The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 9, 2013

Staff, union troubled by thought of privatization

(Continued)

Union members packed council chambers to voice their distaste for the council’s consideration of the proposal.

Dale Walter, union representative for WPCF employees, was concerned that the facility would eventually be entirely privatized.

“The accountability is a huge issue with [a third party],” Walter said. “We have a great group of employees down there, a lot over 20 years, who know their job and have been doing their job without a supervisor down there for quite some time.”

Steve Siegel, president of the Southern Iowa Labor Council, AFL-CIO, agreed that the proposal needed to be voted down immediately.

“As far as privatizing the whole place, the only savings would be off employees’ backs,” Siegel said. “You could try to keep wages the same, but over time they would decline. Certainly pension and retirement would be considerably less. Health insurance, vacation, all sorts of benefits would be greatly diminished. You’ve got a system and employees that work. Why risk bringing in another company? Who knows what they’re going to do with it. You would lose control of the facility and the ability to make changes.”

Dick Damm, also a member of the SILC, was in disbelief.

“I can’t believe the city’d even think about taking wages and benefits and throwing them out the door,” Damm said. “I hope to hell this don’t happen here.”

Councilman Bob Meyers said there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that WPCF employees are excellent, “but there are requirements, both federal and state, that have to be met.”

“Why wouldn’t I ask for H.R. Green, the professionals, to at least come up with what would that proposal be, even though I personally think probably hiring a superintendent would be the way to go?” he said.

Councilman Jeremy Weller said the thought of contracting out the entire facility made him uneasy.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0731 OTT Aviation plane -T -M Flying free OTTUMWA — The financial obstacle may have been removed if your career goal starts with learning to fly. "We have it set up for three terms, about nine months," said pilot and chief flight instructor Darren Graham at Indian Hills Community College. "

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supervisors discuss pipeline potential KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisors received preliminary, general information on a new pipeline being proposed to carry oil from North Dakota through Iowa, including Van Buren County, then crossing into Illinois. The proposed Bakken Pipeline wou

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Local business donates grain rescue tube KEOSAUQUA — Stockport Elevator, owned by Roquette America, donated a grain rescue tube to Birmingham and Stockport Fire Departments. A training session was conducted Monday, led by Dale Ekdahl, a representative of Outstate Data, LLC, the device’s man

    July 30, 2014

  • Where do my taxes go? OTTUMWA — Wapello County Board certified its tax levy. But what does that mean? Based on budgets submitted by various levying authors, the Wapello County Auditor prepares and certifies the levy rates for the county. Budgets for each levy are based on

    July 30, 2014

  • OCSD releases elementary supplies list

    OTTUMWA — For years, parents of the students in Ottumwa's elementary schools have had to check to make sure the school supplies list they grabbed was the right one for their school. No more.

    July 30, 2014

  • Reducing runoff at the local level AGENCY — Pollution isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you look out at a field of Iowa corn or soybeans, but there’s growing concern about what manages to get out of the fields and into the water. The same nutrients that benefit the crops c

    July 30, 2014

  • Supervisors wrestle with staffing woes KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisor Chairman Bob Waugh says he wants county supervisors to help alleviate staffing problems within the county treasurer’s office. In May, supervisors opted not to replace a vacancy within the treasurer’s office. Va

    July 30, 2014

  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook