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County Board approves ratifies bargaining pacts

The Pierce County Board approved agreements with two collective bargaining units Tuesday. 

By a vote of 15-0, agreements were approved with Community Health and Human Services. Both agreements call for a 1.25 percent increase for their respective employees, effective Jan. 1. The agreements will expire Dec. 31, 2014. Chairperson Jeff Holst and Supervisor Jon Aubart were absent, explaining the vote tally.

Other approvals

The board, in addition, approved the following:

--Establishing 2014 salaries and benefits for non-represented employees with a 1.25 percent increase, for the 2014 calendar year, effective Jan. 1. Those employees on the county’s health insurance plan will continue to contribute 10 percent toward its premiums.

--Amending the personnel policy which, among others details, revised the position description of Personnel Coordinator/Administrative Specialist to a Human Resources Manager, day-to-day HR activity will be handled by staff with the new manager holding primary responsibility, and county board members will no longer be involved in the screening and interviewing process for employees other than department heads.

--Sent a letter to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services advising them of the effects of discontinuing Wisconsin Well Women Program (WWWP) providers would have on Pierce County. The WWWP is a state-supported program enabling low income families to obtain cancer screenings for cervical and breast cancers. In a letter to county public health officials, the state is discontinuing the providers, effective June 30, due to increased funding constraints and changes in the national health care system. A new network consisting of larger health systems will be developed. Currently, Pierce County has 32 members enrolled in the WWWP, with 11 only being eligible for Badger Care. The 21 would have to obtain insurance via exchange. “With fewer providers, the travel distance for members will increase,” the letter states. “This increase in travel distance will be exaggerated in rural areas such as Pierce County compared to large metropolitan areas.”

For more please read the March 5 print version of the Herald. 

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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