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Union says all employees currently live within county

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 May 2016 at 12:00 am

The vice president of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Employees Association says all of its members currently live within the county.

The union represents about 60 employees – correction officers, jail cooks, civil clerks, and dispatchers. They ratified a three-year contract with the county providing 2 percent annual raises. The contract also requires residency within Orleans County for workers hired after April 27, 2016.

Chris Caufield, vice president for the union and a corrections officer, said the union members supported the residency requirement because they already live within Orleans.

“The union was of the opinion that New York State Public Officers Law allows the county to require us to maintain residence in the county without negotiation,” Caufield said today. “That notion, coupled with the fact that every member currently resides in Orleans County, the union membership did not have a problem with agreeing to this contract with that requirement included. We viewed this as something the county could enforce anyway, regardless if we agreed to do so. Essentially, we didn’t feel like we were giving anything up.”

County officials pushed for the residency requirement because they wanted more community commitment for employees to county taxpayers.

Chuck Nesbitt, the county chief administrative officer, said the county will likely push for the residency requirement in other county contracts.