November 25, 2014

Board settles grievance with Steelworkers Union

Posted

ARENAC COUNTY — A grievance recently filed by the local unit of the Steelworkers’ Union appears to be resolved.

According to Mike Henninger, president of the local union membership, the Arenac County Drain Commission prompted the grievance when it hired an outside person to perform data-entry duties in regards to the tax roll for the upcoming AuGres River dredging project. He said the data should have been entered by the office clerk, a member of the Steelworkers, and added that duty had been performed by the Spicer Group, a Saginaw engineering firm, in the past, but probably could’ve been handled by the drain office clerk.

And in part, the board is in agreement.

“They have agreed to give it (data-entry duty) back to the Steelworkers Union on Jan. 1, 2010,” Henninger said.

However, Labor Relation Manager Bill Borushko said one reason an outside individual was brought in was due to the lack of training the member of the union had in preparing the data necessary for the drain project.

“The drain commissioner was utilizing outside help because the employee in the drain office didn’t really have the skill set to do the job without additional training. … The current incumbent was also ill,” Borushko said. “We said, ‘We agree with you… But you have to understand that your current employee will have to undergo training.’”

Board Chairman Raymond Daniels commended Drain Commissioner Larry Davis in finding a cheaper alternative than the Spicer Group for the job that caused the grievance.

“It cost $4,000 for the contracted work, while it’s around $20,000 for the Spicer Group to do it,” he said. “He was able to get it done at this reduced rate and it seemed logical.

“The person who works in that office didn’t lose anything, anyways.”

But Henninger said when the office clerk returned from sick leave in late spring, the duties in preparing the tax roll should’ve been turned over to the clerk and training, if necessary, should have been made available.

He also acknowledged that Spicer Group couldn’t be cut out completely when it comes to the river-dredging project, which is meant to prevent flooding and will increases taxes in the AuGres River drainage district.

“There is a portion of that that needs to be done by an engineer,” he said. “But that work didn’t need to.”

In other county labor news, negotiations are expected to start soon with the county’s local unit of the Chemical Workers Union, which is comprised of 23rd Circuit Court employees. The Chemical Workers contract expires at the end of this year.

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