City of Milford employees are back in office a day after resigning over staffing and other issues

Councilor Les Whitney said the strike would be limited to four full-time workers tending city parks and streets.

(City of Milford) The Milford government offices in Beaver County. Maintenance workers are back on duty Wednesday, a day after resigning their positions over a dispute over staffing and other undisclosed matters.

Maintenance workers in the small western Beaver County town of Milford are back on the job Wednesday, a day after they resigned their positions over a dispute over staffing and other undisclosed issues.

The Salt Lake Tribune received a tip late Tuesday that city workers in the city of more than 1,500 people had resigned en masse over a dispute with Mayor Nolan Davis and city council members.

However, Councilor Les Whitney said the reports were inaccurate, adding that the strike was limited to four full-time workers tending city parks and streets.

“There was some misunderstanding, and misunderstanding is the root cause of this whole issue,” Whitney said. “And that’s mostly been resolved, but there are still a few small issues that we’re trying to resolve.”

Contrary to posts on Facebook and other social media, Whitney added, the dispute that led to the resignations was not about pay, but rather about human resources and other issues that he chose not to disclose.

According to a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, the mayor and city council were notified of the resignations Tuesday morning and called an emergency meeting later that same day to “discuss options to maintain the smooth running of our valued city crew members and city operations.”

Whitney said he and the mayor then met with the “city manager and supervisors” on Wednesday to listen to their concerns, adding that those discussions would continue until all issues were resolved. He said the meeting was to clarify the matter and not negotiate with the maintenance workers.

While pay was reportedly not a problem for the disgruntled workers, the press release went into detail about benefits and wage increases.

“The reason we did this is because [people on] Facebook made it a financial problem,” Whitney continued. “We wanted the public to realize that’s the way it is [the pay and benefits] They have.”

In the preliminary budget for fiscal year 2023, which begins July 1, full-time City of Milford employees are to receive a 12% cost of living increase (COLA) to help local government salaries keep pace with inflation, it said in the press release.

According to the press release, other financial incentives in the budget include an hourly salary increase of between $3 and $5 based on performance reviews, to be delivered within the first quarter of the new fiscal year. In addition, the city will continue to pay 100% of health insurance premiums for full-time employees, absorbing a 6.2% increase in health insurance costs. Finally, “crew members” now receive overtime pay for work in excess of 40 hours instead of having to take compensatory days — a system that “no longer benefits the city,” the press release said.

Milford closed its city offices Wednesday and employees didn’t return calls while Davis and Whitney huddled with maintenance workers.

“Once the meeting happened and we got everything settled,” Whitney explained, “they went back to work. So now they are back in action.”

City officials say they have informed city workers that the dispute is officially over and that all must move forward positively.

“Except for a few minor issues, everything is settled now,” Whitney added. “It’s all forgettable.”

Justin Scaccy

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