WHEELING – Details of an arbitration settlement involving a pay dispute between the Ohio County Commission and county deputies have been released, with the deputies receiving a financial raise.
A copy of the settlement term sheet was provided earlier Wednesday by Teresa Torreseva, representing the attorneys.
The agreement calls for the commission to raise the salaries of all certified and non-certified deputies by 23% by January 1, 2023. In addition, the salaries of all civilian/non-law enforcement personnel in the department will be increased by 16%. .
The county will pay the deputies $60,507 in vacation pay; $3,400 in compensatory time pay; and $36,093 in wages lost from overtime opportunities at Highlands.
Torseva’s bill would provide the commission with a list of all payees and the amount each employee was paid, the settlement states. Additionally, the Ohio County Commission will pay the deputies $185,000 in general damages, plus attorneys’ fees and $125,000 in costs.
The retired and separated plaintiffs in the case will receive a one-time payment of $5,000, according to the settlement.
Compensatory time will be discontinued in lieu of wages.
Payment of all funds shall be made by the County within 30 days of the County Commission receiving all paperwork related to the Agreement.
The commissioners indicated during their meeting this week that a major amendment to the current fiscal year’s budget will be necessary to meet the need for a solution.
Deputies first filed wage complaints with Ohio County about a year ago after the practice changed the pay system to one employee “in arrears.” The representatives claimed that as a result they were deprived of one week’s wages.
The Ohio County Commission dismissed the case at the time, asserting that the utility payment model was one that was commonly used.
In December, after efforts to resolve the complaint failed, deputies filed three lawsuits against the commission in Ohio County Circuit Court. The lawsuits allege that the county is owed a week’s pay due to a change in payroll procedures, that they did not receive the wages they should have during the pandemic, and that they were required to take time off. They use the earned sick time. When contracting COVID while on the job.
Days after the court filing, County Manager Randy Russell sent a letter to the sheriff’s department saying they would no longer apply for overtime security at Highlands and its general overtime policy for deputies. changes The commission noted that deputies did not make themselves available for overtime duty when previously required in the Highlands.
The deputies then filed a complaint with the Ohio County Sheriff’s Deputy Civil Service Commission, asserting that the commission’s termination of their overtime opportunities was in retaliation for the lawsuits they filed.
The arbitration settlement states that all COVID-related sick time used by the deputies from March 17 to December 31, 2020, will be reinstated.
Also, deputies must prioritize security at the Highland Sports Complex before taking on other additional duties when necessary, according to the settlement. Deputies will be paid $50 an hour for additional work at the sports complex.
If the available shifts are not filled two weeks before the event at the sports complex, outside security may be called in to provide services, Toriseva indicated.
All additional jobs will be processed through county payroll with normal deductions and pension contributions, the settlement said.
Torreseva and Commission Chairman Don Nickerson both declined to comment further until the settlement is signed by all parties. During their meeting Tuesday night, Ohio County Commissioners indicated that a “significant” budget review will be needed for the current fiscal year.