ELYRIA — The status of negotiations between the county and members of the striking United Auto Workers Local 2192 is not improving as the strike continues.
Not much has changed since last week when the county offered a proposal agreeing to eliminate the spousal surcharge for health insurance — the sticking point that workers have said is to blame for the strike.
According to a statement from County Administrator Jim Cordes, on Oct.12, a representative of the Local 2192 bargaining committee declined to sign a proposed tentative agreement eliminating the sole issue the union identified as being the basis for the work stoppage.
“They did however indicate a willingness to present the proposal to the local membership,” he said, “Unfortunately, Local 2192 decided not to have the membership vote on the offer that was presented for settlement.”
Kelly Fields, the union’s bargaining co-chair, said the bargaining committee did agree to take the proposed agreement back to its membership for consideration. A formal vote was not taken, but the membership was informed of the details.
“We do not have to vote on it. We did take it to our membership and they were overwhelmingly not happy with it,” she said. “… The membership has been very vocal throughout this process. They shared it was not enough.”
The county statement said the union is now bringing up other issues at the table.
“During the evening of Oct.13, LCDJFS bargaining representatives received a counterproposal from Local 2192,” the statement read. “The counterproposal added a new issue to the dispute as Local 2192 sought to increase the current one-half hour unpaid lunch period to a one hour lunch period with one-half hour unpaid and one-half hour paid.
The effort by Local 2192 to add a “new” issue was not well-received, and the county said its proposal “remains on the table.”
“We remain optimistic that this dispute can be mutually resolved,” Cordes said.
Fields said the union is likewise open to going back to the table.
“Everyday we are open to further negotiation,” she said.
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