UPDATE: 11:49 AM
Louis Giavasis has contacted the SCPR to make a new point about the closeness of his salary to Jodi German's notwithstanding the fact that she is some 20 years senior in service to him at the Stark County clerk of courts.
Giavasis says that he receives $2,600 extra a year in compensation because he does not participate in the county health care system.
Such, in Giavasis' assessment, makes the disparity between his pay and German's more like $3,600 that the "on-the-face-of-it" $1,000.
As the SCPR always does, this Giavasis input is published for the consideration of the readers of The Report.
The Report does not agree with Giavasis' take on the significance of this additional payment.
It is to be pointed out that he receives health care coverage through his employment as a Plain Township trustee.
From a total taxpayer perspective (Stark County and Plain Township taxpayers), it seems to The Report that Giavasis with the "extra" county-paid $2,600 for not getting benefits that "in reality" he gets elsewhere from taxpayers has an advantage that maybe nobody else in Stark County government receives.
So as The Report sees it, Giavasis should not be perceived as suffering a deprivation (no county health care benefits) that is not made up for by another group of Stark County taxpayers.
Commissioner Richard Regula
Stark Co. Board of Elections
The Stark County Political Report began a new series two Mondays ago with Volume 1 with an examination of "the commissioners office," "the Stark County treasury" and "the recorder's office." Last week in Volume 2 the perusal was of the county auditor's and prosecutor's office.
SCPR Note: After last week's blog, Auditor Harold came looking for me on Tuesday as The Report was attending a Stark County commissioners' work session:
- Harold screamed out how upset he was with last Monday's blog. "It, he said, makes us (apparently referring to blogs in general to date on the gender question) look like a bunch of sexists."
- The Report's response:
- Of course, as readers know, the SCPR's focus was "on the numbers."
- "The numbers do not tell the full story," he said and then without outright calling me a liar, recited a version of the adage: "figures to not lie, but liars figure."
- The Report's response?
- "Submit your version of the matter, and, I promise I will publish each and every word of it."
- To date, not a word!
- However, the SCPR on The Report's initative did supplement that blog to include a denial of knowing a certain employee who was alleged by an SCPR reader as being a Harold favorite.
Moreover, the SCPR thinks well of Louis Giavasis (who comes in for some criticism in today blog). Giavasis without a doubt is Stark County's best township trustee (Plain Township)
But as readers of The Report know, when it comes to the SCPR telling it like The Report sees it, whether there is a like, dislike or "not feeling one way or another" about a given Stark County political subdivision official does not enter into The Report's analysis.
The SCPR wears attacks like Harold's as a "badge of honor."
Today, The Report takes a look at the Stark County clerk of courts and the sheriff's department of local government.
The prompt for engaging this series was an article which appeared in the Dayton Daily News on April 19th wherein "the average pay gap between men and women in the offices of four of Ohio’s five elected statewide officials has grown as high as nearly $10 an hour, while across state government the gap has shrunk to an average of 86 cents an hour ... ."
The Report has received plaudits from female county workers for having delved into this examination.
Also part of The Report's analysis along the way is whether or not the elected office holders are engaging in what appears to be patently political (male or female) employment practices.
But the primary focus is on the gender factor.
A primary document to be familiar with for anyone who cares whether or not American women are treated equally in the job market is in the Equal Pay Act of 1963. However, the fight for fairness for more than half the American population continues inasmuch as the fact of the matter is that the 1963 act has not resulted in pay equity for women.
Still, in 2014, on average, women are paid 79 cents for every dollar that men are paid in the American workplace.
Of course, the law is one thing.
The underlying facts of the rampant discrimination and hardship that American women from the early 1600s on have had to endure and thereby necessitating the 1963 law is something that we all should familiarize ourselves with.
The SCPR just completed reading Gail Collins' America's Women and recommends that readers of this blog series take time to read.
For anyone who thinks that our great nation has overcome this blight, needs to think again.
