Legislators Ratify CSEA Agreement

The measure passed 14-2


The Rockland County Legislature voted in favor of ratifying the final settlement between the county and the Civil Service Employees Association, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"more-details-shared-of-union-agreements-with-county"} --> (CSEA) at Wednesday’s meeting.


Gregg September 20, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Good for Nancy Low-Hogan and Joseph Meyers. The rest just might as well be rubber stamps. To bad, Ed Day and the rest did not have the gumption to reject this.
frankie g September 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM
guaranteed employment should never be a part of any contract negotiation. In light of this still disfunctional legislature ,im not surprised they would take off the table any consolidation efforts or eliminating any more patronage jobs,still existing, after all im sure they get some hefty campaign contributions and votes, from these unions to help keep them in office and repeat this behavior again and again
Watchdog September 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Looks like everyone caved. WE ARE DOOMED.
Thomases Promises September 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM
The county's CSEA workers have given a lot here and Ed Day is right in that the fiscal crisis can't be solved by the county's workers. It sure seems like these workers have donated a lot with the concessions in this new contract, so Gregg and Frankie G and all you other clowns who just sit back and think every county employee should receive minimum wage and have no benefits while those in the private sector are unaffected - well, go stick it. You are ignorant to say the very least.
Watchdog September 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Therereally is NO HOPE. For seniors in the County. Mr. Day should have a better response than the one I see printed.
Terry September 20, 2012 at 01:23 PM
you think the private sector has gone unaffected?? what world are you living in? Do you have any idea whats going on? I do agree that no contract should ever ever have a clause where there is guaranteed employment . all i hear is gimme gimme gimmmeee
Mike September 20, 2012 at 01:57 PM
"We are not going to solve the fiscal crisis in this county on the backs of these workers. That math simply defies the notion. It’s just not going to happen,” said Legislator Ed Day. “Rather, we should look at the contract in front of us as a way to get back on the road to solvency.” In most organziations, especially in government, the main expense item is labor. To say we are not going to solve the problem on the backs of the workforce is either political hyperbole, wishful thinking or dangerous ignorance of the situation. Yes, we should look at as many ways to control County government expenses, but to take salaries and positions off the table until 12/31/13 is fiscal mismanagemet and as far as I am concerned dereliction of the legislators protection of tax payer dollars. No one wants to see jobs lost, but can you show me how after removing teh single biggest expense line from the County budget, how we will get back on track. The only real option you leave is the famous political line "enhancing revenues" which in the common language means raising taxes. This agreement is short sighted and credit agencies will see through it. Get ready for another credit rating drop for the County leading to higher borrowing costs. Congratulations to CSEA management for completly hosing all but two legislators.
Mike September 20, 2012 at 02:04 PM
What did these workers give up? They temporarily gave up raises for a year. That can easily be "recovered" in next contract. You still ahve extremely generous health and welfare benefits- especially compared to the private sector which you brought up as comparison. Further as has been stated before in these comments, to say private sector is unaffected is a ridiculous statement. In addition to job losses in private sector, most workers here have seen significant increases in their portions for health coverage and have seen pension plans thrown away. No one wants to see job losses, but to hand tie an employer by agreeing to not touching the single biggest expense lines in the budget is short sighted. BTW, government exosts to serve the people, not to create jobs.
John Taggart September 20, 2012 at 02:07 PM
These workers did give alot. 20% pay cut for 10 weeks times two years, and a promise to get payed back with money that dosen't exist. No lay off clause I guess means the county wont be replacing retirees for a while . We're all paying more to the county for this mess, here you see everyone giving so no one looses totally. Just so you know Thomases, the private labor unions have 40 +% unemployment people are out for over 13 months during this economy and are out of unemployment. The no layoff clause could generate some jelousy between muni and private but they have given alot to save the other members and county workers are not overpaid at all. Biggest problem is paying it back, but this is Rockland. Why worry about 2014 in 1012.
ADK September 20, 2012 at 03:28 PM
The fact that Rockland County is the single largest employer IN Rockland County tells you all you need to know about the past 25+/- years since we "had to" go to a County Executive model. Do i believe that we can do away with all Government Workers? of course not. However, the unchecked and unnecessary growth of Government (complete with raises, pensions, benefits etc) has brought us to the point of collapse. Simply nibbling around the edges and patting ourselves on the back is a virtual waste of time. Look at today's Journal News front page for all you need to know about our current state of affairs: Taxes up salaries down. Regardless as to how we got here, we simply cant afford to continue. Until we elect people that understand this we will continue to suffer.
Mark Neumann September 20, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I think the no layoff provision is not only dangerous for the County but, given the state off the Counties finances, down right fool hearty!
Robin Traum (Editor) September 20, 2012 at 04:05 PM
The union contracts for the Rockland Management Association and Doctor's Council were also approved by the legislature. Robin
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day September 20, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Hi Mike: One item as my full statement (link) is below .. the agreement is far from short sighted with respect to the rating agencies, as they were presuming a 2% salary increase. This agreement is better in some respects than what Cuomo got from the State CSEA. Our best information is that, as it relates to this one item only mind you, this is being viewed favorably by them. As to the other issues such as Summit Park and the deficit, clearly that is not part of the package. Take care.
