LaSalle GOP likens board approval of unseen contract to a 'Mayberry' move
Despite not seeing a contract that would give raises to some county employees, it, the LaSalle County Board recently approved the measure, according to the LaSalle County Republican Party.
On its Facebook page, the GOP shared an article from the News Tribune about the new contract, criticizing the board and Chairman Jerry Hicks for supporting the measure. The Tribune reported that the deal covers a three-year period that began on Dec. 1, 2015, and will end on Nov. 30, 2018, meaning that the county has agreed to the contract as it approaches the end of the its second year.
The paper reported that Hicks said the board members did not review a physical copy of the contract, but had it explained to them.
“Let me see if I have this right,” the LaSalle County GOP posted. “The County Board under Chairman Jerry Hicks just agreed to a three year contract (with only 16 months left) that they didn't see (but it was read to them) and the union apparently did see and agreed to in advance of the board meeting.”
According to the NewsTribune, the contracts are between the county and two bargaining units for county employees, both of which are included in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees labor union.
An executive session of the board that immediately preceded its vote to approve the contracts grew contentious, the News Tribune’s Kevin Solari reported. Reporters were waiting on the results of the executive session in a public area just outside the boardroom when the discussion apparently grew heated and they heard raised voices from the boardroom. Solari said that he and others were asked to move farther from the boardroom.
The contracts that emerged from the contested session grant raises to 200 workers. For the first year of the contract, which ran from Dec. 1, 2015, to Nov. 30, 2016, the contract stipulates a 0 percent raise. In the second year, which will end on Nov. 30, the stipulated raise is the greater of either 1 percent or 25 cents. On Dec. 1, the third-year raise of 30 cents will kick in. At the same meeting, the board approved a separate resolution that likewise approved raises for non-union employees.
“But we're all sure the union made significant concessions,” the GOP posted. “That would appear to be one of the few things we're sure of. For example is the second year increase now retroactive to the first of the year or is it effective now? And can we assume the third year contract increase is effective in 90 days? Of course if the board members were able to see the contract in advance of voting on it those might not even be questions. I thought it was only in Mayberry where the local leaders agreed to contracts they don't have access to."
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