After 3 years, county, CSEA near deal

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday will consider approval of the county’s first new contract with its largest union since 2009.

A proposed memorandum of agreement between the county and the 285-member general unit, Local 818, Civil Service Employees Association, is expected to be considered by supervisors at their 1 p.m. meeting at the County Office Building.

“It will be presented to the full board Monday,” board Finance Committee Chairman Jack Callery said Wednesday.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Wednesday the possible approval of the new general unit contract will follow a closed-door executive session during the meeting between the full board and attorney Elayne Gold. The union’s last contract expired at the end of 2009. The end of 2012 marked three years with no deal.

“I think it’s important [to get] an agreement back into place,” Stead said.

The board’s Personnel Committee on Feb. 27 supported the new union contract and recommended passage of it to the full board. Approval of a new contract would end a long impasse between the county and the union.

A public hearing on the fact-finding report will be conducted at 1:30 p.m. Monday during the board meeting.

Union President Ron Briggs said Wednesday the memorandum of agreement that will go before the full board Monday was already approved “overwhelmingly” by union members Feb. 14.

“It’s very similar to what the [state] fact-finder proposed,” Briggs said.

State Public Employment Relations Board-assigned fact-finder Gordon Mayo’s Dec. 13 report recommended Fulton County’s union workers receive salary increases in 2012 and 2013. He had recommended the county enter into a retroactive four-year agreement with the unit. He called for no wage increases for 2010 and 2011, and a 1 percent increase for 2012. He recommends increasing salaries 1 percent at the beginning of 2013 and bringing that raise to 1.5 percent at the middle of 2013.

Mayo’s other recommendations included an additional week of lag payroll and a $50 boot allowance increase granted retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012. The fact-finder also recommended having future new employees who select an individual health insurance plan contribute 20 percent of the premium cost.

Both county management and the union are declining to discuss details of the new agreement until it is approved by the Board of Supervisors.

“I’m very happy we have a tentative agreement,” Briggs stated. “I look forward to them approving it Feb. 11.”

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected].

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