Wadena County approves pay raise for human services
Following a closed board meeting on July 26 to discuss labor strategy, the Wadena County Board of Commissioners reconvened their open meeting to approve a 2 percent pay raise for all human services non-supervisory and confidential employees, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2016.
The move comes shortly after human services employees voted to decertify the AFSCME Council 65 union that they had approved to represent them in May 2015.
None of the bargaining units of county employees have agreed to a new contract with the county that would be effective on Jan. 1, 2016. Employees are working under their 2015 contracts while negotiations continue.
Also at the July 26 board meeting, commissioners discussed with Vercon representatives and County Engineer Ryan Odden the scope of work on the remodeling of the human services portion of the county building that human services and the Workforce Center occupy. No decisions were reached on the issue of security.
Odden also discussed the proposed paving of the parking lot at the solid waste transfer station. Commissioner Stearns said that the board had not authorized Odden or Solid Waste Director Mike Hanan to obtain price quotes for the paving work. Odden thought he had authorization since the entire transfer station project had been approved by the board. No resolution was reached at the meeting and the controversy will be on the Aug. 9 agenda.
In other business, the board
o Heard the monthly statistical report of the human services dept.
o Heard a presentation from NJPA Contract Manager Anna Gruber and Shared Services Specialist Emily Sayer about the advantages of having Sayer manage county contracts with vendors.
o Approved a proposal by human services to ask the State of Minnesota to reallocate five positions for clients from the DAC to Rising Phoenix.
o Approved Public Health Director Cindy Pederson’s request to apply for an Initiative Foundation grant.
o Approved Pederson’s request to hire a part-time student worker to help with the backlog created when one employee resigned and another retired.
o Approved the MCCC Bylaws and Joint Powers Agreement.
o Heard a request from Joann White for an easement over county property adjacent to her property, but made no decision.
o Were introduced to new Information Technology Specialist employee Brian Kirscht.
o Negotiated the division of payments of closing costs for the two buildings recently purchased by the county with real estate agent Craig Folkestad.