Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato says he still supports the decision to fire eight Shuman Center employees after it was alleged they were not making proper bed checks. An arbitrator ruled this week that the employees should be given their jobs back and awarded them all but five days back pay. Those five days were to cover what the arbitrator says would have been a five-day suspension. County executive Dan Onorato says the decision was made in part because the arbitrator felt the workers were following past practices. Onorato says it is now clear that moving forward “it is a new day in the county” and the old rules are no longer in place. Onorato brought in current Shuman Director William “Jack” Simons to “clean up the Shuman” and he says this is just some of the push back and anger that can be expected when sweeping changes are made. He says despite being overturned the decision to fire the workers, “sent a clear message that such activities will not be tolerated and the county is willing to take swift and strong action when needed.” Onorato says the county is now in a much stronger position going forward.
The guards will have to go through training as if they were new hires. They were off the job for more than four months.