Members of Rockland County CSEA Unit 8350 voted Wednesday by a wide margin to approve a three-year contract. The is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2011 and runs through Dec. 31, 2013. The contract now goes before the county legislature for a vote, possibly as soon as Wednesday, Sept. 19.
“I feel relieved,” said CSEA Rockland County Unit 8350 President P.T. Thomas. “I’m really, really happy the contract passed.”
The union has 1,744 members and more than 1,100 of them voted. 893 members of the rank and file cast ballots in favor of the agreement and 238 members voted against it.
“This agreement helps the county deal with the current financial challenges while preventing future reductions in essential services,” said CSEA Southern Region President Billy Riccaldo. “Today’s tremendous voter turnout shows our members’ dedication to preserving public services at a time when need is at a historic high.”
Thomas said the contract would help the county financially because of the deferred payments for 10 working days for each union employee. He said the no layoff clause for budgetary reasons will help employees feel confident about job their security.
“In approving this memorandum of agreement, our members showed that they recognize the county’s current fiscal issues,” said Thomas. “We believe we have met our responsibility to help the county through this economic turmoil.”
The agreement, reached at the end of July with the county executive’s office, includes:
- A 15 percent 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 work days during certain periods in 2012 and 2013, with compensation for those days taking place on Dec. 1, 2014
- Language preventing layoffs for budgetary reasons through the life of the contract
Rockland County laid off 74 employees this year and faces a budget deficit of an estimated $95 million.