County closes deal with Teamsters, Chemical Workers

By Tim Barnum
Staff writer
Posted

ARENAC COUNTY — The Board of Commissioners is slowly coming to terms with all unions in the county. The Teamsters and Chemical Workers’ Unions are the latest to agree to contracts with the county.

“Teamsters is a three-year contract for ’08, ’09 and ‘010,” said Board Chairman Raymond Daniels. “Chemical Workers are only a two-year (contract), ’08 and ’09.”

There is more variation between the two unions, though, then just the length of the contract. Arenac County Labor Relations Manager Bill Borushko says the Chemical Workers’ Union, made up of 23rd Circuit Court employees, will receive a two and a half percent raise, retroactive this year, and a two-percent raise next year.

The Teamsters Union, which is composed of the Equalization Director, E-911 Director, County Maintenance Director and Public Guardian, also received raises in its three-year contract. However, these raises were not based on percentages.

“They did not get percentages, they got flat amounts,” Borushko said. He says the raise for the members will be $1,500 in the first year (2008 – retroactive) and $1,000 in years two and three.

But one Union employee, Linda Lewandowski, the Equalization Director, isn’t receiving the $1,500 pay increase.

“The Equalization Director was just hired in April and we hired her at a rate higher than in the past, so didn’t increase her at all (this year),” Daniels said.

As for the insurance plans in the new contracts, Borushko says not much has changed.

“They pretty much track the county insurance,” he said. Borushko went on to say the county insurance plan, Blue Cross Flex II, calls for deductibles of either $1,250 or $2,500 per year, depending on the employee. The county picks up the premium cost for the plan.

“That plan right now costs us about $900 per month,” Borushko said, adding the county would continue to pay the premium up to $1,000 per month, and would pay $1,000 per month if the premium cost went beyond that amount.

Both contracts have been approved per votes of the local units.

With the settlement of these two unions, along with the imposition of a contract on the local Steelworkers’ Union, the county is left with two union contracts to settle – the Police Officers Association of Michigan (County Deputies) and the Government Employees Labor Council (Central Dispatch employees).

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