Law Librarians Included in Settlement Reached in Monroe County Wage Dispute

In an October 19 article, the Pocono Record announced that a state arbitrator ended the year-long wage dispute between Monroe County and Teamsters Local 229. The resulting settlement provides an 11% pay increase for law librarians and other Monroe County court employees.

The salary adjustment affects 79 Monroe County employees. In addition to law librarians, the bargaining unit included court reporters, courthouse administrative assistants, domestic relations investigators and clerical staff, as well as clerical staff for magisterial district judges and the probation office.

Negotiations between the county and Teamsters Local 229 began in November 2005, but the following February the union rejected Monroe County’s offer and requested outside arbitration.

The case was assigned to Philadelphia attorney and Pennsylvania Labor Board member Ralph Colefish.

The 11% salary increase will be distributed over three years. The first raise of 3% will be applied retroactively to January 2006. The next raise of four percent will go into effect at the beginning of 2007, and salaries will be raised an additional four percent in 2008.

The settlement does not affect the 79 employees’ health benefits or annual longevity bonuses, according to Monroe County Commissioners Chairwoman Donna Asure.

Asure is confident that the wage increase will not negatively impact local taxes or next year’s budget.

“We fully expect it to just be part of doing business next year,” Asure said.