YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Late Thursday afternoon, First News got the results of an employee survey at the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
They were provided to other media outlets in advance of us receiving them despite our station’s repeated requests for information regarding former Superintendent Larry Duck’s resignation.
Duck resigned on March 10 after being on paid leave for six months. The board and Duck both said the decision for him to retire was mutual, but he was paid nearly $160,000, which included six months he was paid while on leave and a $110,000 severance package.
The board hired Rachel Livengood with Labor/Management Consultant Services from Troy, Ohio, to do the survey. The results are dated Oct. 10, 2013. The board suspended Duck in September.
Livengood and the Mahoning County Human Resources Department have had a history of conflict with Duck, specifically regarding an employee worker’s compensation claim.
Forty employees selected by the consultant responded to 58 statements and questions. The survey covered a range of topics, including senior management, but never mentioned anyone by name.
WKBN 27 First News anchor Erika Thomas crunched the numbers and this is what she found:
Twelve of the questions focused on senior management, including direction, training, understanding, respect, fairness and feedback.Of those, a larger percentage of employees agreed with seven of the statements, and 82.5 percent agreed senior management placed an emphasis on client and employee safety.
Of the five questions where more employees disagreed, 70 percent of them disagreed with the statement “senior management understands the problems we face on our jobs.”
What’s interesting to note is the executive summary mentions two of those five questions, and says 90 percent of employees perceive rules and policies are inconsistently applied and are fearful of reporting errors.
But the footnotes for the executive summary show that percentage included those who answered “somewhat agree” to those particular questions. If only factoring in “strongly disagree” and “somewhat disagree,” only 52.5 percent disagreed.
Other percentages in the executive summary only factored in two of the four answer choices.
Employees also were allowed to write comments, which did include a “culture of chaos, fear and intimidation.”
We will follow up with consultant Rachel Livengood about the methodology used in this survey.
No one has said these results have anything to do with Larry Duck’s termination.
We left a message for Duck Thursday evening but he had not yet returned our call as of news time.