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DUSTIN ENSINGER

Staff Writer

Delaware County commissioners on Thursday unanimously agreed to a one year contract extension with the collective bargaining unit representing employees in the Department of Environmental Services.

The contract provides the employees with a slight pay increase in the year 2013 and more tightly defines the terms and conditions of severe emergency situations, rest periods and on-call compensation.

“It clarifies some issues that we’ve had between management and union and I think this is the perfect solution to some of the issues that we’ve had,” said Tiffany Jenkins, the county’s director of environmental services.

The one year extension will allow the current collective bargaining agreement to run through Dec. 31, 2013.

The members of the bargaining unit will receive a 2 percent pay increase on Jan. 1, 2013.

During severe emergency situations that require more than three bargaining unit employees, those working outside their normally scheduled hours will be paid time and a half. Employees working within their normally scheduled work hours will receive their regular rate of pay.

Employees that are required to work 16 or more continuous hours may be required to take a rest period of up to eight hours. If the rest hours overlap a bargaining unit employee’s regularly scheduled work hours, the employee will receive the regular rate of pay for the overlap hours.

The contract also calls for bargaining unit employees that are on-call to be paid $200 for weekends, $100 for full-day holidays, $50 for half-day holidays and $75 for designated on-call assignments.

The contract covers about 35 employees in the American Federations of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2896 bargaining units, according to Jenkins.

“We came up with the solution to some of our issues together,” Jenkins said of the negotiations.

The contract has already been ratified by the bargaining unit and took effect as of Thursday.

“I am pleased at the end result of the Memorandum of Agreement between Environmental Services and the employees,” commissioner Ken O’Brien said. “Director Tiffany Jenkins and her staff wisely spent time working closely with the union representatives to achieve the right balance for all. It allows us to be good stewards of our taxpayers dollars, meets the needs of the employees and facilitates excellent services to the residents.”

Commissioners on Thursday also:

  • Unanimously approved an agreement with IPCR/Forte Holdings to provide electronic patient care reporting software to the Delaware County Emergency Medical Services. The software will cost the county just under $25,000 in the first year of the contract and just under $21,000 each year after. Delaware County EMS Chief Rob Farmer said that the software will bring down long-term costs and improve public safety. Despite concerns about some of the language in the contract, O’Brien voted for the measure. “It saves money. It has the capability of saving lives,” he said. “Somebody’s life is more important than the peculiarity of a contract.”
  • Voted 3-0 in favor of naming Duane Matlack as the chief building officer with Code Compliance. He replaces Joe Scherler, who retired last month.

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