The dispute is centered around an employee evaluation system to determine pay raises.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Four management employees at Western Reserve Transit Authority have filed a lawsuit seeking to force the WRTA to grant them pay raises.
An attorney for WRTA says the suit has no merit.
The suit was filed in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court by Marianne Vaughn, assistant director; Miguel Diaz, human resources director; Don Meszaros, maintenance director; and Tom Nugen, transportation director.
It says that in September 2001, the WRTA board of directors adopted a resolution establishing a performance evaluation system for employees, including the plaintiffs. A copy of the resolution is attached to the complaint.
Pay increases were to be based on the number of points an employee accumulated during the evaluation process, said Atty. Edwin Romero, who represents Vaughn, Diaz, Meszaros and Nugen.
According to court documents, employees were to be evaluated for the quality and quantity of their work, work habits, accuracy of work, work interest, cooperation and dependability.
Points ranged from zero for unsatisfactory to four for excellent. Raises could range from zero to 12 percent, based on the point totals.
Romero said the employees submitted to the analysis, but have yet to receive a pay raise.
"The board has refused to honor its commitment," Romero said. "In fact, it has rescinded its resolution."
Atty. Alan Kretzer, representing WRTA, had not seen the lawsuit but was aware of the dispute. He doesn't believe the complaint is based on sound legal ground.
"Obviously, if I thought they were right, we would have agreed to do what they're asking; but we don't agree with them," Kretzer said. "If they want to have this heard in court, so be it."