Daily Archives: Jan. 3, 2011

Brownback announces picks for secretaries of KDHE, SRS

TOPEKA – Gov.-elect Sam Brownback announced his cabinet picks for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the department of Scocial and Rehabilitation Services.

For KDHE, Dr. Robert Moser Jr. is the pick. He is a Greeley County doctor and director of rural health and outreach at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita.

Rob Siedlecki, chief of staff for the Florida Department of Health, is Brownback’s pick for SRS. He worked for four years in the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, which oversees programs including Head Start and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Both picks must be confirmed by the Kansas Senate when it reconvenes next week.

For more, read Tuesday’s Wichita Eagle.

City recommends against wage increase for firefighters

City officials will recommend that the city council reject a proposed .5 percent cost of living raise for firefighters at their Tuesday morning meeting.

The proposed wage increase is the result of a fact-finder’s report that was recently issued after more than a year of negotiation and mediation failed to produce a new contract for 2010. The report suggested the city council either give the firefighters union a half percent raise or promise to keep at least 118 firefighters on duty at all times.

City Manager Robert Layton said a cost of living raise wouldn’t be fair to other employees.

“We don’t think it’s consistent with any of the agreements that we’ve reached with other unions or the compensation we’ve been providing other employees,” he said this morning. “No other employees received a cost of living increase for 2010. We also have contracts in place for 2011 that have no cost of living increases as well.”

But Layton said it’s possible the city and union can negotiate an agreement before Tuesday morning’s meeting. We are “not there yet, but we still have 24 hours to talk through some issues,” he said.

Read more about the contract in Monday’s Eagle.