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Commissioners approve nearly $500,000 savings in interim wage or benefit reductions

By ThisIsReno

SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE

Washoe County Commissioners took further action today to meet the $33.8 million deficit they must address in the 2011-12 fiscal year by approving interim wage reductions or health benefit program cost sharing for all confidential and non-represented employees. The total savings expected from the three identified employee groups is $489,835—nearly half a million dollars.

The three employee groups affected by today’s actions are the confidential employee group (wage reduction of 3.34%), non-represented attorneys with a health benefit program cost share equal to $162.36 per pay period and chief investigator (out of the District Attorney’s Office) with a health benefit program cost share equal to $174.70 per pay period. Each impact will be effective July 4, 2011. In addition, compensation for elected officials such as the district attorney and sheriff were voluntarily reduced through extending health benefit contributions that began in 2010-11.

The recommendations for salary and benefit concessions for the non-represented employees including confidential employees are the same as the applicable provisions in the proposed collective bargaining agreement with the Washoe County Employees Association Supervisory Unit. The Board of County Commissioners has in the past adopted the same salary and benefits for this group of non-represented employees as those contained in the collective bargaining agreement with the WCEA. The recommendations for health benefit program cost sharing for the non-represented attorneys are the same as those for the represented attorneys. Similarly, the health benefit program costs share for the chief investigator is the same as for investigators.

The wage or benefit concessions today are interim until final labor agreements can be reached with Washoe County’s nine employee associations which are currently being negotiated. Commissioners approved concessions for themselves as well as management (including the county manager and assistant county managers) and unclassified management last month. Overall, each employee group will be asked to concede to approximately 7 percent on-going wage and/or benefit concessions.

The board also took the following actions at its meeting today:

Proclaimed July 2011 as Recreation and Parks Month joining the National Recreation and Park Association. The national association encourages recreation facilities and parks across the country to kick off summer programs, promote outdoor physical recreation and pull together volunteers to make their outdoor space a thriving center of community activity.

Accepted donation to Volunteer Program. The board gratefully accepted a $500 donation from Washoe County Commissioner Bob Larkin to fund the county’s volunteer program which identifies, promotes and recruits for volunteer opportunities in the county. The program is a partnership between Human Resources and Community Relations and is headed by a volunteer coordinator who is a volunteer herself. The county will be kicking off its inaugural event to recruit volunteers for two new programs: Sleep Safe Baby Campaign volunteers (for Social Services) and Companionship volunteers (for Public Guardian). The county’s volunteer program was established with no funding, so today’s donation is greatly appreciated and more private funding will be pursued for this effort. Donated funds will be used for such things as offsetting the cost of printing informational materials, providing volunteers with tools to do their work and recognizing volunteers.

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