Public safety workers’ compensation still in limbo

NORWICH – Chenagno County law enforcement deputies and corrections officers have been working without a contract for two and a half years, and the end appears nowhere in sight.

It could be another two months before a three-person panel meets for the first time to go over evidence and records from an arbitration hearing that was held in late January for the Law Enforcement Association. The panel may meet in more than one executive session depending upon the diverse opinion on what should or should not be contained in the deputies’ award.

Post hearing briefs have been submitted to panel members representing Chenango County, the LEA and the panel chairman. The latter member was selected using what’s called a ‘strike’ method based on a list of possible candidates provided by the NYS Public Employment Relations Board, or PERB. The process took some time, said New York State Union of Police Associations President Anthony V. Solfaro.

“The chairman is in the process now of scheduling an executive session. It is the next step. It takes time to coordinate people’s schedules. It (the session) will be sometime in the near future,” he said, later clarifying, “a couple of months.”

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