Current agreement ends Dec. 31
BY KEVIN BONESKE
The process of reaching a new contract between Oneida County and the county Deputy Sheriff’s Association involved the exchanging of initial bargaining proposals at Tuesday’s county Labor Relations and Employee Services Committee meeting.
The current three-year agreement between the county and the Deputy Sheriff’s Association is set to expire at the end of 2017. After the committee members held a closed session related to bargaining with the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, they met in open session with the union’s representative, Randy Ingram of Wisconsin Professional Police Association, who was joined by four county officers to discuss the initial proposals.
Ingram noted the union has six things to discuss with the committee for reaching a new contract, which include:
- Increasing the “night differential” officers receive for time worked between 3-11 p.m. from 20 cents to 40 cents per hour and for time worked between 11 p.m.-7 a.m. from 40 cents to 80 cents per hour with the established differential rates being recalculated for each succeeding agreement, based on the cumulative percentage wage increase over the term of the succeeding agreement and applied to the final year of any succeeding agreement.
- Incorporating a letter of agreement for paid time off related to modified language for a payout.
- Incorporating a letter of agreement for paid time off rules for the terms regarding the proration of unpaid leaves of absence.
- Including a provision for Veterans Day recognition with around 25 percent of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association being military veterans. How those veterans would be recognized is up for discussion.
- Having a new contract with a multi-year agreement. The union would be open to reaching an agreement of three or more years.
- Having a wage schedule with a “fair and equitable” increase in each year of the agreement. The union provided no specific percentage increases.
The county’s initial proposal calls for a new three-year agreement with across-the-board increases for the wage schedule as follows:
- 1 percent beginning of the payroll period closest to Jan. 1, 2018.
- .5 percent beginning of the payroll period closest to July 1, 2018.
- 1 percent beginning of the payroll period closest to Jan. 1, 2019.
- .5 percent beginning of the payroll period closest to July 1, 2019.
- 1 percent beginning of the payroll period closest to Jan. 1, 2020.
- 1 percent beginning of the payroll period closest to July 1, 2020.
County human resources director Lisa Charbarneau also noted the county’s proposal is seeking a change in hospitalization insurance for Deputy Sheriff’s Association members so that the county would pay the same percent of the premium as it does for general municipal employees.
“As you know this bargaining group has the luxury of taking the higher cost plan and only paying 10 percent of the premium, whereas all the other county employees only get the 90 percent that the county pays for the lowest cost plan,” Charbarneau said. “There is a cost differential in there, so we’d like to change that so that everybody’s the same.”
When there is open enrollment for health insurance this fall, Charbarneau said she expects the county will be looking at four or more options for employees to select.
“More like a cafeteria plan, where people can kind of pick and choose what level of coverage may be better for them,” she said. “Obviously the cost is going to change, then, based on what kind of coverage they’re looking to purchase.”
Charbarneau said sheriff Grady Hartman and chief deputy Dan Hess have noted the sheriff’s office has been losing people who are able to go elsewhere with more options for health coverage.
“If you don’t need well-child care, you might want to go to a smaller provider network that doesn’t have OB/GYNs and pediatricians in it,” she said. “If you do need that, you may have to go into a different network.”
Charbarneau said the county has been working with the Wisconsin Counties Association Group Health Trust to come up with some options for the county on health coverage.
The committee plans to next meet with Ingram to negotiate a new contract on Aug. 21 with another meeting set for Aug. 30.