New 3-year pact for JFS union OK’d


LISBON — A new three-year contract with a group of unionized workers employed by the Columbiana County Department of Job and Family Services was approved at this week’s meeting of county commissioners.

Effective Dec. 1, the contract grants the employees annual pay raises of 3.5 percent the first year, 3 percent the second and 2.5 percent in year three.

The contract was recommended for approval by county JFS Director Eileen Dray-Bardon, who said the bargaining unit represents 72 employees in the child support collection and public assistance divisions. The raises will cost her office an additional $70,000 per year on average.

“It’s well within our budget, and we have some vacancies we’re not going to fill because we don’t have to,” Dray-Bardon explained. She pointed out no levy funds are used to pay their salaries or benefits.

The employees will continue to pay 10 percent of their monthly health insurance premiums, the same as all county general fund employees.

In other action at this week’s meeting, commissioners accepted a petition from the Hanover Fire Department to officially close several unused alleys around the fire station that exist only on paper. The alleys are located in and around the fire station on state Route 172, and the adjoining property owners are the fire department and Louise Dickens, both of whom signed the petition.

Commissioners will schedule a required public hearing on the petition.