Engineer’s union issues 10-day strike notice
By Justin Wier
A union in negotiations with the Mahoning County Engineer’s office voted to issue a 10-day strike notice to the engineer.
Ralph Sam Cook, secretary and treasurer of Teamsters Local 377, which includes 44 employees from the engineer’s office, said the union members who work with the engineer’s office are becoming frustrated.
The union voted Wednesday to issue the notice.
“The contract’s been expired since April 2017,” Cook said.
“Our guys have been out there since April. They’re doing a great job, and we still don’t have a contract.”
He said the notice would grant the union the ability to strike beginning April 9.
Engineer Pat Ginnetti declined to comment on the matter because he has yet to receive the formal strike notice.
The Teamsters in the engineer’s office perform road maintenance that includes plowing snow and filling potholes.
At last week’s county commissioners’ meeting, the board voted to reject a fact-finder’s report at Ginnetti’s recommendation.
Ginnetti told The Vindicator the fact-finder’s report didn’t adequately address the productivity and delivery of services the public deserves and his employees are “already paid quite well.”
Cook said the engineer’s legal counsel wanted to go to the fact finder, but the fact finder rejected about 90 percent of the issues Ginnetti wanted to change.
The engineer sought the ability to schedule workers for 10-hour shifts, to eliminate the requirement for five consecutive work days and to pay overtime only when workers exceed 40 hours in a week as opposed to eight hours in a day.
The engineer argued the changes were necessary to maintain efficiency with the union reduced from 70 to 44 employees, but the fact finder denied those changes.
The report did note wages at the top step of the engineer’s pay schedule are some of the highest among regional county engineer departments.
The union’s Facebook page currently features a picture of a milk carton with Ginnetti’s face on it that claims he has been missing from contract negotiations.
“Pat hasn’t been at the bargaining table,” Cook said.
“He has his legal counsel doing the negotiations.”