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Legislature grants one-time payment to AFSCME union members, hopes long-term contract can be settled


The Erie County Legislature has approved a measure that supports the 1,500 members of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1095 during a breakdown in contract negotiations. Recently, Erie County declared an impasse in negotiations with AFSCME. Once an impasse is declared and a fact-finders report is delivered, state law allows county legislatures to impose employment terms for a single year. The Legislature approved a one-time payment to the members that will be applied to the 2016 fiscal year and urges both sides to return to the table to settle a contract that is fair for all involved. This was approved at the April 6, 2017 session.

 

“We took this path because negotiations between the union and county broke down, forcing mediation. The administration has been unsuccessful in resolving the outstanding issues, at the request of AFSCME, the Legislature stepped in to help. The Legislature has taken this action in the past, but I hope that going forward the county administration and union employees can agree on terms in a timely manner to ensure everyone is working under a fair contract,” said Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo. “After reviewing the Fact Finder’s report and hearing from both sides at a public hearing, the Legislature agreed to grant the one-time payment to AFSCME workers. It’s a good deal for the county and a good deal for the hard working men and women of AFSCME.”

 

“The action taken today was necessary to move this process forward. This one-time payment settles the issues for 2016 and lets both sides get back to the table with a clean slate to focus on the future. I am disappointed that the county’s employees, including highway workers, library employees, ECC and ECMC personnel, are being treated this way by the administration, who declared an impasse in the negotiations, leaving them without a contract. The Legislature has always supported fair and sensible negotiations between the county and all of its unions,” said Chairman John Mills.

 

“First I would like to thank Legislator Chairman John Mills and Legislator Joseph Lorigo for putting together the resolution. Also, thank all the legislators that co- sponsored and voted in favor of giving the hard working union members of AFSCME Local #1095 a $1,000 payment to settle the expired contract of 2016. This was not a Republican or Democrat vote but was a vote to do what is right for the hard working people in Erie County government,” said AFSCME President Rich Canazzi.

 

The payment is divided between ECC, ECMC and the county, which will take its portion from the $90 million undesignated fund balance.