Archived Story

No retirement decision yet

Published 11:13am Thursday, June 28, 2012

In a struggle lasting months between a group of Cass County employees and the county commissioners, it is still unclear whether the employees will be granted the half-point raise in their retirement multiplier.

During the regular meeting of the Cass County Board of Commissioners, members of the Cass County Independent Employees Association (CCIEA) took to the podium once again during public comment, asking the board for the same raise in their retirement multiplier that all other county employees have received. Currently, the group’s multiplier rests at 1.5 percent through the Municipal Employees Retirement System (MERS), while, according to Butler, other county employees have received a raise up to 2 percent in previous months. According to Butler, the half-percent difference equates to hundreds of dollars each month in an employee’s retirement paycheck, depending on the ending salary.

“All we know is that MERS fiscal responsibility requirement change on July 1, which makes this our last chance to get the multiplier,” Butler said after the meeting Thursday.
Currently, the group is in a fact-finding period and must wait for a hearing date to complete the fact-finding process.

“We’re not sure what happens after the July 1 date passes, if it passes,” Butler said. “We have to take one step at a time to resolve this.”

Chairwoman Minnie Warren issued a statement about the situation, saying the county is currently still in negotiations with the CCIEA union and have been since October 2011.
“We have gone through the process of mediation, with no resolution,” Warren said in the statement. “We are now in the process of fact-finding, and we all await a fact-finder to be appointed by the state so that the process can continue.”

The county also approved a motion 13-2 to offer the position of interim administrator to Louis Csokasy. Clark Cobb, District 11, and Gordon Bickel, District 5, voted against the motion on the grounds that they would like an itemized fact sheet of the salary and benefits offered with the position before an offer is extended. Terms and conditions will be prepared by the county’s legal counsel for reviewing by the board, Csokasy and the Cass County Road Commission.

The next meeting of the county board is slated for July 5.

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