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Local News

January 16, 2013

Clinton County and largest union reach contract deal

Contract calls for raises,insurance-payment rise

PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County and its largest union have reached a deal on a three-year contract.

Employees of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) will get raises of 1 percent, 1.25 percent and 1.5 percent for 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively.

While employees will see more in their paychecks, they will also see a rise in their health-insurance-premium contribution of 2.5 percent over the final two years of the contract.

Employees with 10 years or less time in will be paying 22.5 percent of health-insurance costs; those with 11 to 15 years will contribute 17.5 percent, and those with 15 years or more time in will pay 12.5 percent.

Workers hired before 1980 will continue to make no health-care cost contribution.

‘DID WHAT THEY COULD’

The deal also calls for employees to work 15 years to qualify for retirement health insurance, instead of the previous 10 years.

“I give the union credit for this contract,” Legislature Chairman Jimmy Langley (R-Area 7, Peru) said.

“They want to keep the county as viable as possible, and they want to keep jobs, and they did what they could to help with that.”

‘DEAL MEETS NEEDS’

Union President Joseph Musso said the deal was approved by rank and file members by more than 100 votes. The union represents about 600 workers; he said about 71 percent participated in the vote.

“We thought it was important to keep the county economically solvent and allow them to maintain fiscal integrity,” Musso said.

“With the tax cap and everything the county is facing, we knew that was going to be important, and we didn’t want to hurt the citizens of the county.

“But at the same time, our members needed some kind of wage increase to keep up with the cost of living, and I think we met all those needs with this contract.”

DAME SAYS UNFAIR

The legislature approved the deal with an 8 to 2 vote on Dec. 31.

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