ShareThis Page
News

Washington Commissioners invited to join negotiations

| Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2002

WASHINGTON, Pa. - Negotiations continued today between Washington County and its largest union, and the commissioners have been invited to join the process.

Service Employees International Union Local 585, which represents 475 workers in the areas of nursing, 911, maintenance, aging services and clerical, asked the county commissioners to attend today's negotiating session.

On Monday, SEIU representatives submitted a petition calling for the commissioners to attend the session. About 300 union employees signed the petition.

Local 585 representative Dino Bruno has said that he is disappointed with the lack of participation at the negotiating table by the county commissioners.

Employees have been working without a contract since Dec. 31.

Washington County Commission Chairman John P. Bevec contends he has attended as many meetings as his schedule has allowed.

"I've been to four sessions and I'm briefed after every single one," Bevec said.

Bevec said the next negotiating session is set for 10 a.m. Thursday - the same time as the commissioners' bimonthly public meeting.

Commissioner J. Bracken Burns said that representatives from both sides - not the commissioners - traditionally attend negotiating sessions.

"We have two people present at every meeting who are qualified to negotiate," Burns said.

He was quick to note, however, that he doesn't believe the board "is avoiding the issue."

"We think we have a good package on the table," Burns said.

A state mediator will continue to preside over the process.

Bruno said the stalemate is rooted in fringe benefits.

The union would like to have family dental coverage and a point-of-service health insurance plan offered by Community Blue.

The county is offering individual dental coverage and a health maintenance organization (HMO) carrier for medical insurance.

Bevec said the county doesn't have the financial means to offer a family dental package.

The union also is seeking improved salary adjustments for certain jobs and is discussing mandatory overtime at the health center.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me