|By William Laney, The Lima News, Ohio|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
One city elected official openly voices his objection to that line of thinking, favoring the advancement of employees who deserve a promotion. The city councilors along with two others also object to using temporary employment services in favor of hiring full-time employees.
Lima Finance Director
"This process saves the city money and there is a benefit there for the city," Cleaves said. "The savings are generally split depending on the terms of the employee being rehired with part of the savings attributed to reducing the costs to the city in health insurance and other benefits and the other part is the money to the rehire. The person being rehired typically is hired in at a lower salary."
Cleaves said municipalities and schools have different retire-rehire policies, but typically the government entity receives a 10 percent savings or more in salary.
He also defended using temporary employment services where the city rehires the retired employee through a temporary agency and no longer has to pay the health insurance.
"If we run off all these temporary employees, then the work they are doing doesn't get done, which you can't really do because they are doing essential jobs and if you bring someone in to work those jobs through Civil Service then they are going to be full-time and if they are not full-time they are still going to get benefits," Cleaves said. "The cost increase would be unacceptable. We would have to learn to do with less because we just couldn't afford to replace those people with regular employees."
Bartels confirmed if a city employee retires and is rehired in the same position then the savings is only through salary, about 5 percent, and they still must pay health insurance. He said the city only rehired four people as city employees who had retired.
He said the city realizes additional savings when it rehires former employees through the temporary employment agency, even if they pay more on a per-hour basis, because of the additional reduction in health care benefits, which can cost between
"I want to see individuals be able to climb the ladder of success and I don't think it is fair that if you have done the job and retired that you would take that slot from someone else," Lowe said. "It leaves no room for advancement and we want individuals to be put into that position. At the same time, we need to be training the qualified people to be ready for the responsibilities of that position."
Most city employees give ample notice before they retire so adequate training can be arranged, Lowe said.
Lowe, who chairs
The key to righting city policy rests with support.
"If the union does not stand up for its people then why is there a union," Lowe said. "They need to come to the meetings, they need to speak up. The union reps need to attend the meetings and have their voices heard. If I am standing there and fighting for what is right and I turn around and there is nothing but a shadow, it is not right because it is more difficult for me to get things changed."