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Iroquois County Board votes to appeal arbitrator ruling on contract

A $247,000 bill in the lap of Iroquois County is likely to grow even more following the County Board’s vote (Thursday) to appeal an arbitrator’s ruling to pay union 9-1-1 employees.

After months and years of failed contract negotiations between the two sides for a new 3-year contract, an arbitrator ruled in favor of the 9-1-1 dispatchers.

They’ll be paid over $247,000 in back-pay – retroactive wages dating back to 2015. At least six veteran dispatchers are owed in the neighborhood of $30,000.

Unhappy with the result, the County Board added to its expense with a special meeting and now, future court costs to petition the circuit court to take another look.

The Board voted 12-5 following closed session at its special meeting (Thurs) to challenge the arbitrator’s ruling. The County Board attorney, David Hibben, will prepare the petition to ask the court to intervene.

A handful of board members frown at the additional legal costs pending from failed contract negotiations. The 9-1-1 dispatchers unionized after failing to get acceptable wage hikes from the county.

The five votes against pursuing an appeal came from Kevin Bohlmann, Kevin Coughenour, Larry Hasbargen, Sherry Johnson and Vince LaMie.

The appeal is supported by: Charles Alt, Lybe Behrends, Donna Crow, Ernie Curtis, Chad McGinnis, Michael McTaggart, Barb Offill, Dan Pursley, Marvin Stichnoth, Jed Whitlow and Board Chairman John Shure.

94.1 WGFA