LISBON - The 71 non-Children Services workers in the Columbiana County Department of Job and Family Services have a new contract granting them their first pay raise in nearly three years.
Acting on the recommendation of JFS Director Eileen Dray-Bardon, county commissioners on Wednesday approved a new three-year contract that grants those JFS employees a 30 cent raise in 2013, with a wage-reopener clause for 2014.
The contract is with the union representing public assistance workers and Child Support Enforcement Agency employees in the JFS. Dray-Bardon said these workers, who were working under an eight-month contract, last received a pay raise in March 2010.
In exchange, the employees agreed to pay 6 percent of their monthly health insurance premiums, up from the current 5 percent. They also agreed to a reduction in the number of personal hours, from 28 to 24.
Last month, commissioners granted the 24 workers in the Children Services division a 2 percent raise for 2013. They also agreed to pay 6 percent of their health insurance premiums.
Commissioner Chairman Mike Halleck noted that while the contract will cost the JFS $40,000 over the next 12 months to cover the pay raises, the agency has saved $910,000 over the past several year "through less employees and good management."
Dray-Bardon explained after the meeting that Halleck was referring to the fact the JFS had as many as 160 employees in 2008, but the number has dropped to 120 due to cuts and attrition.
In other action, commissioners awarded the contract for renovation of the courthouse public and private restrooms to Santini Builders of Washingtonville for a base bid of $145,770. Santini's base bid was the lowest of the seven received, all of which exceeded the architect's, A & I of East Liverpool, estimate of $135,000. Santini's estimate was still within the 10 percent ceiling that would have required the project be rebid.
The public restrooms will be refurbished along with three private restrooms, two in the commissioners' office and one used by the clerk of courts and prosecutor's office. These will add $8,881 to the cost.
The county received a $140,000 state grant to fund the restroom renovations, and Commissioner Jim Hoppel said they will have to use some of the money they received from leasing county property for shale gas development to cover the rest of the cost.