Raises, contract negotiations on hold at county level

NORWICH – This month’s Chenango County Board of Supervisor’s meeting found lawmakers debating and finally tabling whether to award wage increases or freezes for themselves and non-union government employees next year.

The discussion will continue at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 14 in the newly appointed boardroom in the former social services wing of the County Office Building.

Standing between those in favor of raises and those opposed are four labor unions that represent the majority of government workers, two of which settled last year at wage increases anywhere from 3 to 4.5 through 2013. That’s much more than the zero to 1.5 or 2 percent raises that county lawmakers are suggesting for compensation schedule employees such as department directors.

Moreover, two of the unions, both at the Chenango County Public Safety Facility, are stalled in negotiation. Corrections officers, civil service employees, sheriff’s deputies and road patrollers have been working without a contract since Dec. 31, 2009. The county has paid out $58,000 so far this year to retain a negotiator on its behalf.

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