Labor relations expenses add up for county

NORWICH – This year’s budget for labor relations is overdrawn as a result of the now 2 1/2 year-long contract dispute with the unions representing Chenango County’s law enforcement deputies and corrections officers.

The personnel department depleted $11,000 earmarked for 2012 in April and received an additional $15,000 from contingency in May. The situation was the same last year at about this time. So far, the stand off has cost the county an estimated $89,000, said Clerk of the Board RC Woodford.

Negotiators representing Chenango County, the Law Enforcement Association and a Public Employee Relations Board-appointed chairman met outside the county in executive session recently to hear evidence and records from an LEA arbitration hearing that was held in late January. New York State Union of Police Associations President Anthony V. Solfaro said he did not know the results of the hearing, but said there will eventually be a draft of an award followed by possible dissenting opinions. Once filed, the contract amount will stand for only two years before negotiations begin all over again.

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