Of the municipal court's 28 full-time employees, 20 will become union members.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- For the first time in the municipal court's 37-year history, court employees will be union members.
Judges Thomas Gysegem and Terry Ivanchak decided Thursday to allow the court's employees to join a union.
When the clerk of court's position is appointed, as it is in Warren, state law says judges have authority to approve or turn down requests made by their employees for union recognition.
The judges' decision comes six days after the majority of the court's employees voted to join a union.
"We respect the employees the right to unionize," Judge Gysegem said.
What they'll join: Out of the 28 full-time employees, 20 will become part of the American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees, Judge Gysegem said. He said the court's one part-time employee will also be part of the union.
The judge added that the court's two court reporters, two bailiffs, the clerk of courts, court administrator, system administrator and financial officer will not be union members.
"Now we will get together with union officials and hammer out a contract," Judge Gysegem said. He noted that he did not know exactly when contract talks would begin.
Earlier rejection: Municipal court employees discussed joining a union in October, however, the judges at that time denied the request made by 18 court employees.
At that time, Judge Gysegem maintained that the decision was not meant to detract from the unionization movement.
The judge maintained that the fact there has been a low turnover rate for employees is proof the workers are treated well and appropriately compensated.
The judges also noted in October that data provided by AFSCME and the State Employment Relations Board noted that Warren court employees' salaries and benefits "compare most favorably" with other municipal court employees in Ohio.