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Unions, county headed to mediation

Contract negotiations between Stevens County and three unions could start mediation in late February, county coordinator Becky Young.

The Law Enforcement Labor Services, (LELS) union and the American Federation of State, Municipal and County Employees highway union and AFSCME general union all requested mediation, Young said.

"I thought we were very close," Young said of union negotiations.

The unions and the county last met on Oct. 31.

A facilitator works with the two groups during mediation to try and resolve outstanding issues.

The LELS represents five dispatchers and five deputies in the sheriff's office.

The AFSCME highway union represents 15 employees who are maintenance workers or mechanics in the highway department.

The AFSCME general union represents 37 employees who work in courthouse departments and offices.