JOHNSTOWN - The Fulton County Board of Supervisors recently denied a request by a group of Sheriff's Department sergeant and corporal corrections officers to form their own union.
The county received an April 27 request from a sheriff's faction to form its own union. The letter was written by Corp. Corrections Officer Eric D. Sweet - on behalf of current corrections corporals and sergeants - to form their own bargaining unit.
The county already has two sheriff's unions - the Fulton County Deputy Sheriff's Police Benevolent Association and the Fulton County Sheriff's Office Employees Alliance. All corrections personnel are part of the alliance union.
Board Chairman William Waldron said supervisors weighed allowing corrections sergeants and corporals to form their own union, but found "no reason" for it.
Sweet's request can still be made to the State Public Employment Relations Board in Albany, and if PERB approves the union, that approval supercedes the county government denial.
The board resolution denying the union that passed at the County Office Building last week stated the Personnel Committee reviewed Sweet's request and "has determined that creation of another bargaining unit would not be in the best interest of county government."
Johnstown 1st Ward Supervisor Richard Handy asked why the sergeants and corporals want their own union.
"You have to ask them," said county Administrative Officer Jon R. Stead. "They felt their interests would be represented better, I guess."
In other personnel matters before the board, supervisors reappointed county Personnel Director Theresa Souza of Lassellsville to a new six-year term running from July 10 to July 9, 2019. She has been employed by the county since 1987. Her current salary is about $60,000 annually.
The board authorized a contract between the county Information Services Department and Empire Software Solutions of Ravena, Albany County. The contract is for a "Timeforce" Time and Attendance System Pilot Project for the county Department of Solid Waste at a cost not to exceed $5,000.