GOP commissioner backs AFSCME grievance

Local 1398 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees delivered a formal grievance Wednesday to the three Luzerne (PA) County commissioners. In the document, the union claims the last reassessment agreement, signed March 30, requires five employees of the county assessment office to work at 21st Century Appraisals.

Temporary, non-union workers have been used to fill in at the assessment office. The arrangement violates the union's collective bargaining agreement, the union claims. "Our union members were hired to work for Luzerne County, and not anyone else," said Paula Schnelly, president of the union. "We just want them back where they belong.

The commissioners must respond within five days, Schnelly said, and the two sides will attempt to reach a compromise. "I think (the complaint) is valid," said Republican commissioner Stephen A. Urban. "I don't know any precedent where the county can put county employees under the management of a private contractor."

The Democratic majority commissioners and other county officials could not be reached for comment Friday evening.


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