Bremerton Patriot, June 22, 2012
June 22, 2012 edition of the Bremerton Patriot
PATRIOT BREMERTON FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2012 | Vol. 14, No. 22 WWW.BREMERTONPATRIOT.COM | 50¢ IT’S A WRAP Chief Roy Lusk set to retire after 43 years at CKFR Page 12 Jailers to get raise in pay The hike follows an abitrator’s ruling earlier this month BY KEVAN MOORE KMOORE@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM Contributed photos Heather Gerking and her daughter Jalaya (left) and Brenda Caudill and her daughter Amber have the possibility of a brighter future thanks in part to the GRADS program at Westside Alternative School in Silverdale. The GRADS program assists young mothers and mothers-to-be in planning a better life for themselves and their children. SCHOOL OF LIFE CK program helps young mothers graduate to a bright future BY PATRICK MCDONOUGH PMCDONOUGH@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM For Heather Gerking and Brenda Caudill and their children, the future looks brighter in part due to the GRADS program of the Central Kitsap School District. The young women are part of the program which helps students who are pregnant or parenting to graduate, learn about making a brighter future, taking care of their children and planning for tomorrow. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Health, half of young women who become pregnant in their teens do not graduate high school. The GRADS program, which stands for Graduation, Reality and Dual-Role Skills, assists the young women with school and graduation but also helps in many other ways. The curriculum for classes assists the young women with learning positive self improvement skills, such as practical problem solving, communications and relationship building. The program also assists the young women with their pregnancies and early parenting with education on personal and child wellness, maternal and fetal development, labor and delivery and postnatal care. The program also educates and assists She said the program has shown her with adjusting to parenting, teaches child that she is able to overcome what might care and child development skills and seem like obstacles and taught her skills seeks to assist the young women with she can use through college and the rest other facets of motherhood. of her life. Economic independence is another Caudill said she is on track to gradugoal of the program. The program assists ate early, and the program has helped her with career planning, including options with her primary goal of making a better for higher education, job search skills and life for her daughter and helped her grow assisting with college in many ways planning. “I don’t think of The program offers myself first; I think “Without this program of her first,” she said. a licensed daycare to I probably would have “Without this program help care for the studropped out of high dent’s children while I probably would have the young women work dropped out of high school.” toward graduation. school.” – Brenda Caudill Christie Neill, coorNeill said she feels a dinator and instructor sense of pride in helping for the program, said the young mothers and the program has a strong success rate for enjoys seeing a sense of pride develop in graduation and said of the 15 to 20 young the young women as they become more women enrolled in the program each year successful in planning and achieving betit is rare for a student in the program not ter futures. to graduate. One young woman in the program will Gerking said she has learned a lot in receive the school’s outstanding senior the program and it has made a difference award, she said, and another student who in her outlook for the future. recently received her associate’s degree “I would not be in school right now if I had been accepted into the registereddid not have this program,” she said. nursing program at Olympic College. Gerking said she wants to continue “We are graduating kids,” she said. through college and work in nursing or as “And they are becoming successful. a day-care facilitator. Kitsap County jailers will get a 2 percent raise in July and another 1.2 percent raise in December following an arbitrator’s ruling earlier this month. Preliminary estimates from county officials, prior to the arbitrator’s decision, predicted that the ruling could have cost as much as $1.628 million if the county’s Corrections Guild had been completely successful. As it stands now, though, the budget impact will not be anywhere near that amount. “It’s an approximate amount, but the cost for implementing the wage increases … is about $52,000,” said Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor Jacquelyn Aufderheide. “The cost of implementing the medical and dental changes is approximately $40,000, because that’s retro-active.” Aufderheide said that the cost increases for benefits is being calculated on a caseby-case basis, since each member of the guild has a unique number of dependents and other factors that are not always identical. Budget and Finance Officer Amber D’Amato said the county is still crunching numbers, but will be able to implement the pay increases by the July 1 deadline. “We’re still working on it, but haven’t finalized anything yet,” D’Amato said earlier this week. “We’re still waiting for clarification on some of the language on the way everything will be calculated.” Those questions largely revolve around what is known as “me too” language in employment contracts with sergeants and lieutenants at the jail. “What we call ‘me-too clauses’ require us to maintain spreads between (both the sergeants and lieutenants) and the people they supervise,” Aufderheide said. “But, those calculations are still pretty iffy right now because the contracts with those units are still open in collective bargaining.” Aufderheide said that as a result of the ruling, the “me too” language for the command staffers could possibly come in at an increased cost of $9,000. The ruling was issued by a panel appointed by the Washington Public Employment Commission that was chaired by Oregon resident Howell L. Lankford. While the panel ruled favorably on the new pay increases, it sided with the county in denying any retroactive increases since the guild’s contract expired in 2009. The panel, though, did approve the guild’s comp time cap proposal, increasing it from 60 hours to 80 hours In addition, the panel denied a guild request for longevity pay and more “premium holidays.” The guild also asked for a 50 percent sick leave cash-out, but the panel only awarded 25 percent. Lastly, while the county previously agreed to cover 5 percent of increased medical premiums for 2011 and 2012, the panel said that the county must cover 10 percent of the increased costs. Aufderheide said that the arbitrators recognized the fact that other county employees were hit hard by the recession and took pay freezes, increased furlough days and other concessions. That she said, is a big reason the corrections guild didn’t get retroactive pay raises. “Everoyne has taken a hit,” Aufderheide said.