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Children Services workers on strike answer questions
BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (Brad Underwood) -- The back-and-forth finger pointing kept going in Hamilton as social workers remained on strike in Butler County.
More than 40 children services workers on strike held a town hall meeting Sunday afternoon and answered questions. There were about a hundred people inside for the meeting that lasted for a couple of hours.
Just before the speeches began in Fairfield, Butler County Administrator Charles Young announced the issuing of a cease and desist order against the union members who were on strike, asking them to stop making false claims and harassing children services employees who were not on strike.
"Non-striking employees have been threatened by striking employees verbally and through text messages," said Young.
During the union rally, several members spoke about what they called a lack of respect being shown by management and the county. There were more than 40 striking union members in attendance. According to the county there were 128 union members and now 55 of them are on strike. Sunday afternoon, Union President Rebecca Palmer adjusted that number to 54, citing a resignation of one striking union member this weekend.
The union officially went on strike August 18th 2014, at 12a.m. after a contract deal wasn't reached. At the heart of the disagreement was money, compensation for the work being done. Sunday, several union members said the strike was about more than just money.
"We simply don't have enough resource to help these families recover," said social worker Marlena Smith.
Since the strike began seven full-time hires have started work with children services and four more are expected to start Monday, August 25. The county said that will put staffing back to what it was before the strike.
Much of the help was from other agencies around the county and state. There were no representatives from Butler County at the meeting. The union said it extended an invitation; however, county officials said no such invitation was received.
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