In 2009, population demographics showed that women outnumbered men 158.6 million to 151.4 million. And there is no reason that the tilt to a distinct majority women is not growing.
One danger in citing national statistics is that you, I and our neighbors might think that here in "good ole Stark County" there is very little if any gender employment discrimination going on.
Already, the SCPR believes that this blog's series is showing that the fact of the matter is that there are pockets of real and substantial differences in how men are paid depending on what department of Stark County government one is looking at.
Of course, the only place that information is readily available to assess is in government. There is no right to obtain data from the "private sector" as to what the pay scales are between males/females as there is in the public sector. Accordingly, we have no choice but to rely on national statistical studies to get a feel for what is going on locally among privately owned entities. And there is no reason to believe that the Stark County private sector varies significantly from the national scene.
Today, first turning to the Stark County clerk of courts.
The Report's assessment of how well Clerk Nancy Reinbold is doing on the equity front is "so-so."
As can be seen from data (as of April 18th) as obtained from the Stark County auditor's office, in terms of opportunity, it "seems" that it is abundant for Stark's women.
Nearly all of the department's employees are women.
So, terrific, no?
The predominance of women may and the SCPR thinks likely means that men are not interested in the relatively low paying jobs that women hold en masse within the clerks' office.
Perhaps more disturbing is the obvious statistical fact that of the top five (5) jobs; four (4) of them are held by men.
While a woman has the top paying job, even this fact should be of little comfort to those of us who are looking for pay fairness.
The two division heads, Jodi German (legal) and Louis Giavasis (title) are paid nearly the same. Giavasis says the only reason German is paid even about $1,000 more than him is because she has been put in charge of implementing a new "e-file" program for the Stark County Courts of Common Pleas.
Impressive in terms of "equal pay," no?
German has been working at the clerk's office since 1987 whereas Louis Giavasis (brother of Reinbold's immediate predecessor Phil Giavasis) has only been with the department since 2008.
By Ohio law, Louis is not allowed to work for Phil. But once Phil is gone, who appears?
And that's not all.
Had he wanted it and if they (the Giavasis brothers) were willing "to take the political heat" (i.e. the adverse media publicity that surely would have followed) if the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee (SCDP-CC) had been prevailed upon to appoint Louis, The Report thinks it is probable that Louis could have had the job and Nancy Reinbold would have finished out her clerk of courts career as the chief deputy clerk of courts.
Louis in a conversation tried to promote to the SCPR the German factor vis-a-vis himself as being proof that Reinbold is committed to equal pay for equal work/qualifications. She may be. But this is hardly an incident of proof of such a commitment.
The Report's question to Giavasis?
Tell me Louis, if you were the one who had worked in the clerk's office since 1987 (more than 20 years senior to the person who had a parallel job title), do you think that you would be paid the same? Do you think that seniority should count for nothing?
Giavasis said "Oh, but when German got promoted to division head" (when Reinbold got the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee appointment when Louis' brother Phil decided to run for the higher paying Canton Municipal Court clerk's job in 2007) "she got a $14,000/$15,000 pay increase."
That in Louis' mind made everything copacetic in terms of pay equity. Never mind that German was trapped for years in low paid women's work before breaking through the "glass ceiling" that appears to have been in place at the clerk's office long before Nancy Reinbold took over.
Undoubtedly, Reinbold was one of the top paid employees while Louis' brother Phil was in charge, but like German, it is likely that she was one of the few if not the only woman in the top five.
Another category to look at is the part-time category.
Who has the top part-time pay rate among the clerk of courts office employees?
Louis fellow trustee in Plain Township, one Al Leno.
And get this.
He is paid $14.71 per hour whereas "Alexis" Clapper (who has more seniority) is paid $8.16 per hour.
Louis Giavasis had an answer for this one, too.
He claims that Clapper is not a county employee but one that the department hires from a "temporary" employment agency.
And Auditor Alan Harold has her listed as being a county employee.
