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Winnebago votes to bring back position

By Staff | Jan 13, 2013

After a visit from a IBEW Local Union 949 representative, the Winnebago City Council has decided to reinstate the administrative and accounting assistant position.

The position had been eliminated after a previous employee’s resignation. However, the union saw that there was still a need for part-time help.

Rick Bartz, the representative from IBEW, attended the Dec. 11 council meeting to present a grievance to the council regarding their decision to cut the position.

After hearing the union’s findings, the council voted to table the issue which was then revisited on Tuesday night.

“I think it’s important we fill this position,”?City Administrator Chris Ziegler says.

According to Ziegler, the position would earn around $15,900 a year and the workload would total around 20 hours a week.

“The pay for this position was included in the budget this year,”?he adds.

Ziegler informed the council that the duties would remain similar to what they had been, but with some minor adjustments.

After receiving a grievance from the union the council was cautious about making too many changes to what the job description included.

“Do we need to contact the union or need permission to change these duties?” council member Jean Anderson asks.

Ziegler assured the council that he has been in communication with the union on this matter.

The issue that arose from cutting the position before, was the lack of communication between the city and the union.

“As long as we’re willing to talk to them, they will work with us,”?he adds.

The council voted that the position be reinstated, giving the personnel committee authorization to begin the hiring process.

After the position was approved, the council took the grievance off the table.

“The union is willing to rescind the grievance if the council opts to re-hire,”?Ziegler adds.

In other business;

Officer Mike Beletti was selected to represent the south central region of Minnesota because of his work with the Toward Zero Deaths campaign.

He requested approval from the council to attend a convention in Denver, Colo. in April.

“Mike was nominated to represent this part of the state,” Ziegler adds. “It’s really a big honor for him to be recognized for this.”

Due to his nomination, the state will reimburse the city for his travel expenses to attend the conference.

The council voted and approved his attendance at the event.

Kari Schweke resigned from the ambulance department, effective at the start of this year.

“Do we need to replace her?”?Anderson asks.

Megan Boeck said that the ambulance crew is around 12-15 when ideally the numbers should be closer to 17-25.

“The ambulance crew is always looking for people,”?Ziegler says. “And, the numbers are really getting down there.”