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Mahoning officials reject proposed pact over raises


Published: Fri, February 24, 2012 @ 12:06 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken

milliken@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Mahoning County commissioners voted to reject a proposed three-year labor contract for 23 workers in the county auditor’s office.

The workers belong to Local 2533 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents the office’s accounting, real-estate and information-technology personnel.

John A. McNally IV, chairman of the commissioners, and Commissioner Anthony T. Traficanti voted Thursday to reject the tentative agreement union members ratified Dec. 12.

Commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti abstained from the vote because her brother, Robert Rimedio, chief appraiser in the auditor’s office, is a union member.

McNally said he voted against the proposed contract because it would have given the employees a 2-percent pay increase in its first year, and the commissioners have not budgeted for any raises this year.

McNally said he’d rather see any raises deferred to 2013 and that the matter should be fairly easy to resolve at the bargaining table. “I don’t really think we’re that far apart,” McNally said.

The rejected agreement, which would have been retroactive to July 1, 2011, contained no pay raises in its second year and 21/2 percent in the third year.

In the final year, however, the rejected agreement would have raised the employees’ contribution from 0.5 percent to 2.5 percent of the 10 percent employee share of the Public Employees Retirement System.

The workers would have continued to pay 10 percent of their health-care premiums.

The county’s total monthly health-care premiums are $728 for single coverage; $1,454 for a couple; $1,352 for employee and child; and $1,549 for family coverage.

“I’m disappointed, not just because they rejected it, but because they waited until the last day to reject it,” said Jaladah Aslam, AFSCME staff representative.

The commissioners had 30 days from the day the auditor requested that they fund the new contract to either accept or reject it.

“It was a wash” in the third year, Aslam said, noting the third-year raise would have been wiped out by the increased PERS contribution in the final year.

“Over the past two years, there have been 1,100 people in the county that have gotten raises or adjustments in some form — over $1.6 million in raises over the past two years in Mahoning County departments,” said Auditor Michael V. Sciortino. “So, to say that we’re [the county] invoking wage freezes, I think, is a joke. I do think that a 2-percent adjustment was fair and reasonable.”


Comments

1mike10(84 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Sciotino is an example of why SB5 was dreamed up. The leadership is all about giving away money with no reguard for the tax payer.

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2pgurney(281 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

I have to agree with falconeddy. When they're willing to pay as much as private sector employees pay for their healthcare, then I can see a raise. But ONLY then.

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3Dan_Moadus(33 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Could anybody explain what this means? "In the final year, however, the rejected agreement would have raised the employees’ contribution from 0.5 percent to 2.5 percent of the 10 percent employee share of the Public Employees Retirement System."

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4grand4dad(196 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

I think it means that instead of paying their 10% employee contribution to the retirement system, these people were getting their 10% picked up by the county. The county was paying the employer contribution and also paying the employee contribution. This is just not right. Now it looks like they are trying to get the employees to pay some of their employee contribution. They should have to pay all of it. Almost all other public employees (police, teachers, etc.) pay 10% into their retirement except the people at the top. This needs to stop. All employees should have to contribute the 10% toward their retirement.

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5Dan_Moadus(33 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Could this actually be a ruse in order to allow the union to say that the employees pay 10% toward their pensions, simply because language exist saying that the employees share is 10%, but somewhere else in the contract it says that they only have to pay .05% of the 10%? I know that when I served on Girard's City Council there was such a thing that was called the pension pickup. But I don't think anyone was trying to fool the taxpaying public into believing that the involved employees actually paid anything toward their pension. But now I'm wondering

On another point. I really get a chuckle every time is see one of the politicians who stood shoulder to shoulder with the public employee unions in the battle against SB5, anguish over a wage contract.

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6fd6636(255 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

when we defeated sb5, we all agreed about paying your fair share towards pensions. I personally have not gone back on that. 10% pension contribution = fair towards employees and tax payers......... work it out

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7Askmeificare(700 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Jaladah Aslam said, " ...the third-year raise would have been wiped out by the increased PERS contribution in the final year."

Welcome to reality Jaladah. This is what we, those whom are fortunate to have a job and coverage, are dealing with.

Nice to see the blue collar folks aren't the only ones eating it.

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