The Report will check with Harold today and amend this blog, but I am saying it now that "I don't think so."
Louis is not making that "spin" for the other lesser paid part-timers (e.g. Heather Lutton at $9.07 hourly).
And Heather Lutton outranks Leno in terms of seniority even more than Clapper.
What should distress the female employees of the clerk's office is that Louis Giavasis is highly likely to replace Reinbold when she finally decides to retire which the SCPR thinks will sooner rather than later.
Given his justifications of "what is," it appears to The Report that he thinks nothing needs to fixed "over time."
But his clout within the Stark County Democratic Party is such that The Report thinks it is pretty much a given that he will be Reinbold's successor whenever she moves on.
A final note.
There are a number of names in the clerk of courts payroll (other than Louis Giavasis himself) that jump out at the SCPR, to wit: Runion, Young, Mallonn, Yost and, of course, Leno.
Yes, these are names that The Report recognizes as being related to other Stark County political subdivision employees.
Doesn't necessarily mean that there was a political factor in the hire somewhere along the line one way or the other, in one direction or another, but it does raise questions no?
Turning once again to Louis Giavasis and The Report's discussion with him about this phenomenon.
The Report asked him about some the more recent hires as to whether or not the jobs were posted.
He went on the explain that the clerk's office gets a steady stream of applications and whenever there is a vacancy the office merely goes through the backlog of applications and considers from among them as to the replacement hire will be.
While the SCPR appreciates Giavasis' overall candor, pardon The Report if it is taken as being laced with just a tad of disingenuousness.
The Stark County Clerk of Courts office is supported by the Stark County taxpaying public, no?
Wouldn't it be in order for jobs as they become available to be posted so that you and I have an opportunity to apply for these jobs?
Sounds a little bit like the question Commissioner Richard Regula asked Stark Board of Elections chief Jeff Matthews (which drew guffaws galore) as to whether or not the BOE was going "to post" for general public availability Matthews point of information that the BOE was about to hire four new hires.
Next up is the Stark County sheriff's office.
And, of course, one of the SCPR's very favorite Stark County county department of government heads (for the uninitiated, "sarcasm, folks, sarcasm!")
First the good news.
Because most of the employees of the sheriff's department are represented by unions, there is very little that Maier has been able to do in terms of hiring practices that have a gender/political aspect to them.
Most of the gender deficiencies, which there is a boatload of in terms of numbers of females in "top-of-the-line" police officials (captains, lieutenants [none, absolutely no women!] and sergeants [darned few!]), and numbers of women in deputy/correction officer positions appears to the SCPR to be attributable to the recruiting practices of his immediate predecessor Timothy Swanson and even beyond Swanson to the sheriff who served before him.
Just take a look at the blue and pink dichotomy.
(SCPR Note: Where The Report had questions on the basis of the first name as to the gender factor, neither the color blue or pink was applied)
For those readers who do not like unions, one thing the SCPR thinks they have going for them is ensuring that gender is not a factor in pay level, once one qualifies for a job in a given category.
As far as Maier is concerned on the gender matter (Republican Larry Dordea, if he defeats Maier in November's general election) is the development of - over time - of a female cadre of captains, lieutenants and sergeants.
On the political front, Maier has shown the SCPR that he has a retaliation side to him (Duffrin) and he needs to have an out-and-out loyalist seemingly at his beck-and-call (Loy).
The SCPR has written a number of blogs on the SCDP-CC appointed sheriff George T. Maier and his employment relationship with Vivianne Duffrin, (who dared to say she thought he was unqualified under ORC 311.01 to be sheriff), Lieutenant Tim George (now a captain) and Derrick Loy.
The Report thinks that George is pretty insecure guy (notwithstanding his historically impressive policing credentials) who cannot abide folks having differences with him in the discharge of his public duties and who, conversely, works on finding folks he appears to assess as being willing to cater to his every need.
Next week, the SCPR will be presenting Volume 4 - Gender (and political) Discrimination in Stark County's departments of government.