How much are county employees worth?
By Dave Kobes
Once again, the Winnebago Countys Employees Union AFSCME Local 473 shows up for contract negotiations, and the county negotiating committee neglects to show up.
Yes, Steve Chapman, Chuck Prorock and Jim Kelly were there, but not as negotiators. They showed up, once again only to dictate. You see, their only offer is a pay cut.
Would they accept a two-year wage freeze, increased insurance rates and a cut in benefits? With a combined income in the area of $200,000 a year and insurance that is given to them for free, they really dont care about the employees.
As the average citizen struggles to pay the bills, these gentlemen hope we forget how many times theyve cried wolf before. Remember, they said the county was broke, only to find millions after a settlement was reached.
Is it that they just dont think the public will care about lost services when the employees STRIKE?
Let me clue the public in on some jobs of AFSCME 473 members:
Circuit Clerks Office: They do their best to keep our courts running smoothly.
Corrections Officers: Theyll make sure a local alleged cop killer makes it to court safely.
County Clerks Office: Try to get married without them.
County Coroners Office: Try to die without them.
County Inspectors: Try building a new house without them.
Recorders Office: Try purchasing a new house without them.
Animal Services: Who do you suppose deals with a rabid pit-bull that attacks?
River Bluff Nursing Home: Who takes care of Mom and Dad when you no longer can?
Highway Department: Consider plowing 943 miles of snow-covered streets at 3 a.m.
These are only a sample of what AFSCME 473 does. If you are concerned about the loss of these services, you may wish to contact one or all of the following:
Jim Kelly: Human resource director, 815-987-3034
Chuck Prorock: States Attorneys Office, 815-987-3160
Steve Chapman: County administrator, 815-987-3068
Kristine Cohn: County board chairman, 815-987-2590
Dave Kobes is a county employee who works in the jail.