Letters: Show support for HLC employees
Show support for HLC employees Several years ago, Heritage Living Center was put under the control of a board of directors, separate from the county commissioners. Kurt Hansen, administrator, stated in his letter to the editor April 22, "I wish t...
Show support for HLC employees
Several years ago, Heritage Living Center was put under the control of a board of directors, separate from the county commissioners.
Kurt Hansen, administrator, stated in his letter to the editor April 22, "I wish to remind the taxpayers of Hubbard County that the Heritage campus is a not-for-profit enterprise fund of the county and is treated as a separate business entity. We do not receive subsidy from the county taxpayer."
Consequently, the Center employees, even though county employees, function under rules different from other county employees.
About two years ago, the Center employees were given a choice - take a cut in pay or benefits or we'll close the Center. They took the cut. Now, they want a catch-up raise. Mr. Hansen and the board have taken a stand of no funds. The employees have countered to strike if a satisfactory settlement isn't reached very soon.
In retaliation, the board and Mr. Hansen threaten by putting an ad in the classified section of the Enterprise April 19 and 22 seeking temporary help to fill 40 or 50 positions due to a potential labor dispute. Does this seem ludicrous?
Hypothetically, would you want your loved ones looked after by a whole new crew, completely unfamiliar with their surroundings and responsibilities?
If equity is the issue, the Center employees should receive cost-of-living adjustments and benefits equal to other county employees and the customary annual salary increases of the commissioners and probably department heads and managers.
County employees, with the exception of Center employees, are paid with tax dollars. In my opinion, a salary and benefit catch-up package for 50 Center employees would have very little impact on our taxes. The commissioners have the authority to do this.
All of us are potential residents of the Center who would expect satisfied, happy and competent people looking after us.
Contact your commissioners to voice your opinion. Also, contact your state representative and urge them to support increasing the state's contribution to county-owned centers.