The recommendations include employees' paying more for health care.
WARREN -- A fact finder recommends the Trumbull County Engineer and his unionized work force split the difference on many issues that stand in the way of a new contract.
The 69 members of OCSEA/AFSCME Local 11 were to vote on fact finder William J. Miller's recommendations this afternoon. The recommendations were approved Wednesday by the Trumbull County commissioners after a brief closed-door session.
"We are still in a fragile state of negotiations," said Rocky Riviella, administrator for the county engineer. "The fact finder gave us a recommendation. To say we are doing flip-flops about it, no, but we are going to live with it."
Proposed changes: Engineer's department workers, ranging from secretaries and janitors to laborers and engineering techs, have been working without a contract since April 19. Under the previous contract, their wages ranged from $7.90 per hour for a janitor with no prior experience to $16.44 per hour for an experienced electrician.
If the fact finder's recommendation is approved by the union membership, wages will increase 4 percent a year for the three-year life of the contract.
The fact finder proposed that employees pay more for their health care, as the engineer requested.
Vacation time for employees with 25 years' experience would increase to 51/2 weeks if the recommendations are adopted, from the 5 weeks employees now get. The union staff representative, John Fisher, did not return a phone call asking for a comment.