Libertyville transferring emergency dispatch to Vernon Hills
Dispatchers, who could be without jobs when the Libertyville emergency center shuts down this summer, will receive three to 13 weeks severance pay under terms of an agreement.
The deal was recently ratified by the five members of the telecommunicators union and the Libertyville village board.
A final detail in the pending move, the agreement also calls for the village to pay health and dental insurance premiums for no more than four months after the shut down, which is tentatively scheduled for July 31.
"It just means there's a procedure in place for how their employment will be handled when we consolidate our dispatch services in Vernon Hills," said Libertyville Police Chief Clint Herdegen.
Formal agreements with the Vernon Hills police department and Countryside Fire Protection District to operate the center previously had been finalized, marking the end of the local center.
"There are a lot of details that have to be worked out regarding the change in technology, moving the phone calls from here to there," and related matters, Herdegen added.
Besides severance pay, the agreement outlines other employment issues such as the amount and method of payment for vacation and sick days and procedures such as steps to settle disputes.
Since 2005, the village has considered joining a regional dispatch operation as a cost-saving measure. One possibility was rejected a few years ago and dispatchers and supporters on more than one occasion filled the village board room in what became an emotional issue.
On March 13, the Libertyville village board approved a five-year pact with Vernon Hills police and Countryside in a move expected to save more than $1.2 million in operating and other costs over that time.
One item in the agreement says the union will cooperate with the orderly shutdown and will not interfere or "disparage" the village or support such actions by others.
One dispatcher will get three weeks severance, another six weeks, two will get 10 weeks and a fifth will get 13 weeks and possibly 14 weeks of pay.
The village agreed to provide $500 for job/career counseling and a letter of recommendation. Libertyville said it will work with Vernon Hills to place interested employees there but offers no assurances they will be offered a job.
Four more staffers will be hired for the Vernon Hills Center and Libertyville plans to hire two records clerks. Those actions are in progress.
Equipment and furniture for the expanded center has been ordered and other work is under way.