Butler County union’s raises will be erased if levy fails

A new union contract for Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities employees has a clause that allows a two percent raise to be erased if voters don’t approve a tax levy next year. Board of DD Superintendent Lisa Guliano said passing the levy is critical for employees to receive those raises. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Combined ShapeCaption
A new union contract for Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities employees has a clause that allows a two percent raise to be erased if voters don’t approve a tax levy next year. Board of DD Superintendent Lisa Guliano said passing the levy is critical for employees to receive those raises. STAFF FILE PHOTO

A new union contract for Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities employees has a clause that allows a two percent raise to be erased if voters don’t approve a tax levy next year.

The contract for 25 developmental specialists runs through 2020 and provides for two percent raises, based on performance.

But Board of DD Superintendent Lisa Guliano said passing the levy is critical for employees to receive those raises.

RELATED: Developmental Disabilities board discusses new levy in budget talks

“We have language in the contract that talks about financial stability because of the fact if we don’t pass the levy, we can’t guarantee that they’ll get two percent for each year of the contract,” Guliano said.

The Board of DD has not been on the Butler County ballot for 14 years, and the levy covers 75 percent of the $27.6 million revenue budget.

The plan is to ask voters to approve a levy in November 2018, and Guliano said more information is needed before deciding whether to ask for additional dollars or a renewal.

Revenues for next year are projected at $28.5 million, which represents a 1.7 percent reduction. Due to pressures from changes in Medicaid local match dollars for waivers, they have had to institute cuts and other changes to make-do.

The new union contract also has a provision that says the board can provide additional increases if it so chooses. Guliano said her agency has not instituted the Butler County commissioners’ performance pay program.

MORE: New Butler County pay plan gets salaries ‘right-sized’

“That is something we hope to look at in the future, but right now we’re being very conservative,” she said. “We do have the two percent that they get, it is also based on merit like the commissioners’ employees for all of the staff here, not just the union employees, but all of us are on the two percent merit-based system for 2018 but we have not been able to adopt anything additional.”

About the Author