SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP Union alleges unfair practices
The road superintendent's contentions about his overtime pay are 'totally fabricated,' a trustee says.
By MARY GRZEBIENIAK
NEW SPRINGFIELD -- The International Union of Operating Engineers has filed a charge of unfair labor practices with the State Employment Relations Board against Springfield Township.
The union contends that trustees retaliated against road department employees who were trying to start a union.
After a short executive session on personnel during Wednesday's trustees meeting, chairwoman Shirley Heck read a statement on behalf of the township.
She said Road Superintendent Richard Kennedy's contention that trustees threatened to take away his overtime pay because he engaged in union activity is "totally fabricated."
Timing of discussion
She explained that the trustees discussed making Kennedy's position salaried, rather than hourly, on Jan. 6, four days before they became aware of union-organizing activity through a letter dated Jan. 10 from the operating engineers. The move would have eliminated Kennedy's overtime pay.
At that time, Kennedy also was given a 2 percent pay increase, which he thought was too little, Heck said.
Heck also said the township will work to resolve legal issues in the engineers' request to SERB asking that the township recognize it as the bargaining agent for three positions -- the road superintendent, assistant road superintendent and township secretary.
She said trustees think the secretary position, which is vacant, should not be included in the bargaining unit. They also think the road-superintendent post is management-level and also should be excluded.
Trustees also set the township's annual spring cleanup for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 3-4. Large trash receptacles will be placed at the township's three fire stations for residents to drop off large items. Car batteries and tires will not be accepted, however.
Trustees also announced that reduced office hours in the township building are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Previous hours had been 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The change resulted from the resignation of Shirley Casity, township secretary. She was forced to resign because of a legal opinion issued by Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains that an elected township clerk who also serves as township secretary must give up one position.
Casity, who had served as secretary since 1986, submitted her resignation to trustees last month. She will continue to serve as clerk.
Trustees are asking anyone interested in the secretary position to drop off a letter of interest, including qualifications, at the township building before March 1. Heck said it has not been determined whether the position will be full- or part-time. Trustees are using a substitute secretary in the interim.