Alcona commissioners give tentative approval for EMS contract

News Photo by Jason Ogden Left to right, Commissioner Carolyn Brummund, Commissioner Adam Brege and Chairman Craig Johnston discuss the new emergency medical services union contract during Wednesday’s Alcona County Board of Commissioners meeting.

HARRISVILLE — The Alcona County Board of Commissioners approved a tentative agreement for a three-year contract with the county’s emergency medical service workers.

The contract was discussed Monday during a meeting. Chairman Craig Johnston asked board members to approve the contract so it could be sent back to the union for review and approval.

He said some of the contract work had been done in October.

“We all know the changes. I would be willing to entertain a motion that we approve this thing,” Johnston said. “What the personnel committee has done is we recommend that the board gives a vote to the affirmative to the tentative agreement.”

Commissioner Carolyn Brummund asked whether the approval should be given because approval by the board would make the contract a public document.

Johnston said he did not think it made a difference.

“We have to agree to the tentative agreement,” he said. “I don’t mind if it’s public, it doesn’t matter to me.”

Brummund suggested the board go into closed session to further discuss the contract.

“We could come out of closed session just with perhaps a motion that would say ‘Direct the personnel committee to continue to go forward with the contact,'” she said.

Brummund’s rationale was that the tentative contract could remain not a public document.

Johnston said that it would give a vote of confidence to the union that the board supported the changes and prompt their side to approve the contract, so it ultimately could be approved by the county.

“Does anyone need a closed session to discuss the union contract?” Johnston said.

Commissioner Adam Brege cast a motion to approve the tentative contract. He was seconded by Commissioner Gary Wnuk. The motion passed unanimously.

“We will present that to them and they will schedule a ratification meeting and give it back to us as an approved contract,” Johnston said. “It was (the personnel committee’s) desire that they get as much information about it as they can before it was given back.”

Jason Ogden can be reached via email at jogden@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Jason on Twitter @jo_alpenanews.