Children services wage increases impending

LISBON – With a wage and health insurance reopener in the contract with the Children Services employees, Columbiana County Jobs and Family Services Director Eileen Dray-Barton said a tentative agreement is now in place for an increase at the beginning of next year.

However, Barton declined for now to provide any figures regarding either the health insurance or wages, instead taking the matter into an executive session with the Columbiana County commissioners last week. Following the executive session, commissioner decided to table the matter until this week’s meeting.

One commissioner, Timothy Weigle, was not present last week as he represented the county at an Eastern Ohio Development Authority meeting.

Later Barton said with the funding for Jobs and Family Services is usually in flux until later in the year. Due to that, a wage reopener was agreed to during the last contract negotiation. The Glass and Pottery Workers Union represents the 22 employees of Children’s Services.

If the commissioners approve the contract it will go into effect in January.

In other matters, commissioners met with Treasurer Linda Bolon to go over the quarterly investment portfolio report for the county investments. Bolon said she has added a new internal control to the investments, providing bank statements to Auditor Nancy Milliken on a monthly basis now. Bolon said she is also positioning some of the county’s money in shorter term investments believing there may be a rise in the interest rates soon, which the county could then take advantage of if the money is not locked in somewhere else.

“The financial health of the county looks good,” Commissioner Mike Halleck pointed out at the end of the report.