Clerk target of labor charge

A charge of unfair labor practice has been filed against Winnebago County Circuit Clerk Marc Gasparini. The charge was filed by Local 473 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union (AFSCME).

The count accuses Gasparini and other county officials of bargaining in bad faith. Local 473 represents more than 400 county employees, including those in the circuit clerk’s office.

The old contract expired October 1, and negotiations have been in progress for about two months. Sources said little headway has been made, with the county offering only a two-year wage freeze and higher insurance premiums to the bargaining unit.

Gasparini said he had no comment on the charge or contract negotiations.

At the same time, some clerks are being relocated to new quarters to allow expansion of the clerk’s file room. The relocation is to another space off the main hall of the first floor of the courthouse.

It is being newly carpeted and equipped with new furniture and new cubicles, although present furnishings and equipment are not that old.

“We’re always remodeling,” Gasparini said. “We are looking at expanding the records area and providing more stations and more computers for the public to use (to view records.)”

The county is in litigation with a group of retired county employees who challenged the county’s effort to charge them higher insurance premiums than active employees.

Approximately 100 retirees are represented in the action which was begun about two years ago. It is still in the early stages, pending trial.

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