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Circuit court clerk reaches pact with employees’ union

WAUKEGAN – Lake County Circuit Court Clerk Erin Cartwright Weinstein finalized the first union contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, according to a news release.

Employees of the Circuit Clerk’s Office voted to certify the union in July 2015. The previous administration refused to negotiate with the union, costing Lake County substantial funds fighting the ratification.

Cartwright Weinstein, immediately after taking office, commenced negotiations with AFSCME. On Nov. 26, the union employees voted to ratify the contract between the Circuit Clerk and AFSCME.

“I am pleased that my staff will be making comparable wages to other departments in Lake County,” Cartwright Weinstein said in a news release. “It has been difficult to keep staff, and as the official record keeper for the 19th Judicial Circuit Court, we have a huge responsibility to the people of Lake County. We need dedicated employees in our office, and to have dedicated employees, you must make sure that they are being treated fairly and respectfully.”

The contract provides pay increases for all employees, which brings them up to a living wage, and an incentive program to encourage employees to gain knowledge of other responsibilities within the office.

“Prior to this contract, some of the employees were working two or three jobs and receiving food stamps,” Cartwright Weinstein said in the release. “The fact that we could make their lives better by paying them a living wage while continuing to be fiscally responsible to the Lake County taxpayers brings me great joy.”

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