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      Picketing at Delta County Court House

      The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) picketed outside the Delta County Court House Tuesday. They represent those who work at the court house, jail, service center, and airport in Delta County.

      Due to a lack of renters in the Service Center, Delta County can no longer afford to employ and provide benefits to six of their eight housekeeping and maintenance staff.

      Christine Pepin, President of AFSCME Local 2755 says, "Today we're out here because we feel like it's time that the public be informed, to be a little more diligent about what our elected officials are doing."

      The employees were informed of their layoff by letter and given 14 days notice.

      AFSCME is upset their members are being laid off while the administration staff are annually receiving raises. They are hoping administration and the board will rethink the recent layoffs.

      Anne Kelly, Delta County's former housekeeper of five years, explains how her recent layoff changed her life.

      "It affects me in every single way--the way that I live, the way that I can't pay my bills now. It's just, it's depressing," said Kelly.

      Officials say they are attempting to make this transition as smooth as possible for the six recent layoffs.

      Nora Viau, Director of Administration and Finance for Delta County, says, "Three of the six are eligible for social security and pension benefits. I'm not sure if they're, at this time, going to take those options. The board is also looking at a temporary early retirement window so that several more employees could take advantage of that as well."

      Those picketing are looking for job security, equal opportunity employment, and knowledge of the Delta County tax dollar allocations.

      Pepin exclaims, "We're not calling for anybody's jobs. We don't want any body fired. We just want a fair shake. We want to be respected for the employees we are. We want our contract respected, and somebody needs to hold the board accountable."

      AFSCME presented their concerns to the Delta County Board of Commissioners Tuesday evening.