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Union questions positions

Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 06:14 PM

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The county's transportation services division is adding six new positions, including supervisory-management jobs.

The new positions have come under attack by Teamsters Local 79, which believes there is a move afoot to reclassify job descriptions, hire people at a lower salary and make them non-union status.

The union also disagrees that all positions are supervisory.

Director of Transportation Services Brian Malmberg said the moves are being made for the good of the county and it is not his intent to bypass the existing union contract.

"It's part of making sure we have the right people in the right place and taking advantage of the changing work conditions the county is facing," Malmberg said. "As senior employees retire and relocate, those slots are being filled with the right kind of person doing the right kind of duty."

County Commissioner John Druzbick said the six job positions were necessitated by the reorganization of the stormwater department into the Department of Public Works. They are also designed to save money with lower salary ranges.

However, despite the lower pay grades, Druzbick said he believes the savings to county coffers will be minimal.

"It's not something that is going to balance the budget," Druzbick said.

County Commissioner Jim Adkins said he doesn't have a problem with the jobs as long as department managers can justify them and prove there is a need.

The union disagrees with which positions should be part of the union. The county maintains that the three supervisory or management jobs are not union positions.

Director of Administrative Services Cheryl Marsden said in a memo to the Teamsters that three of the new positions should be bargaining unit positions and three should not. The Teamsters believes all of them, except for the engineering services manager position, should be unionized.

According to the contract with the union, the bargaining unit will exclude all supervisory and management employees, as defined by Florida Statutes. If both parties continue to disagree, it will be up to the Public Employment Relations Commission to decide.

The supervisory-management jobs include:

The other positions include Special Assessment Coordinator, $17.60 to $22.98 an hour, and Warranty Clerk, $11.90 to $19.21 an hour.

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