County, CSEA union reach 5-year labor accord

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 May 2015 at 12:00 am

Employees get no raises in 2015, 2 percent for each of following 4 years

ALBION – The County Legislature and about 200 county employees have reached a new 5-year labor deal where employees won’t get a raise in 2015, but will get 2 percent raises each year from 2016 to 2019.

The CSEA membership approved the pact on Friday with the Legislature giving it an OK on Wednesday.

“I am very proud of our negotiating team for putting together a creative, fair and very practical deal,” said David Callard, Legislature chairman. “I am very appreciative of the CSEA team for being open minded and being respectful to the needs of the taxpayer. We worked together and came up with what I believe is a win-win contract.”

The agreement calls for all employees to pay towards their healthcare costs. Some employees had been excluded, but starting in 2017 all will pay towards health insurance costs.

All employees will also begin migrating to a high deductible healthcare plan with a health savings account. Deductibles will be $1,500 for singles and $3,000 for family plans, with the county continuing to pay 50 percent of the annual deductible.

The deal should save the county about $75,000, “conservatively,” in overall costs when the healthcare savings are factored in with the pay raises over the five years, said Chuck Nesbitt, the county’s chief administrative officer.

“This has been another successful step in a long-term strategic plan to work closely with our bargaining units to make cost-effective benefit changes to employee healthcare,” Nesbitt said.