Members of Rockland County CSEA Local 844 are voting on a new contract today. Voting locations at Summit Park Hospital, Rockland Community College, the Sain Building and Sewer District have staggered hours from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The county legislature’s Budget & Finance Committee has included discussion of the tentative contract on tonight’s agenda. Depending upon the outcome of the vote, legislators may be voting on it at a future meeting, possibly September 19.
The tentative agreement, which the CSEA and county executive’s office reached in late July, is retroactive to January 1, 2011 and runs through December 31, 2013.
It includes the following:
●A 15% health insurance contribution rate for new employees
●A salary and wage freeze through the life of the contract, with the exception of five-year longevity increases or salary increases tied to job promotions
●Deferred payment for a total of 10 days work during certain periods in 2012 and 2013, with compensation for those days taking place on December 1, 2014
●Language preventing layoffs for budgetary reasons through the life of the contract
CSEA President P.T. Thomas said as of 2 p.m., more than one third of the union members had voted. He cast 610 people cast ballots out of the 1,744 members.
"The vote is going very fine," he said.
The results of the vote are expected to be announced by 7:30 p.m. Thomas said he favors the tentative contract and hopes the rank and file will agree. He acknowledged some members have reservations.
Budget & Finance Committee Chair Ilan Schoenberger said he and his colleagues have an outline of the agreement that is three pages long.
“We have a copy of the memorandum of understanding,” he said. “Beyond the memorandum I don’t think there is a revised agreement.”
Schoenberger said he expects to learn more specifics from a representative of the county executive’s office about the financial impact, an explanation of the items that were agreed to in the memo and the pros and cons of each item.
“I’m anxious to hear what the administration explains tonight,” he said.
Schoenberger said even if the results of the union vote are provided at the committee meeting, he does not anticipate the legislators will act on it. He expects only discussion of the contract at the 7:15 p.m. meeting.
Also on the agenda is a presentation of the 2011 and 2010 calendar year audit of Summit Park Hospital. KMPG LLP, the hospital’s auditors, will submit a report and answer committee members questions.
Additionally, legislators will discuss the collection of the county’s transfer tax and possibly vote on rejecting the bids submitted to operate and maintain bus transit service in the county. The topic was originally scheduled for the July 9th session but was postponed. The resolution before the committee states the three bids from Brega Transport Corp., MV Transportation and Rockland Transit Corp. were non responsive to the requirements of the proposal.
Other committees meeting earlier in the evening include Economic Development at 5:30 p.m. which will vote on approving Richard Struck’s appointment to the Rockland Industrial Development Agency (IDA) as well as discussing current and future projects of the IDA. The legislature’s Multi Services Committee meets at 6 p.m. and Planning & Public Works at 7 p.m.