Putnam Circuit Clerk employees file pay grievance

By Chris Dickerson | Aug 20, 2015

WINFIELD – Employees of the Putnam Circuit Clerk’s office have filed a grievance with the County Commission, claiming they have been neglected and mistreated financially.

The employees filed the grievance Aug. 3, days after reviewing the minutes from a Putnam County Commission meeting in which employees of the County Clerk’s office were given raises.

“Within the minutes, it states the County Clerk has hired a new full time employee with a starting pay at $11.19 an hour,” the grievance states. “We have experienced employees in the Circuit Clerk’s office who are not making near that amount and have not received raises when other departments have.

“We also have a chief deputy with 35-plus years (of) experience who is not making the same pay as other chief deputies in her position.”

The grievance also states that Circuit Clerk Ronnie Matthews was told July 31 by County Manager Brian Donat that if employees in his office wanted a raise, the commission could do away with their insurance and possibly their one-hour paid lunch.

“We do not believe the County Clerk’s office had to take a cut in benefits when their received their raise,” the grievance states. “Regardless of the threat, we feel this is a justified request. We, as an office, feel that this is discrimination.”

The grievance states that the Circuit Clerk employees are requesting fair and equal relief based on the current pay scale of other clerks.

“We do not fault the other employees for the money they received,” it states. “However, we feel that we are just as entitled to fair wages as well.”

The grievance says the County Clerk’s office had money left in its budget, but that the Circuit Clerk’s office did as well. That money, the grievance states, was relinquished to the county.

“We feel this constitutes unfair wages,” according to the grievance, which is signed by the 11 Circuit Clerk employees, including Chief Deputy Darlene Smith.

Neither Hurricane attorney Shawn Bayliss, who is representing the circuit clerk employees, nor Putnam County attorney Jennifer Scragg Karr returned multiple calls seeking further comment.

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