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Napa Contract Left In Committee Again, Concerns Over Non-Union Employees


Several Springfield Aldermen raised concerns about laying off three non-union employees if an agreement with NAPA Auto Parts goes through.

The ordinance failed to move during Tuesday night’s committee of the whole meeting. Under the proposal, NAPA would be the city's primary auto parts supplier. The more than three million dollar agreement with Napa would last for three years and would operate in a single city maintenance garage. While considered a way to save money, Ward 1 Alderman Frank Edwards says he feels uncomfortable letting go employees who’ve been with the city for decades.

“And I understand the saving of it, and I’m for that.  I just think that we have to treat our—if we want the moral of our employees to be good, and we all talk about we want the best, we want good people to show up. If this is the way we treat people at the end of their career, I think we’re in a lot of trouble,” Edwards said.

   The three non-union workers, some who’ve worked for the city for over 20 years, are slated to lose their jobs if the change occurs.  

Mayor Mike Houston says those employees can apply for another city job.

“We have positions within city government.  If people are going to be displaced, they certainly have the opportunity to apply for those positions.  I would not anticipate that we are going to create positions for people,” Houston said.

   Houston says he expects the plan will eventually be approved.

Lee Strubinger completed the University of Illinois Springfield's Public Affairs Reporting graduate program and is currently in Colorado.
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