County approves collective bargaining agreement

Susquehanna County Commissioners recognized May 6-12 as Nurses’ Week with proclamations issued to Barnes-Kasson, Endless Mountains Health Systems and NEPA Community Health Care. From left: Commissioner Alan Hall, NEPA Community Health Care’s Allison Bunnell and Mary Wetherall, Commissioners Elizabeth Arnold and Judy Herschel. STAFF PHOTO/STACI WILSON

In addition to issuing a number of proclamations, the county commissioners acted, at the Wednesday, April 28, meeting, to approve a collective bargaining agreement and change orders for the new public safety center and address several personnel matters.

First the salary board – comprised of the three commissioners and county treasurer, gave their nod to the collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Local 229, covering the Court Appointed Bargaining Unit.

The three-year agreement is retroactive to Jan. 1 and is in effect until Dec. 31, 2024.

Change orders, in the amount of $209,670.01, for the public safety building were approved and will be paid using Act 13 funds.

The commissioners also approved the purchase of a walk-in storage cooler for the county coroner’s department, which will be housed at the public safety center. Cost of the cooler is $10,154.90.

Commissioner Alan Hall said a purchase of a cooler had been approved by the county about six months ago, but the county canceled the agreement with that company when they could not deliver the item.

In personnel, the commissioners approved the termination of Elizabeth Janoski from the position of Director of Planning, effective April 30.

The hiring of Tiersten Newhart as a County Detective, effective April 29, by District Attorney Marion O’Malley was also acknowledge by the commissioners. The salary board, including DA O’Malley, voted to change the starting rate of the detective position to $35,000 per year.

Newhart previously worked as a deputy sheriff but resigned from that post on April 5.

The commissioners approved entering into an agreement between the commissioners, the county auditors and Briechle Law Offices for legal services at a cost of $185 per hour, plus reimbursable expenses, effective March 1. Hall abstained from the motion, saying he was involved in another related legal matter.

Jan Rosenkrans was appointed to serve as an additional Open Records Officer for the county, effective May 1.

Other agenda items approved by the commissioners included:

*entering a service agreement with Jennifer Yarnell, MCAT, PhD, licenese psychologist for child and welfare services, effective July 1, 2019-June 30, 2022;

*agreement with Lackawanna – Susquehanna BH/ID/EI for early intervention, data collection and physical therapy services, effective July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021;

*contract with PEMA for implementation, monitoring and upgrading of the NG911 system, provided at no additional cost to the county, effective April 28 – dec.6, 2027;

*agreement with Lackawanna – Susquehanna BH/ID/EI  and Wilkes-Barre Behavioral Health Company for crisis residential services, effective July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.

The following proclamations were approved:

*May as ALS Awareness Month;

*May 6-12 as Nurses’ Week for Barnes-Kasson Hospital, Endless Mountains Health Systems; and NEPA Community Health Care;

*May 2-8 as National Correctional Officers and Employees Week;

*May as Mental Health Awareness Month;

*May as Older Americans Awareness Month;

*May as VHL Awareness Month;

*May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

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