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day September 20, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I agree, Watchdog! There was a detailed response that reasonably speaking would not be in a news story obviously. However, you can easily retrieve via the link, and hope you do. Thanks!
RJ September 20, 2012 at 04:43 PM
"those in the private sector are unaffected". Really? I am seeing red right now! Those in the private sector haven't gotten a raise in years and are lucky if they still have a job. And why is that? It's because big business knows that in order to stay in business they must make more than they spend whereas government just SPENDS!! Private sector employees work way more than 40 hours a week and DO NOT get overtime! They pay a LARGE portion of their health care coverage and that cost GOES WAY UP every year! They FUND THEIR OWN RETIREMENT! They also get to PAY the SALARIES and BENEFITS of all government workers! Hear what I am saying, non-private sector employees are living in a state of ENTITLEMENT! Not just here in Rockland County but across the country. It will be the downfall of America.
Mike September 20, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Seems to me that the Patch or Lohud shoudl have this agreement easily accesible via link rather than voters having to go onto a legislators FB account. I suppose since the County's credit rating is one level above junk, the expectations from credit rating agencies is set low. Since there are not many details posted here and I dont do FB, I can only surmise this deal from what is available here. The CSEA got a great deal. They really did not give back wages- its deferred and will be paid out in 2014 or employees get extra vacation time. As far as a wage freeze -lets see how that works out with next contract. I am curious how much exbtra CSEA employees are now contributing to their health and welfare funds? I am not questioning the work of these employees, but I am questions their wages and benefits relative to tthose in private sector. Lets see a side by side comparison of similar jobs?
Mark Neumann September 20, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Robin - as far as I have seen there are no details related to those two contracts ( not sure about this). As for me the "no layoff" provision for CSEA employees is a major problem and ties the hands of the County should some of the unrealistic revenue predictions not materialize. Not sure what Ed Day has to say about that. I did not read his FB posting. Perhaps he can explain HERE his position on this issue!
Robin Traum (Editor) September 20, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Mark I was not at the meeting Wednesday night but will try to obtain a copy of the Memorandum of Agreement reached between the county and CSEA so it can be added as a PDF to the article. Robin
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day September 20, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Mark: Obviously I have no problem detailing that information but as I said, it is relatively lengthy and will be a bit much here. That is why I shared a link. This is a matter of record now, but it will take some time for it to find it's way onto the legislative minutes section which is - http://www.rocklandgov.com/departments/county-legislature/legislative-agendas/ My position is available for anyone to see, either now unofficially or later as a matter of record. I recognize that, unlike others who have accessed that information, you do not use FaceBook and in the interim, I would be happy to e mail you the text of my comments, much of which will share some of the details you are looking for. Simply share an e mail address, or e mail me at "LegislatorDay@yahoo.com" and I'll be happy to get that off to you promptly! Look forward to hearing from you!
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day September 20, 2012 at 11:36 PM
In keeping with my pledge that I would always immediately and publicly detail rationale for taking a particular position in cases of legislative matters of significant public interest and importance, below you will find a link to my Facebook page that contains my full statement (it will not fit here at this forum) as part of my vote on the CSEA and other workforce contracts at last night's meeting of the Legislature. Fact is the details that were very important to both the debate and the public understanding of the entire matter just will not fit in a news story, and I hope my words contribute to a better understanding of all the details. Agree or disagree, it is important that all those details are available to all. Thank you. www.facebook.com/edwin.j.day1
Randy September 22, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Hi Ed, I don't remember Governor Cuomo guaranteeing that State workers will not have any layoffs. But, more importantly, Governor Cuomo balanced the state budget. When the County Legislature accomplishes that they no longer have problems with credit rating agencies.
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day September 22, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Randy, thanks for the observation and am presuming you read my statement and I do believe the State CSEA contract did have certain job protections built into it when the governor threatened them with layoffs. The negotiators on both sides agreed to a five year contract with three "zeroes" for the first three years. You forgot to mention that the Governor Cuomo signed that contract that also contained two 2 % raises for years four and five. Not so here. And again, the "county legislature" does not "accomplish" the negotiations - the executive branch is charged with that and we are not afforded input nor involvement. Do you really think sending it back after seeing this result after nearly two years would change anything? At the end of the day, the legislature's job is to decide on the end result of the process, and when one steps back and looks at the totality of the agreement that includes a three year agreement, with three years of a zero % increase; salary and wage freeze other than longevity; a 15% health insurance contribution ; a deferral of 10 days pay, which as a footnote we should understand that an across the board 10 day pay period in our county has a value in the $6 to $7 million range, it certainly is not a giveaway by any stretch. What was secured by CSEA was only a 14 month layoff protection. Is it perfect? Of course not, and negotiations never are ... that is the nature of the beast.
Robin Traum (Editor) September 25, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Mark - The article has been updated and the three-page Memorandum of Agreement is now attached. - Robin


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