February 15, 2012



x Mr. Anderson x Mr. Takacs x Chief Lutz
x Mr. Bartlett x Mr. Vest x Mr. Long
x Mr. Brotzman x Mr. Wayman x Mr. Szeman


Minutes of 01/18/12 Regular Session

Motion by: Mr. Brotzman, Seconded by: Mr. Bartlett to approve.
ROLL CALL: All ayes

Bills ($69,177.38) and payroll ($141,948.48) totaling $211,125.86 are motioned for acceptance and payment.

Motion to approve as presented by: Mr. Anderson, Seconded by: Mr. Wayman

Mr. Takacs asked for details on insurances paid. Mr. Long explained that 90% of medical insurance for employees is paid by the District and 10% is deducted from payroll. Payments reflected in bills include both portions in two separate checks – approximate total is $12,500/month to Medical Mutual. Two Humana payments per month for dental, vision and life ($1,500/mo.) reflects the 50/50 split between the District and employees.

ROLL CALL: All ayes

Attorney Mark Schneider, former Ohio State Representative, stated that it has been a pleasure working with Madison Fire District in the past, specifically regarding the curb cut for the new emergency department at Lake Hospitals Madison Campus on North Ridge Road and he offered his continued service for future projects as needed.

Schneider explained that during his term as State Representative, he served on the Commerce and Labor Committee in Columbus which governs, Private Labor Agreements (PLA) and use of public funds on construction projects. He explained in detail the difference between a general PLA and a site specific PLA.

A normal PLA, in general, is a pre-bid collective bargaining agreement between an entity and whoever is delivering the services for a construction project. The purpose is to set up all the terms of the contract, in advance, including, but not limited to, dispute resolutions, completion dates, pay rates and labor sources which will help to eliminate problems down the line like cost over-runs, changes and work stoppages.

PLA agreements specify that any contractor bidding on the project will use building trade or other labor union hiring halls to assign workers for the project. This is preferable because there is an established training system with the building trades and labor unions that is state approved or state certified which guarantees qualified workers. Contractors who hire workers via newspaper ads, temporary agencies, or sub-contractors may not be able to verify a worker’s qualifications to perform the job adequately or have the ability to track proper tax withholdings via payroll.

Another reason PLA’s are recommended is to ensure that all monies spent are accountable. PLA’s establish a system to monitor tax deductions, payroll deductions, benefits, garnishments, unemployment insurance and workers compensation insurance, etc. Without a PLA in place, contractors awarded the bid could hire sub-contractors who issue 1099’s to their employees which may result the loss of local income from payroll deductions.

With respect to normal PLA’s, both union and non-union contractors may bid on projects, but whoever gets the project must hire through an organized hiring hall. The contractor agrees to, for the duration of the contract, bring all workers for all their current projects, through that hiring system. Example: If a contractor is doing a non-union job across the street from an awarded PLA project, they must hire workers from the union/labor hall for both projects for the duration of the PLA. Research by the Commerce and Labor Committee showed that PLA are utilized on a wide spread basis and, in certain circumstances, a majority of PLA contracts were awarded to non-union contractors even in right-to-work states.

Schneider stated that it was his understanding that Madison Fire District is looking into a site specific PLA. The difference between a general PLA and a site specific agreement is that only the workers involved with the PLA project will need to be hired through an agreed upon hiring mechanism. A site specific PLA does not affect the cost of a public project because prevailing wage for all labor is pre-determined putting union and non-union labor on an even basis.

Schneider commented that construction contracting is a very difficult business. Employees come and go as the jobs come and go. Often times on long term projects one loses employees on a daily basis. Should the District choose to specify a local hiring requirement in the agreement, a PLA includes the accountability mechanism to ensure that an agreed upon percentage of the labor force be residents of Madison. Out of town contractors may find it hard to find skilled workers locally to meet the labor requirements.

Ohio entities who use PLA’s: General Motors Key Bank Timken Company
Proctor & Gamble Honda LTD Steel
Parma Hts. Fire Dept. City of Eastlake Berea School District

By general consensus, the key reasons people choose to use PLA’s is because:

1) It ensures that public money is safeguarded and accountable
2) Projects come in at cost and on time
3) Local labor is used
4) Tax money stays in the city
5) It ensures that only trained workers are used

Q. Mr. Bartlett asked if there is a fee for the PLA oversight committee?

A. Mr. Schneider explained that all contractors will be hiring from union halls for all trades and each union enforces the PLA agreement. The union is an organization that represents workers who pay dues for union leaders to negotiate these types of issues and to monitor and enforce all the provisions of the agreement. It is not an additional contract cost. This is a cost paid through the union system that covers training, advocacy, dispute resolution and things of that nature.

Q. Mr. Vest asked how non-union contractors expect to be awarded contract? If the union hall has 500 union people not working, how do non-union workers expect to get hired?

A. Mr. Schneider answered that most general contractors do not necessarily have an army of workers on hand ready to perform work. Contractors traditionally do not hire workers until they are awarded a given project. Once awarded the project, they turn to whatever hiring mechanism is appropriate, which in the case of a PLA, is the union hall or trade union. With respect to a site specific PLA, non-union workers will join the union for the specific term of the contract. The union will then verify their training and qualifications and ensure that they have deductions from payroll for taxes, unemployment, workers compensation and advocacy in dispute resolution for the duration of this one project.

