JOHNSTOWN - After three years of working without a contract, Civil Service Employees Union Local 818 President Ron Briggs said the 285-member General Unit union has come to a tentative agreement with the county on a new contract.
Briggs said that union representatives met Wednesday and came to an agreement on the tentative contract. He wouldn't go into the details of the contract, citing that some union members don't know the details yet, but he said it is very close to what fact-finder Gordon Mayo suggested.
"After three years of negotiations, we consider it a large step that we reached a tentative agreement," Briggs said. " ... It is very similar to what Mr. Mayo found in the fact-finder's report."
Mayo's Dec. 13 report suggested salary structure to reach a new contract. In the report, Mayo suggested the county enter into a retroactive four-year agreement with General Unit.
The report called for no increases in salary for 2010 and 2011, and 1 percent increase for 2012. For 2013, Mayo suggested a 1 percent increase for the first six months, and a 1.5 percent increase for the final six months.
Briggs said the union aimed to reach an agreement that would keep taxes low because the union members are county taxpayers as well.
"There are things in our contract that are considered give backs to the union members, but we're just trying to help our members get by," he said.
Johnstown 4th Ward Supervisor William Waldron said the two sides "came to a meeting of the minds." But he said the situation hasn't changed yet.
"It has to be voted on by the union members and accepted by the county," Waldron said. "Until then it's still tentative - there's still no contract."
The union members have an upcoming vote Feb. 14 on the agreement.
The Board of Supervisors has to accept the contract at its March 11 meeting to make the contract official.
The Fulton County Board of Supervisors held a special meeting earlier in the day Tuesday to reschedule the public hearing regarding the fact-finder's report from Feb. 11 to March 11.
Fulton County Administrative Officer Jon Stead declined to comment on the agreement.