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Increases, Bonuses Proposed for County Union | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo submitted First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Slagle and County Finance Director Kitty Crow answer questions about a proposed CSEA contract extension during the Administrative and Services Committee meeting.

MAYVILLE — Hundreds of Chautauqua County employees could get a bonus, extra time off and a raise next year as part of a contract extension.

At a meeting of the Legislature’s Administrative Services Committee, members gave their first approval of an employment contract between the county and CSEA Unit 6300.

The current contract is due to expire this year. According to the resolution, the county and the union tentatively agreed to a 3% raise in 2023, a $750 bonus and making Juneteenth a holiday.

Prior to the vote on the resolution, First Assistant County Attorney Patrick Slagle discussed extending the contract.

“With the recent resignation of our HR (human resources) manager and the hiring of a new HR manager, the county has contacted CSEA to extend for a year, just to give both parties time to put everything together. in place so that they can conduct formal negotiations”, he said.

Slagle said if the contract is approved, negotiations for a longer contract would begin in February 2023. The county hopes it will be a four-year deal.

Juneteenth became a federal holiday in June 2021. The holiday commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Slagle said that although it is now a federal holiday, the contract states that holidays are to be negotiated.

Lawmaker Bob Scudder asked how many members there are in the union. Finance director Kitty Crow said she wasn’t sure, but estimated it was around 700. Part-timers would receive a pro-rated bonus if the contract was finalized as presented.

Crow estimated it could cost around $600,000.

She added that a bonus will help in future negotiations as they negotiate a percentage pay rise. “Offering a flat $750 bonus allows us to give something in the context of an inflationary increase, but it doesn’t add it to the base, so it wouldn’t be continuous,” Raven said.

Still, Scudder expressed concern. “I just put it out there, it’s a lot of money”, he said.

He wasn’t as concerned about raises. “Three percent seems like a fair raise or ‘running wage’, at least to us, on most contracts we renew,” he said.

Scudder pointed out that he was not involved in the negotiations and was not trying to tell them how to negotiate, but noted that as an elected official he was watching spending.

“As a legislator, I went, wow, that’s over half a million dollars, and even though it’s probably being spent the right way, it’s still being spent,” he said.

Crow said if the legislature approves the contract extension, it would fall within their budget parameters of what is tentatively scheduled for 2023.

“Doing this will give us less uncertainty than if we hadn’t done it,” she added.

In a separate matter, the committee also approved a resolution to grant confidential and unrepresented employees raises and benefits identical to those approved for CSEA Unit 6300. This means that if the entire legislature finalizes the furlough additional, the 3% raise and the $750 bonus, these employees would get the same benefit.

It has not been announced how many employees this includes.

The Administrative Services Committee unanimously approved both resolutions. They will go to the full legislature on August 24 for final approval.

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