Engineer's workers reject pact recommendation

WARREN -- Unionized employees of the Trumbull County Engineer's Department have decisively turned down a fact finder's recommendations for settling a two-month contract dispute.
"They were just completely not satisfied with the fact finder's report," said John Fisher, staff representative for OSCEA/AFSME Local 11, which represents 61 workers in the department.
Workers rejected the recommendations 58-3 Thursday afternoon.
The report was accepted by the county commissioners Wednesday morning.
"We are a little disappointed with the vote," said Rocky Riviella, administrator of the engineer's department. "I am still optimistic that if both sides are willing to compromise we can hammer out an agreement."
Talks to resume: Talks are to resume next week. The workers have been without a contract since a three-year pact expired April 19. The union has not issued a strike notice, Riviella said.
Recommendations from the fact finder include a 4 percent raise each year of a three-year contract.
The union began negotiations asking for no raise the first year, but for the county to pick up employees' 81/2 percent retirement contribution.
The union asked for 6 percent raises the second and third years. Management offered 3 percent annual raises.
The fact-finder judged to be appropriate the county's proposal to increase health-care deductibles from $100 to $250 for single people and from $250 to $500 for families.
He also recommended that out-of-pocket expense caps be increased, but did not go along with a county request that employees pay a portion of their health-care premium.

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