Source: THE ENQUIRER (OH), April 2, 2008
Mason school officials plan to fight an administrative law judge’s recent ruling regarding unfair labor charges filed against the district.
Two years ago, the district contracted for custodial services at the new Mason Early Childhood Center and at an addition to the intermediate school. Doing so is saving about $300,000 annually, said Mike Brannon, assistant superintendent for operations.
The district’s chapter of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees filed unfair labor practice charges, alleging that the district refused to bargain with the union on the matter. The union represents groundskeepers and custodial, maintenance and HVAC workers.
Source: Aaron Marshall, Plain Dealer (OH), Sunday, March 30, 2008
Ohio has spent more than $90 million over the past decade trying to launch a computer system to keep track of tens of thousands of children across the state placed in foster care each year. But Cuyahoga County officials say the system simply does not work, and they refuse to sign on to it, as state officials have ordered them to do by June 23.
…… Other counties are also rebelling. Last week, child welfare agency heads in Cuyahoga and 10 other counties sent a letter to the state saying they won’t be part of the new system until it is successfully rolled out in Hamilton County and the current problems are resolved.
……. But state officials say the system needs to be up and running because the $37.5 million contract given to Dynamics Research Corp. of Andover, Mass., to develop the system is up at the end of this fiscal year – June 30.
Related article from the Plain Dealer: A history of computer problems
Source: Akron Beacon Journal (OH), Saturday, Mar 29, 2008
……… In his annual State of the City address on Feb. 7, Mayor Don Plusquellic proposed selling the city’s sewer system to pay for scholarships for Akron’s public high school graduates to the University of Akron or to trade schools.
……. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a union whose members could lose jobs under concession agreements, says pretty much the same thing. ”Investors will make their money from future users paying higher tolls and fees over the life of the agreements,” the union said in January in an assessment of the Chicago and Indiana deals.
…… The local chapter of AFSCME, which represents Akron’s sewer workers, has said it would fight Plusquellic’s proposal, and other Akron residents have raised concerns.
Source: By Bob Downing, Akron Beacon Journal (OH), Friday, Feb 08, 2008
One national wastewater organization Thursday voiced concern about Akron’s proposal to sell off its sewage system.
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies in Washington, D.C., is firmly opposed to privatizing public utilities, said Susan Bruninga, director of public and legislative affairs.
……..The fear is that the prices paid by consumers for water or sewer will soar because private companies must make enough money to operate the utility plus satisfy their shareholders, Bruninga said.
Source: By Mark Niquette, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH, Tuesday, October 30, 2007 6:23 PM
A state contractor has agreed to paid $300,000 to help defray the estimated $3 million cost related to the theft of a computer-back-up tape containing Social Security numbers and other sensitive information.
Compuware Corp., which worked on the state’s new payroll and accounting system, is making the payment in part in response to the theft from a state intern’s car and for ongoing support of project, according to an Oct. 18 agreement released today.
Source: Associated Press (OH), Nov 21, 2005
COLUMBUS – A consulting firm analyzing the state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation was advised by a bureau lawyer to inflate its hourly fees to get around a law that requires consultants to be reimbursed for expenses at the same rate as state employees, a newspaper reported Sunday. The agency has been overhauling its financial strategy since revelations last spring that it lost more than $300 million in investments, including $13 million in rare coins and $215 million in a hedge fund. Ennis Knupp & Associates has billed the state $1.2 million for its work analyzing and stabilizing the bureau’s investments. The bill included $1,695 for three hours traveling, $470 for two hours copying documents and almost $1,300 for a couple of hours spent reading and writing e-mail messages, according to records analyzed by the Columbus Dispatch.