VILAS COUNTY - Living without good technology can be difficult. Especially when you're trying to manage and keep very important records.
That's why the Vilas County Sheriff's Department made more than $52,000 in upgrades. The new server houses more than 99% of the Sheriff's Office's records. After 5 years, the old server needed to go.
"After that it starts costing you in maintenance. So it was time for us to upgrade., and in order for us to move forward with the new enhancements of Spillman 6.2, we needed to upgrade our software and our hardware," says Chris Kamps, Systems Administrator.
The server is also used by EMS, fire departments, and the county jail. The hardest part was the time it took to install and transfer old data. But once it was done, the department started seeing the benefits.
"...All the enhancements that it's going to give us. There is some learning curves. We'll go through the training and I'm really excited," said Camps.
Implementing the new server is still in its beginning stages. But the department already created two new jobs to work with the new system.
Public employee union suing city over collective bargaining agreement
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander employee union believes the city illegally rejected their collective bargaining agreement,now they’re suing the city.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1226 represents City of Rhinelander workers from public works, wastewater, parks, water and golf course employees. They filed suit against the city on Dec. 4, 2013.
The union says they reached a tentative agreement for a new collective bargaining agreement in early December 2012. But according court documents, the union claims the city council illegally rejected the agreement and didn’t tell the union about it.
Aaron Halstead, from Madison-based firm Hawks Quindel, S.C., has been a labor lawyer for more than 20 years and says he has never seen a municipality do something like this before.
"I've never had any municipality do what the city did here which is to reject an agreement with the union, despite the fact that they had an agreement on all of the terms," Halstead said.
The union believes the city is violating Wisconsin Municipal Employment Relations Act. In 2012, city workers asked for a one percent wage increase starting January 1,2013.
Halstead said the city and union agreed to that increase in their tentative agreement. According to the group's complaint, the city council rejected the tentative collective bargaining agreement, but passed the one percent wage increase as a resolution.
But the union claims the collective bargaining agreement wasn’t renewed. Instead the group says the city passed a resolution putting the terms into a personnel manual.
"Under the city's mindset, there could never be a collective bargaining agreement between the union and the city because no matter what it is the city would just say our preference is to have no agreement," Halstead said.
The complaint also claims that the city reduced the wages of newly hired people by $4 an hour. They say this violates the terms of the parties' tentative agreement. Halstead says they still haven't received an explanation.
"The city contends that it doesn't have to, but it has never provided a satisfactory answer as to what it is that is objectionable about the agreement that was reached," Halstead said.
The city council discussed their action Monday night in a closed session meeting at city hall in Rhinelander. They’ll have three weeks to respond to the complaint.
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