Trumbull board contract freezes wages

By Ed Runyan


Trumbull County Board of Developmental Disabilities has approved a three-year contract with its 225 unionized employees that freezes their wages and eliminates step-pay increases.

The board oversees operation of the Fairhaven school and workshops.

The contract, ratified by the board Monday, also raises health-care costs for members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1992 from 10 percent to 20 percent.

The contract adds a new tier pay structure for employees hired after March 28 that pays them the same as or less than current employees.

Douglas Burkhardt, superintendent, said the contract doesn’t guarantee that no additional layoffs will take place through Aug. 31, 2013, but it is designed to offset at least some of the increase in health-care costs the board will incur this year and beyond.

Changes in state funding in Gov. John Kasich’s two-year budget and other matters could produce staffing reductions in the coming years, Burkhardt added.

The board has seen a net reduction of about 40 employees over the past three years because of layoffs and attrition.

The contract, which is retroactive to Sept. 1, 2010, does not cover 125 nonunion employees, but their wages also are frozen, and they also contribute 20 percent to their health care, Burkhardt said. Nonunion employees get no step increases.

Under the contract, the following are examples of pay:

A bus aide makes between $11,511 and $11,930 per year in three steps; those hired after March 28 will make $11,511 with no step increases.

A workshop specialist makes between $30,244 and $33,159 in seven steps; those hired after March 28 will make $30,244 with no step increases.

A teacher makes between $34,643 and $55,429 in 15 step increases; those hired after March 31 will make between $34,643 and $49,886 in 11 steps that are mandated by the state.

Employees will not receive any step increases during the life of the contract, even if their job classification allows for them, Burkhardt said.

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