WIUM Tristates Public Radio

County Seeks Union Cost Savings

Lee County, IA – Lee County has proposed a series of cost-cutting measures in its initial offers to the three unions representing county employees. The contracts with the sheriff's office, the secondary roads department, and the administrative unit run out June 30.

The expiring contracts are three year deals. The county is looking for a one-year deal with each union this time around.

Each proposal calls for a wage freeze and reductions in longevity pay. The county is also seeking fewer personal days and the possibility of a reduced work-day and work-week.

The contract offers from the county also impact health insurance coverage. The county wants all union employees to start paying for coverage, 25%, and give up their dental and vision care coverage.

The initial offers from the three unions are much different. They start out with significant pay increases for members.

Members of the sheriff's office are looking for a 7% increase while those in the administrative unit want$1-$2/hour.

Members of the secondary roads department want a $3/hour boost plus a 3% increase, up front, and another 3% on January 1, 2011.

The unions are also looking for provisions that allow for financial reimbursements for accumulated sick leave.

Future negotiations will take place behind closed doors.