Edwards accepts fact finder’s report for CSEA contract

MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards announced Friday that he accepts the recommendations of the fact finder’s report to resolve the impasse between the County and CSEA Unit 6300. Edwards stated he is hopeful that CSEA will also accept the recommendations of the fact finder, and that a tentative agreement could then be presented to the county legislature for ratification.

The county’s current contract with CSEA expired Dec. 31, 2011, and the parties have been at impasse since 2012. A fact finder was appointed on Oct. 10, 2012, but mediation and further negotiations continued this year until May. The fact finder issued her report in late August, which included the following recommendations on wages, health insurance and additional layoff rights for a four-year contract:

Wages 0 percent increase in 2012, 0 percent increase in 2013, 41 cents per hour increase in 2014, and 2 percent increase in 2015;

Health Insurance employee premium share frozen in 2012 and 2013, and premium increases in 2014 and 2015;

High Deductible Health Plan – an optional high deductible health plan made available to all employees; and

Additional Layoff Rights – Enhanced rights for employees that held other positions previous to layoff.

“The fact finder’s report strikes a reasonable balance between the parties’ bargaining positions and it is in the best interest of the county,” Edwards said. “In addition, the county’s open enrollment period for health insurance is conducted in November and I want all county employees to have the opportunity to choose the optional high deductible health plan if it best fits their needs.”

The fact finder’s report can be found at : www.co.chautauqua.ny.us/departments/exec/Documents/FactFinding2013.pdf and a summary of the proposed health insurance plan options along with a new wellness incentive program can be found at : www.co.chautauqua.ny.us/departments/exec/Documents/ProposedHIandWellness.pdf .