JFS receives award for job saving efforts

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Earlier this year, employees at the Lawrence County Job and Family Services agreed to take concessions — including unpaid days off — to save the jobs of some fellow workers scheduled for layoff in the wake of state budget cuts.

Those concessions have earned the employees an award from their union’s district officials.

The American Federations of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Ohio Council 8 has given the AFSCME Local 3319 its activism award for taking cuts to save jobs. The award was announced at the District 8 annual conference in late September.

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AFSCME 3319 President Terri Robinson, who attended the conference, said she had not known ahead of time the local employees were getting such an award. She said the concessions were not easy to make — each employee agreed to take one day off without pay each pay period and give up a pay hike and sick day incentive to save 12 of more than 20 positions that were slated to be cut.

In light of the pain of those concessions, Robinson said the recognition “feels wonderful.”

“This was tough. Myself, I’m a single mother with no other income and taking a day off per pay period is tough but the people (employees) put the agency and the clients ahead of themselves,” Robinson said.

The AFSCME Council 8 was contacted for comment. Regional Representative Sandra Shonborn was not available as of press time.