By Wayne Allen
The Scioto County Commissioners last week rejected a proposed collective bargaining agreement as proposed by the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, citing budget concerns.
Since January, the commissioners, the sheriff and the union that governs employees of the office, have been trying to come to an agreement. Temporary agreements have been passed while conversations continued. Commissioner Bryan Davis said the proposed raises within the agreement were more than the county’s budget could bear.
“He’s (Scioto County Sheriff Marty Donini) got to go back to the drawing board on it,” Davis said. “What he was asking for exceeded the amount the five-year budget called for.”
One of the stipulations of Scioto County being released from Fiscal Emergency Status in 2014 was that they establish and work within five-year budget forecasts.
Davis said within budget forecasts that the commissioners anticipated a 2.5 percent pay increase for sheriff employees. He said within the proposed agreement the amount of pay increase depended on position. He said the proposed agreement called for some employees within the office to get as much as a five percent rise.
“He was asking for a 93-cent raise on the hour for each employee in the first year of the agreement. That was going to be an across the board increase,” Davis said.
Davis said the commissioners ran the numbers with Scioto County Auditor David Green, and they agreed the proposal was more than what could be absorbed by the county budget.
“This will have to go to arbitration and he (Donini) will have to work that out,” Davis said.
Davis said Donini brought up the point that the four employees of the commissioner’s office received an average of a 3.1 percent pay increase. He said it was easy to give that kind of raise to four employees as opposed to the 85 employees of the sheriff’s office. He said the comparison was not “apples to apples.”
“We gave him (Donini) guidelines that if he could negotiate a 3.1 percent across the board increase, that would be something we (commissioners) could agree to,” Davis said. “He knows which direction he needs to go and I’m sure he’ll work it out. Everybody involved is hoping to work it out and come to an agreement.”
Until an agreement can be reached, Davis said the union is operating under the previous agreement, with extensions being agreed to monthly. He said he and the other commissioners agree, they have to stay within their budget forecasts.
“You can’t spend money you don’t have and the bottom line is, we have to watch this (budget) and watch it close we have to take care of the people’s money,” Davis said. “We appreciate our law enforcement and we think they are great workers. They are hitting the pavement everyday protecting us as citizens, but we also have to watch the bottom line.”
Davis said he and the other commissioners are hopeful an agreement can be reached sooner than later. Representatives from the union was not available for comment.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT