Kane County—The Kane County Board voted Tuesday to authorize an agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3966 concerning the 45 Health Department union employees who were laid off Nov. 8, 2010. The agreement includes a monetary payout and an extension of recall rights to three years, up from one year.
“This closes a difficult chapter in the history of the Kane County Health Department,” said Paul Kuehnert, Health Department executive director. “I feel this is a fair settlement for both sides. I look forward to working together with AFSCME, and our staff represented by AFSCME, as we continue to provide the essential services of public health to Kane residents.”
Each of the 45 union employees will receive $500, plus an amount that would have been received for 16 days of work and in short-term sick day accrual benefits had those employees remained actively employed through Nov. 30, 2010. In addition, the affected employees will be eligible to be recalled for employment for up to three years. This is an increase from the one-year recall included in the standard union contract.
The 2010 layoffs were brought about by a reorganization of the Health Department due to declining revenues from state programs administered by Kane County. The reorganization saw the transfer of a set of individual health services, such as mother-baby case management, to the three Federally Qualified Health Centers serving Kane County.
“Despite all the dire predictions about people falling through the cracks, the FQHCs have proved their ability to provide these important services,” Kuehnert stated. “This is a good example of responsible reorganization of local government in partnership with private community agencies, assuring that the Health Department can continue to provide the vital services of protecting and promoting the health of our entire community.”