Warren presents more facts on pay issuePublished 8:35am Friday, November 6, 2009
By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News
CASSOPOLIS – Commissioner Minnie Warren, D-Pokagon Township, Thursday night responded to an article in the Oct. 19 Daily News (“Are raises warranted during recession?”) and a subsequent letter to the editor.
In her letter published Oct. 26, Jean Rowe praised Commissioner Ed Goodman of Silver Creek Township for “showing courage in rejecting (five $1,238) cost-of-living raises for our highest-paid elected officials.”
Rowe equated the $6,190 action to the $364,588 E-911 proposal which the electorate approved on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Saying “it’s time for a reality check,” Goodman declared his intention to reign from the Democratic Party in favor of being an independent.
Warren, who chaired the Elected Officials Salary Committee which made the recommendation the board passed 9-6, prepared a fact sheet stating Cass County has 153 fulltime and 33 part-time employees for 186 total.
Five are elected officials whose salaries are voted on by the Board of Commissioners – water resources commissioner, treasurer, clerk-register, sheriff and prosecuting attorney.
Commissioners, usually in December, also approve salaries for 44 non-union employees who work for elected officials and the court system.
Warren noted 137 employees are represented by labor contracts, of which eight have been successfully settled.
However, she said, the county remains in negotiations with the Animal Control and General units.
“Mandatory subjects to bargain are wages, hours and working conditions that must be negotiated and bargained in good faith,” Warren stated.
“When negotiating, the union has the right to examine the county’s book if the county is pleading poverty, which is not the case.”
Nov. 5 happened to be Warren’s birthday, as well as Cass County’s 180th anniversary.
The board sang happy birthday to Warren.