County commissioners approve two union contracts

Warren County has approved new contracts with two major collective bargaining units.

The county commissioners signed off the agreements with SEIU and AFSCME during Friday’s meeting.

Commissioner Ben Kafferlin said the “general idea was to bring employee (wages) to the mid-point averages of six class counties.”

He said the commissioners “worked well with the union.”

“I think this contract negotiation and the way this has worked out has been very positive for both the commissioners’s office, the union and the county in general,” Commissioner Jeff Eggleston said. “Everyone knew we had to address” healthcare costs “to find savings for the county.”

He said they were “also (able) to work with the union to address pay disparities we had within the county (and) do everything we could to fix some of those wage disparities.

“It wasn’t a contentious type of situation,” he added. “This also lines up a lot of the issues we have between the unions as well.”

SEIU, Kafferlin said, “is primarily uniformed – dispatchers, corrections officers, sheriff’s deputies – they were on different vacation schedules” and policies for “leaves of absences” were different than AFSCME.

He said they were able to “bring them both into line so they match health care benefits, vacation days, which I believe has been accomplished.”