Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Teamsters to vote on Hernando County contract proposal

BROOKSVILLE — County workers represented by the Teamsters union will go to the ballot box this evening to decide on a contract that includes furloughs, reductions in health insurance reimbursements and more restrictions on cash payouts when they leave their jobs.

Union leaders and the county's bargaining leadership both have expressed concern about the outlook for the contract. A "no" vote would send the two teams back to the bargaining table.

There was optimism while negotiations were under way. But the day after the County Commission approved the 2011-12 county budget, which included the benefit cuts for employees, the county's constitutional officers announced they would not cut their employees' health benefits.

That's when the outlook for tonight's vote became unclear, said Cheryl Marsden, the county's director of administrative services.

At least one county commissioner said he has been encouraging county employees to reject the contract.

"I'm telling people to vote it down,'' said Commissioner Jeff Stabins. "I can't understand why any hard-working employee would vote for this contract. The whole thing is a farce.''

He predicted that the contract will be overwhelmingly turned down and that the county still could find a way to make up for the savings the cuts are supposed to produce — approximately $225,000.

The concessions were sought by the county's administrative team because huge declines in property values have continued to lower property tax revenue. Also this budget year, the county ran out of regular reserve funds to tap.

Among the changes in the proposed contract, health insurance contributions for employees would be decreased. Currently, employees receive $670 a month for single employees, $760 a month for an employee plus a child or spouse, and $830 for an employee and family.

The contract proposes two tiers of coverage with a monthly contribution of $630 for single employees and $720 for an employee plus others.

The contract also lays out a series of types of misconduct that would cost employees their accrued paid time off when they are terminated. No such list has existed previously. It includes drug or alcohol use or intoxication; theft; unauthorized use of weapons, firearms or explosives on county job sites; and serious criminal infractions at the workplace.

Another addition to the contract is a letter of agreement that county employees will take 10 unpaid days off during the 2011-12 budget year. Those include two holidays that were previously paid holidays. Employees could use up to six of their accrued paid-time-off days for the furlough days.

Of the staffers under the control of the County Commission, 422 are represented by the Teamsters; 96 are not.

Stabins said he wants to see the constitutional officers — clerk of court, property appraiser, tax collector and supervisor of elections — step up during 2012-13 budget talks so that all county employees are treated equally.

"I intend to fight for our employees because our employees have suffered enough,'' he said.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

Teamsters to vote on Hernando County contract proposal 11/16/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 7:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Inside the Rays continuing historically bad slump

    Blogs

    The numbers tell the story of the Rays inexplicable ongoing offensive slump, and the words detail how tough it has been to deal with.

  2. How Rays' Chris Archer is branching out on Twitter

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer (22) leans on the railing of the dugout during the All-Star game at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  3. Candidates for governor get emotional talking about their gay siblings

    Blogs

    Occasionally in today's hyper-rehearsed and contrived world of political campaigns one witnesses moments that are so honest and real, we can't help but understand we're not just listening to another politician give his or her stump speech; We're listening to a human being who understands personal pain at least as well …

    Chris King talking to reporters in Tallahassee
  4. Southern heritage groups sue to keep Confederate monument at old Tampa courthouse

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Groups that say they support Southern heritage filed a lawsuit late Friday trying to halt the removal of a Confederate statue from downtown Tampa.

    Workers place boards around a Confederate monument on Hillsborough County property in Tampa on Thursday, August 17, 2017. It took 24 hours to raise private funds in order to move the statue from its current location.
  5. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI

    Bucs

    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.