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|Knox Employees Picket Before County Board Meets
|Over a hundred Knox County employees picketed outside the courthouse Wednesday night to demonstrate their displeasure in the county board's collective bargaining efforts.
Union workers are working off an existing contract that expired in November. The county board has refused to participate in contract talks and have hired a professional more familiar with the process to negotiate.
And county employees haven't been too satisfied with the proposals brought forward thus far, one of those is the nursing home's Kylie Knuth.
"They're wanting to take everything away from us, all of our benefits," Knuth said. "And us, as workers, we work for that. It hasn't just been the past couple years. It's been forever, and it's not fair."
Board Chairman Greg Bacon says he's listening to the unions' demands. He tells WGIL there's $1 million in unused benefits on the books, and that's just too much.
"We're just working on the carryover, that's all we're doing is working on it," Bacon said. "We're giving the same raise we're giving everyone else, and when they settle the contract they'll get their raise. And we're not trying to bust them."
"We're just trying to get them to slow down, to use the benefits they've got, and agree not to carry over so much."
The proposed raise of 2.5% has already been agreed upon by the board.
Bacon says he's confident a compromise will be reached, but isn't sure when.
(One of the many signs held by picketers Wednesday night as the unions rallied together on the front lawn of the Knox County Courthouse; WGIL Photo and News Story by Kyle Schassburger).
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