County laying off up to five

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Blair County may furlough as many as five employees after bumping options are exhausted, county human resources director Katherine Swigart said Monday.

Job changes are being phased in, starting this week, for Valley View Home employees who want to bump into other county jobs, rather than work for Valley View’s new owner. As of June 1, Reliant Valley View Limited Liability Corp. purchased the home from the county and assigned Reliant Senior Care of Philadelphia to operate the facility.

In a review of the job changes and pending job changes, Swigart told the county salary board Monday that four Valley View employees are scheduled to bump into county jobs held by one welder, two first-shift custodians and a third-shift custodian.

But the two first-shift custodians who will be bumped, Swigart said, might be able to bump into second-shift custodial jobs, which in turn would bump two other custodians with lesser seniority. That scenario, she said, is dependent on an informational request the county is preparing for Service Employees International Union.

Chief Clerk Helen Schmitt recommended the salary board address the process in a way that would account for the job changes and applicable salaries in the county records.

Swigart said the employees’ pay will not change because of the bumping. But until the informational request issue is resolved, some of the bumping remains subject to change, she said.

Commissioners, who are part of the salary board, showed interest in establishing a list of furloughed employees, based on seniority, who would be called back to work if and when positions open.

Swigart said she would be compiling the list and expects it to initially have five names, depending on what happens with the pending informational request and any other changes that surfaces.

Since the Valley View sale and the option to bump surfaced, Swigart said the number of employees involved has changed several times. Some of the employees who initially indicated an interest in bumping decided against the option for reasons such as shift changes and tasks associated with a different job, she said.