DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Professional Guild of Ohio, Council 12, has been negotiating with Montgomery County for higher wages. Tuesday, some members of that union that includes social workers, protested on the sidewalk in front of the Montgomery County Administration Building.
Then later, inside commission chambers, Teneah Matthews told commissioners Debbie Lieberman, Dan Foley and Judy Dodge, “many of you we have elected,” she said to thunderous applause, “and I have seen many people come through this agency and leave broken because of how this agency has treated us.” Social worker Randall Brown said several years ago when Children Services was faced with financial hardship, the union conceded to freeze wage increases to help during tough times.
One woman voiced concern about county management getting large raises without union members getting the same percentage. County administrator Joe Tuss says some of those managers were hired or promoted under wages that were not competitive at the time and have since been brought to market pay. The county has negotiated a 2 1/2 percent raise for 2014, the same for 2015 and a re-open for 2016.
Tuss also says pay rates for union members for similar jobs in Cuyahoga (Cleveland), Franklin (Columbus) and Hamilton (Cincinnati) counties are far lower. The union has called an impasse in the negotiations which means, Tuss says, legally the county can no longer negotiate, but is willing.
The union says it has no choice but to strike, the county says if that happens, it has a plan in place.