by Steve Peterson
Plymouth County Board of Supervisors presented a counter proposal to the Secondary Road Employees Association.
Plymouth County Board of Supervisor Don Kass explained the supervisors proposal in open session. It offers three two percent raises in Fiscal Year 2014, 2015 and FY 2016. The agreement goes through June 30, 2016.
The employees had proposed a pay increase of 6 percent in FY 2013-2014; then 4 percent in FY 2014-2015 and 4 percent in FY 2015-2016.
The supervisors are offering no reimbursement for accumulated sick leave as proposed by the Secondary Road Employee Association; the clothing allowance shall remain the same as stated in the current agreement, with no changes; there shall be no change in on-call pay. A universal two-hour minimum call-in time will be allowed.
There shall be no four-hour minimum call-in for snow and ice periods as proposed by the bargaining unit; there shall be no change to allow compensation time to be included in the donated lave policy for catastrophic illness. The Board of Supervisors regards this as a non-negotiable item-policy and is not currently in the bargaining agreement,” according to Kass’s motion, which was approved by a 4-0 vote.
The supervisors introduced a four-year time frame for employees to work up to 100 percent of the salaried position they were hired for. For the first six months of employment, staffers would get 80 percent of the rate they are hired for; for the second six months, they would get 85 percent of the salary they were hired for; for the second year of employment, the staffer would get 90 percent of the salary they were hired for; for the third year of employment, the staffer would get 95 percent of the salary they were hired for and in the fourth year, they would receive the full 100 percent of the base pay of the position they were being hired for.
“All negotiated pay raises for the bargaining unit under the terms of this contract shall apply to the base pay of the employee that position which they are being hired,” stated the motion.
The supervisors and the Secondary Road Employees Association met again in closed session Oct. 2.
In other county business:
Supervisors appointed Shirley Benson of Kingsley to replace Blaine Donaldson on the Plymouth County Board of Adjustment. Donaldson’s resignation was accepted by supervisors at their meeting Sept. 18.
Heard from Cathy Van Maanen and Margaret Sanders of Council Against Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence (SADV), about the State of Iowa’s Regional plan.
“We have already experienced the budget process as we had to lay-off two full-time workers and two part-time workers,” said Sanders, executive director of SADV.
Plymouth and Woodbury counties would be considered in the urban section of region number one, a 20-county area of Northwest Iowa.
Sanders said she expects regionalization to happen but said that will mean less options for those in crisis situations.
“Just today I helped someone out who had just 10 minutes to come to me and get out of an abusive relationship,” said Van Maanen.
According to the present plan, Woodbury County would have dual Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault staff as well as a shelter. Sioux Center would also have that level of service.
Some counties got a Domestic Violence office and shelter, while others a dual Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault program office and others a stand alone Sexual Assault program office. She worries people who use the temporary shelters will then have to go back to their own communities several miles away. “It impacts their life,” said Sanders.
“We don’t think the regional plan is in the best interests of the community, but we will continue to offer services the best we can for individuals and be even more collaborative and work with what the Crime Victims Assistance Division asks us to do,” said Sanders.
“Our staff members are cross trained to do both. Many people come to our doors with both issues. This regionalization is a result of State Budget decreases,” said Sanders.
In other matters:
Regarding the Mental Health Services re-design process, Plymouth County Supervisors Chairman Jim Henrich said Plymouth, Woodbury, Sioux and Cherokee counties may form a regional group.
Supervisor Craig Anderson gave a report on a bike trail project meeting hosted by Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning COuncil (SIMPCO) recently in Le Mars. One idea is for a trail along the old Chicago and Northwestern railroad line, from Le Mars to Merrill, then from Merrill to Sioux City.
“These trails cost $250,000 per mile. I’m opposed to one tax dollar going for this,” said Anderson.
Voted 4-0 to accept a bid of $14,980 from Knife River, Inc. for work on Center Street in Merrill.
The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors meets at 9:30 a.m. each Tuesday at Plymouth County Courthouse, 215 4th Ave. SE, Le Mars. Meetings are open to the public.