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Council decision results in grievance

By Staff | Dec 16, 2012

A previous decision made by the Winnebago City Council has returned in the form of a grievance.

A representative from IBEW Local Union 949 discussed the matter with the council at the Dec. 11 meeting in order to resolve the issue.

In October, the council made the decision not to fill the position of administrative and accounting assistant, after Marilyn Oswald had given her resignation.

Rick Bartz, the representative from IBEW, addressed the council explaining that the city isn’t required to fill the position, unless the duties are still present.

“The city has the right to not fill the position, but you cannot eliminate the work,”?Bartz says. “That is the basis of this grievance.”

The council explained to Bartz that due to Oswald’s resignation, they decided to stop sending out notices for late utility bills. As a result, much of the duties of that position had been eliminated. “You have to prove that all of these duties have gone away,” Bartz says. “If there is still bargaining work, the position has to be filled. It can’t be done by management.”

After receiving the grievance, the council has 30 days to respond in writing.

City Administrator Chris Ziegler recommended that the council receive the grievance and consider the options and make the decision at the next meeting.

The three options given to the council were to accept the finding by the union and hire someone back to the position, agree to arbitration or deny the grievance which may result in the union requesting arbitration.

The council voted to table the matter until the next meeting. They will make a decision at that time.

The council meeting also marked the end of Mayor Randy Nowak’s term.

The council all thanked Nowak for his time as mayor and he stated his appreciation for them as well.

“I also would like to thank the citizens that have called me over the years with their concerns,” he says. “That really makes a difference.”

The next council meeting, which is scheduled for Jan. 8, will introduce Jeremiah Schutt as the new mayor.