Fairhaven board plans 9 layoffs

A tentative agreement has been reached with the union.
NILES -- The Fairhaven Board expects to furlough nine personal-care assistants.
The employees, members of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees local 1992, help adults in Fairhaven's sheltered workshops clean and use the toilet.
Cutting nine of the 14 people in this position would save Fairhaven more than $20,000 a month, said Superintendent Dr. Douglas Burkhardt.
"There is no good area to cut," he said. "We think that this decision will have a minimal impact."
Personal-care assistants were targeted because their work can be picked up by other employees, he said. They are classified as service employees.
Burkhardt said he could not discuss if the cuts were part of recently concluded negotiations with AFSCME 1992, which represents 270 Fairhaven employees. Union members have been working without a contract since Aug. 31.
Tentative pact OK'd
A tentative agreement with union members has been approved by the board, Burkhart said. Bargaining unit members are expected to vote later this week, he said.
Cuts at Fairhaven were required because of diminishing state and federal funding, he said.
The Trumbull County Board of Mental Health and Developmental Disability, which runs the Fairhaven programs, is also concerned what might happen if two levies that raise a combined $7 million a year are allowed to expire next year.
Burkhardt said the board has not decided whether voters will be asked to renew or replace the levy, or at which election.

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