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Published: July 14, 2014 print this article Print save this article Save email this article Email ENLARGE TEXT increase font decrease font

Union under attack

Regarding “Age discrimination suit filed” (July 1, page 8) about the age discrimination complaint filed by Children and Youth Services caseworker Lauri Kubli, some readers might wonder why Butler County is targeting older employees. The simple answer is: power and control.
A couple of years go, the county got rid of the civil service requirement for current and new employees. Thus, it now has more control over who is hired and fired.
County government no longer has to hire first from within or from the civil service list.
The county’s next objective, I believe, is to dissolve the union. This would give county elected offivials even more power to fire the people they don’t like.
Older people are usually pro-union, while the younger workers have no experience working under a union and would likely vote against it.
Kubli is a union representative and I believe that is why the county wanted her out of there.
I worked for the county for 17 1/2 years and I saw a definite decline in workers’ morale over the years. I have heard employees, mostly union members, complain about a hostile work environment. I had no disciplinary actions taken against me for 17 years, then the harassment started. I decided to retire instead of working in that environment.
There is blatant nepotism. Relatives and friends of county employees have been hired even when they did not qualify for the job. Positions have been created for friends and relatives. Certain “select” employees’ titles have been changed so that they get more pay.
These are all, of course, non-union, managerial jobs.
And some salaries are outrageous. For the average workers, salaries are inconsistent. A person working there for 35 years sometimes makes less than someone newly hired.
There have been other age-discrimination and harassment cases brought against the county in the past few years. Also, some firings. All of these workers were older, so there is definitely age discrimination going on in county government.
One worker was consistently harassed over mental health issues. That person had a doctor’s release to return to work, but was harassed until they decided to retire.
County Commissioner Jim Eckstein knows all of this is going on — and he has said so many times. But the other two commissioners just out-vote him. They have no empathy for others. They just want power and control
I have seen this decline over the past few years and it’s a shame because the county government center used to be great place to work.




Betty Snodgrass
Slippery Rock
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