all classifications of employees, effective July 1, for each year of the next three years.

Serving as the union representatives for the Secondary Road workers are Mike Hartman and Galen Dykstra, along with Mike Scarrow, Union Representative of the PPME, IUPAT District 81, of Clear Lake.

In the county’s response, no change to the current contract was proposed as far as leave, other than to add a provision for pay for the first day of illness only being allowed if the employee had used less than six days of sick leave in the fiscal year. Additionally, eligibility for sick leave pay would require the employee remain at home, except to receive medical treatment or attend medical appointments.

The county also proposed that the employer would pay 90 percent of single health coverage premiums and 75 percent of family heath insurance premiums for eligible full-time employees. Employees would be responsible for all deductibles and co-insurance amounts.

As far as salaries, the county proposed no change in current wage rates for employees in its proposal.

Renee VonBokern of VonBokern and Associates of Des Moines and the Board of Supervisors represent the county in negotiations.