Teamsters contract to bring less than 2 percent raises

Published 12:29 am Sunday, November 24, 2013

The first Teamsters contract for employees of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office will bring them raises over the next three years.

About two years ago, approximately 11 employees withdrew from the FOP union to become members of the Teamsters. For about that same period those employees — clerks, sergeants and above and cooks — worked without a contract.

On Thursday after an executive session with the Lawrence County Commissioners the contract was approved.

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“I am certainly glad to have it settled and it has been a challenge to get two union contracts settled in one year, two unions in the same office,” Sheriff Jeff Lawless said. “Everyone has worked together well to get it done.”

For the first two years raises are a quarter an hour with the third year raise set at 30 cents an hour.

“It’s an initial contract with the vast majority of it the FOP contract,” Ironton Attorney Mark McCown, who represented the county, said. “(Raises are) less than 2 percent.”

The first year raise is retroactive for 2013 with the contract ending in 2015.

“The clerks got a little more of a raise on the first year to try to bring their pay up in line with the cooks,” Lawless said. “At some point the cooks’ pay began to exceed. That was prior to even (former Sheriff) Tim Sexton. It was to get the pay back in line as it should be.”

Employees will also get a lump sum for 2012.

The sheriff expects the new contract to be an additional strain on his budget.

“That is the problem with it being at the end of the year,” Lawless said. “I was in line to squeak by and not ask the commission for any money, the first year in many years. With having to pay for the raises and the bonus for 2012, it will be $11,000 to $12,000.