CSEA is trying for county talks

By STEVE SKIDMORE

The Feb. 10 editorial “County Home: Union fails with workers” is full of inaccuracies and untruths. It’s merely another attempt by this paper to make CSEA look like the bad guy.

CSEA has issued several news releases in the last few years detailing proposals we have made to the county. Those proposals would have saved the county more than $1.7 million in the first couple years alone. By now, had the changes not been rejected by the county, the savings would likely have been substantially greater.

On the issue of the nursing home, this paper has also received numerous press releases from CSEA expressing the union’s desire to go to the bargaining table with the county with the purpose of negotiating separate terms and conditions of employment for nursing home workers. Each time, our request has fallen on deaf ears.

At the negotiating table not in the pages of this paper is where any cost-saving measures would be discussed and where any tentative agreement would be fashioned. For well more than a year CSEA has been ready, willing and able, to discuss a series of cost saving proposals. We made that clear first to Greg Edwards and now to Vince Horrigan. Until the county is willing to come to the table to discuss our proposals, no progress can be made.

CSEA has met with nursing home workers on a regular basis regarding this issue. In fact, the workers themselves offered ideas that have been crafted into our proposal package. The union’s offer to the county to negotiate separate terms and conditions for County Home workers remains, as our recent letter to the county executive states. It’s a shame this newspaper feels the need to repeatedly kick the union, and it’s a shame the county is unwilling to talk.

Steve Skidmore is the CSEA Chautauqua County unit president.