Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
November 14, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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November 14, 2001

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vveanesc~ay,,~0v, zu0 uoumy News Talks cost By Dave Keller Staff Writer As the county's contract talks with the employees' union reach the eight-month mark, the cost of negotiations continues to escalate. The county has already paid more than $19,000 to a contract negotiator. And, at the current rate, the amount may surpass the $30,000 mark by the end of the year. The county's contract with the negotiator has fueled, in part, the employees' union's ire toward management. Although contract talks started in March, the two sides are far apart on a host of key issues, including wages. As a result, for the first time in county history, a state mediator has been called in to help settle the dis- pute. For several months, the ad- ministration offered a three- year, 6.1 percent increase, but recently offered a net in- crease of 14.75 over four years. The union's counter offer calls for a 19.1 percent net in- crease over a three-year peri- od, along with an increase in health benefits contributions. Negotiations continue Nov. 26 and Dec. 3. ,296 so far employees are reimbursed 34.5 cents a mile when they travel on county business. When Bell is required to stay overnight, which has oc- curred at least three times, he is paid an additional $119 for lodging and meals. Past rates There was a time when Jim Rackerby was the county's negotiator. According to county records, Rackerby earned about $85,000 during a seven- year period between 1992- 1999. Even though Rackerby was under a flat-rate contract that ensured him a payment of $15,000 to negotiate on behalf of the county, he often was paid less. On average, Rackerby was paid about $12,165 every time he represented the county. The amount of money Bell has received troubles the union, Operating Engineers business representative Tina Marie Love said. "The money that has been spent by the county would be better put to use providing wage increases to employ- ees," Love said. "There needs to be some balance between what the negotiator is being paid and what the employees are entitled to." Three payments 'Some mistakes' To date, the county's nego- Meanwhile, Supervisor tiator, Gene Bell, has submit- Ken Nelson said he thinks ted five claims to the county's that negotiations need to con- auditor-controller, resulting clude. in payments of $1,437.50, "There's got to be some $10,614.50 and $7,244. movement," Nelson said. Those payments cover Bel- Nelson said that contract l's costs from March 29 totalks got offto a bad start and Aug. 16, but they do not cover he regrets that at least one of the costs of negotiations the supervisors has not par- since that time. ticipated in negotiations. The county's contract with"There have been mistakes Bell, which was authorizedon both sides," Nelson said. by the board of supervisors Supervisor B.J. Pearson in March, pays him $165 ansaid he is reluctant to corn- hour, with a guaranteed four- ment about Bell's pay because hour minimum, he is "not aware of the In addition, Bell is paid specifics of the contract." $2(X)---about 61 cents a n to act su )er- price of ne The following chart outlines how much money has been spent for contract negotiationa by the county through Aug, 16. Date Amount Description of expense March 29 Meeting with management; preparation; bargaining $1 .... 50 March '29 Travel 12(~L00 April 6 Negotiations preparation 1,.4, .. 0 April 10 " Meeting with management $825.('~3 April 10 Travel $2(~0.00 April ~A1 Negotiations $1,155.00 April 20 Travel 1200.00 April 20 Per diem $119.00 April ~ i Negotiations preparation $330.00 April 26 Bargaining I825.00 April 26 Travel !20(t.00 May 2 Bargaining $660,00 May 2 Travel $2f~.00 May 8 Meeting with management; bargaining 1ca)7.50 May 8 May 21 Travel $200.00 Bargaining $660.00 May 21 Travel $200.f_~ May 29 Telephone consultation $165.1)0 June 5 Letter preparation: preparation 1363,00 June 6 Bargaining $660.00 June 6 Travel June 11 Prepare tct~er $82.5tt Jane 21 Bargaining i660.00 June 21 Travel 5200.00 June 26 Bargaining 51,155.00 Jane 26 Tra', eI $200.00 July ~ 51,155 (~( Bargaining JuI', 9 Tra', el f2iK) t_Rt July 9 Per diem il 19.t~) Juh 10 Preparation; meeting ,* ith management f577.50 July 20 Bargaining: meeung v, ith management 19~0.00 Jul', 20 Tra~ el 5200.(~) Jul', 20 Per diem 1119.01) Jul', 23 Preparation: bargaining: meeting with management 5I 13g ~( July 23 Tva~ el 52~1 (}0 Aug. 8 Bargaining'. Meeting with management fg--LK) Aug. S Tra', ei 12 ~1(~ Aug. 14 Sleeting ~ ith management f66~).(~) Aug. 14 Tra,. el $2(~.(~t millio Engineers find more By Terri Daoust tire section Portola Editor about an inch Portola's city council re-tire deck on both ceived the bad news about put down a the Gulling Street bridge crete layer, which0 from Quincy Engineering, poured thin and Inc., Wednesday, Nov. 7. the existing deck Quincy Engineering is per-low further forming the bridge retrofit, from salts or water. and being paid by the state. The next level of During the retrofit project, tion would mean Quincy Engineering discov-about 4 inches of ered several areas of the thick deck, bridge which were deteriorat- mat of steel, possil ing. ing part of it, and The deterioration had not chipping any been noticed during Caltrans The worst case inspections, performed once would mean every other year, because the tire 7 inches of bridge deterioration was taking The additional place under the asphalt sur- quired would face. mean limiting The council had previouslylane, 24 hours a been informed about the dete- days a week, until it rioration of the bridge deck, pleted. but things now appear muchDuring the next worse than first suspected, as they wrap up Alan Glen, senior engineer, ter, the company said construction on the ing more samples bridge retrofit began in July they can determihe' and, while they were remov- tent of the problem. ing the bridge rails, some of During the winter, the deck appeared deteriorat- tola's city ed. Engineering will Caltrans was called in to ing at what inspect the bridge more close- available for such ly. Examiners believed that Glen said they only 15 to 30 percent of the at this time what bridge area had deteriorated, costs might be, but It was agreed that core runS1 million samples from the bridge Glen said would be taken for furtherty Transp analysis, sion is currently Those samples were taken its budget for the from the gutter area of the and urged the citY to bridge, where most of the wa- the match cost of ter, salts and other debris are in that cycle. deposited. The engineering"We will be firm believed that would be you to determine Ne the area where most of thetude of funding that deterioration would be found, necessary to Glen said the lab returnedwork based on the results in October andtoday," said Glen. Quincy Engineering forward. When asked why ed them to Caltrans for inter- such )retation. brid Glen said it