Saturday, February 9, 2019

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Sullivan County declares impasse with Teamsters union

MONTICELLO – Sullivan County Government has declared an impasse with its Teamsters union, which represents 516 county workers – half of the its workforce – and is seeking fact-finding from the New York State Public Employment Relations Board.

The county has been negotiating with union leadership for two years and with no resolution in sight, County Manager Joshua Potosek has outlined the most recent offer rejected by union negotiators to all union members.

“It’s critical for the county’s workforce to be aware of the significant offer legislators authorized my office to make,” Potosek said. “It’s also important for them to understand how hard we worked to make this deal happen, and that I share their frustration at the lack of an agreement to date.”

The fact-finding process provides an independent analysis of the situation with recommendations made to the county and union.

The offer, made in December and supported by the full county legislature, would have given every union member at least a $3,000 increase in their base pay. Potosek said 122 positions would have received a five percent raise on top of that.

In return, the county asked for one concession, that the members hired by the county after January 1, 2019 enroll in the New York State Health Insurance Program’s Excelsior Plan and contribute 20 percent toward the annual premium. He said the same arrangement already exists for other county employees.

The county manager said the latest offer would increase the average salary to just over $40,000.

Union negotiators have maintained that salaries for comparable positions in the private sector are much higher.


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