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Classified employees union says it discovered errors in tentative pact



Published: Wed, August 31, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The union may not be able to arrange a ratification vote until next week.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- It may be a simple oversight, but the classified employees union at Youngstown State University said it found some errors in the written version of its tentative contract.

The YSU Association of Classified Employees came to an agreement with university negotiators on a three-year pact around 5 a.m. Monday, giving most of them time to get to their jobs for the start of the fall semester a few hours later.

They have yet to ratify the proposal, and Christine Domhoff, ACE president, said some errors ACE negotiators found in the written version must be corrected before it will be presented to the 400 union members.

Domhoff declined to be specific about where the errors occurred but said the language "definitely changes the intent" of parts of the agreement.

"I think it's just an oversight," she said, possibly a result of working all night Sunday to reach an agreement.

"We just want to be sure everyone has the same information," Domhoff said, adding that she met with the ACE attorney late Tuesday, and a conference call had been arranged for 9 a.m. today to review the matter with the university's chief negotiator.

Once the issues are resolved, ACE will have copies of the agreement printed and distributed to its 400 members, but a ratification vote is unlikely this week, Domhoff said.

Ratification time line

ACE bylaws require that members have a written version of the contract in hand and hold an informational meeting at least 24 hours in advance of a ratification vote.

Domhoff said it is unlikely that can be accomplished this week, and she is reluctant to schedule a meeting over the weekend.

The information meeting and a separate vote meeting will likely occur next week, she said. ACE employees continue to work under the terms of their old contract in the meantime, she said.

A university spokesman said the YSU Board of Trustees is waiting to see when ACE will vote before scheduling its own vote on that pact, but the trustees will meet at 8:30 a.m. Thursday to review and likely vote on the faculty union contract.

The 380-member faculty union ratified a new three-year contract Sunday night.

Health insurance

The university spokesman said The Vindicator's Tuesday report of contract terms regarding health care insurance wasn't entirely correct.

The monthly surcharge of $100 to add a spouse to a YSU employee's insurance coverage only applies if that spouse works at least 32 hours a week for an employer other than YSU and has access to, but fails to take, that employer's insurance as his or her primary coverage and uses YSU insurance as primary coverage instead.

If the spouse takes his or her employer's insurance as primary coverage, YSU's insurance will serve as secondary coverage, and no surcharge will be imposed.

The monthly surcharge also won't apply to a YSU employee whose spouse doesn't work or has no health care insurance available at his or her place of employment.

The language is the same for both the ACE and faculty contracts, the spokesman said.




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