The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

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
Ottumwa
  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urbandale comes back to beat Ottumwa Midwest BOONE — Ottumwa Midwest led by seven runs in the fourth inning, but Urbandale National put together a furious comeback to steal the victory, 12-11, on Friday at the 9-10 Year Old Little League State Baseball Tournament. The top of the first saw Ottum

    July 25, 2014

  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National