Q. Mr. Takacs asked about Community Workforce Labor Agreements that used to be in place. Does one still have the ability to provide preference to local communities or a select group within the scope of a labor agreement or is that clearly negotiated only between the unions and the contractor?

A. Mr. Schneider stated that the City of Cleveland, which has a much broader population base than Madison, has ordinances in place that requires a specific amount of Cleveland residents to work on projects. Typically, this issue is negotiated on a case by case basis and a percentage of local labor can be specified as part of the agreement.

Mr. Wayman commented that it was his understanding that a goal is set, however, the goal may not necessarily be attainable if qualified local labor is not available.

In conclusion, Mr. Schneider pointed out that although he is not an advocate, he is a proponent of organized labor in the building trades, and that he believes in prevailing wage which is mandated in these kinds of projects and allows people to work in the community, to have a decent wage and to contribute to payroll tax, unemployment and workers compensation. He stated that during his time as state representative, he brought hundreds of both union and non-union jobs to the eastern part of Lake County. In Schneider’s opinion, when talking about jobs, the point is not union vs. non-union, it’s whether or not you’re bringing the jobs to Lake County.

Mr. Takacs thanked Mr. Schneider for his valuable information and for his time.


Chief Lutz reported that the District has hired James Beazel, Paramedic, for the Non-Emergency Transport Program. Mr. Szeman administered the Oath of Office and the board congratulated him and welcomed him aboard.


NEW BUILDINGS: Nothing to report.


Mr. Takacs pointed out Lt. Terry Sopko’s letter in the board folders which addresses the issue of reporting updates on non-compliance inspections when violations have been completed.

A) Resolution #12-024 – State of Ohio Cooperative Purchasing Program
This is a resolution of acceptance and authorizes the Madison Fire District to participate in the Ohio Cooperative Purchasing Program.

Motion by: Mr. Bartlett, Seconded by: Mr. Anderson
ROLL CALL: All ayes

CHIEF’S REPORT – Chief Gene Lutz:

1) Perry Fire Department Award – $500,000 for station alerting equipment that allows employees to turn radios and lights off during night time hours. This equipment turns the radios and lights back on when a call comes in. Eight departments are included in this grant.

2) Mr. Bartlett requested that Chief Lutz share a thank you note from Paula, Nurse Manager for the Emergency Department at Lake Health’s Madison campus. On February 7th, 2012, the ED was simultaneously handling an inordinate number of patients. She reported that Benjamin Erdani (Transfer Crew) and Robert Tassone (C shift) stayed and helped with the busy workload for which she was extremely appreciative.

3) Calls Year-To-Date: 345 Fire & EMS, 174 Transfers

4) Chief Lutz requested an executive session following the regular meeting to discuss land acquisition, personnel/collective bargaining issues.

5) Chief Lutz reported that he, Captain Kloski and several firefighters continue to work on completing the priority list.
Mr. Bartlett commented that, at one point in time, there were 108 action items on the priority list, 70 of which were master plan item. Of the original 37 items, only 1 remains. He thanked Chief Lutz and the firefighters for their diligent efforts. Mr. Takacs thanked Mr. Bartlett for his continued work and maintenance of the priority list


In regards to PLA’s, Mr. Vest commented that House Bill No. 102, currently in the State House, includes proposed modifications to PLA’s. This bill is sponsored, among others, by current Ohio Representative Ron Young. Mr. Vest requested that the board consider having Mr. Young attend a Fire Board meeting and speak on said modifications and his views on PLA’s to assist the board with their decision whether or not to use a PLA for future building projects.

Mr. Szeman reported that the purpose of Chapter 4116 of the Ohio Revised Code was introduced some years ago and its’ purpose was to prohibit PLA’s. The Ohio Supreme Court held that Chapter 4116 could not be enforced because the National Labor Relations Act pre-empted state law and that 4116 prohibits conduct that must be allowed to occur. For this reason, Senate Bill No. 102 was introduced to make necessary changes to existing 4116.

In an effort to fully understand all sides of PLA issue, Mr. Takacs requested that Mr. Vest contact Representative Young and invite him to speak before the board as soon as his schedule permits.

Mr. Szeman and Mr. Takacs requested a sample of a model site specific PLA which Mr. Wayman agreed to supply to the board when available.

Mr. Takacs reminded everyone of the March 21st and April 18th Fire Board meetings @ 7pm.

Motion to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss labor collective bargaining and contract negotiations for land acquisition @ 7:50 pm. Regular business will follow, as needed.

Motion by: Mr. Wayman, Seconded by: Anderson
ROLL CALL: All ayes

Executive Session adjourned and Regular Session re-convened @ 8:30 pm.
Motion by: Mr. Bartlett, Seconded by: Mr. Anderson
ROLL CALL: All ayes

Mr. Szeman presented Resolution 12-023 which authorizes the Fire Chief to make an offer for, and execute on behalf of the Madison Fire District, a real estate purchase agreement for 3.5 acres of undeveloped property located along the westerly side of McMackin Road, for the distribution of funds for the purchase price and incidental expenses, and to perform such actions necessary for contract performance.

Motion by: Mr. Brotzman, Seconded by: Mr. Bartlett
ROLL CALL: All ayes

Regular Session Adjourned @ 8:40 pm.

Motion by: Mr. Brotzman, Seconded by: Mr. Bartlett
ROLL CALL: All ayes