Erie County workers vote this week on a tentative contract giving them a 15 percent raise over five years in exchange for eliminating paid retiree health insurance for future hires, as well as requiring a 50 percent contribution for recent hires.

The Civil Service Employees Association, which represents almost 4,200 county employees, has been without a contract since 2006. The tentative pact would give employees $500 payments each year for 2007, 2008 and 2009. In 2010, employees would get additional $750 in base pay. Beginning in 2011, they would be in line for raises of 3 percent annually through 2015 (here).

As the Buffalo News reports, “The CSEA local had vocally opposed givebacks,” but “over several months, negotiators found common ground.”

Among the concessions negotiators agreed to:

  • Employees would give up two paid holidays (Columbus Day and Election Day).
  • New employees would lose two personal days.
  • Employees would work full-days in July and August. They now can leave 30 minutes early and still get full pay.
  • New employees would pay 5 percent of health insurance costs and current employees will pay 15 percent of increases.

With an eye to the growing cost of retiree health insurance, County Executive Chris Collins negotiated a change creating three tiers of employees for retiree health care.

Those hired before Dec. 31, 2006, still would be allowed free health care in retirement. Those hired after Dec. 31, 2006–when the prior contract expired–would pay half of their retirement health care costs. Employees hired after the ratification of the new agreement, perhaps June 8, will not receive county health insurance in retirement.

CSEA Local 815 mailed ratification ballots to members, who must return them by Thursday (here).

Originally Published: NY Public Payroll Watch, June 7, 2010

You may also like

Meanwhile, on the mandate relief front

Governor Cuomo’s 2012-13 budget, to be presented later today, will command media attention for the rest of the week. Advance reports on his modified pension reform proposal are especially promising. Meanwhile, there’s a (fiscally) cost-free approach to helping local governments and school districts alleviate their budget problems: repealing the Triborough Amendment. Read More

Legislature rejects union arbitration cap

Governor Cuomo’s proposal to cap arbitration awards for police and firefighters is not included in the Senate or Assembly budget bills. This may be blessing in disguise: as argued here, Cuomo’s original proposal didn’t go nearly far enough. Since the arbitration law expires on June 30, the governor remains in a commanding position to demand more. Read More

Labor costs rose faster in public sector in ‘09

Employee compensation in the state and local government sector increased at twice the private-sector rate during the 12 months ending in December, according to national data released todayby the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read More

Getting Triborough wrong

“Mandate relief remains elusive,” is one of the state-related headlines in today’s Albany Times Union — and that much, at least, is true. Unfortunately, the articlebeneath the headline repeats a familiar canard about the origins of the Triborough Amendment. Read More

Persuading co-workers to retire

Oneida County employees participating in a proposed cash buyout program would have a strong incentive to get their co-workers to join them: their payments will increase if more employees participate. Read More

Examining MDs

Should physicians, who are licensed by the state of New York, be required to take a civil service exam in order to work for the state of New York? A state judge thinks so, but that's unlikely to be the last word on the controversy. Read More

Teaching without contracts

As schools open, the number of school districts at impasse with teacher unions has increased by 12 percent since a year ago, according to the Public Employment Relations Board. Also noteworthy--although not emphasized by PERB--nearly one out of three school districts has yet to negotiate a new contract with its teachers. Read More

Car 54, where are you?

New York City will track the whereabouts of its 379 building inspectors with GPS technology installed, not in their city-issued vehicles, but in their cell phones. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!