Press-Republican

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July 3, 2013

ORDA contract now in place

LAKE PLACID — A union contract affecting hundreds of workers at the Olympic Regional Development Authority is signed and in effect through 2016.

ORDA moved to adopt the contract after the Public Employees Relations Board found the state authority in violation.

In May, PERB, a quasi-judicial state review board, issued its findings and ordered ORDA to enact the workers’ contract settlement that was agreed to in January 2012.

The Civil Service Employee Association filed a complaint with PERB last summer, charging that ORDA had not fulfilled its end of the bargaining agreement.

The union contract, pertaining to both full- and part-time Olympic venue and Conference Center employees, had expired in 2009.

‘A SHAME’

In a prepared statement issued Tuesday, CSEA President Danny Donahue continued to criticize ORDA for dragging its heels on workers’ pay and benefits.

“What ORDA did was wrong, and now they have made it right,” Donahue said in the statement. “It’s a shame it took them so long to treat our members fairly and with respect.”

The contract impacts about 300 employees from this region, about half of whom are seasonal or part time, working during the winter at ORDA ski resorts and sports venues, according to CSEA spokesman Stephen Madarasz.

4 YEARS OF RAISES

The first three years of the contract (2009, 2010 and 2011) netted zero pay increase.

“(Employees) were working nearly three years under an expired contract before the initial agreement was reached,” Madarasz said in an email Tuesday.

“Keep in mind some context here as well — these folks are paid considerably less than state executive branch employees, and many of them are seasonal employees.”

Back-dated to April 2012, ORDA employees will receive a 4 percent pay increase, then a 3 percent raise for April 2013, a 2.75 percent increase in April 2014 and a 2.75 percent hike from April 2015 through the contract end date of March 31, 2016, Madarasz said.

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