Press-Republican

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January 16, 2013

Clinton County and largest union reach contract deal

Contract calls for raises,insurance-payment rise

(Continued)

Mark Dame (R-Area 8, City and Town of Plattsburgh) and Sam Dyer (D-Area 3, Beekmantown) voted against it.

“I think the time has come for the public-sector employees to come more in line with the private sector,” said Dame, a business owner.

“The average taxpayer has not received wage and benefit increases that the public employees have in the past four or five years during the recession, so it is not right to ask the taxpayers to pay more than they are receiving.”

Dame said health-care costs have risen from about $15,000 for a family plan four years ago to about $21,000, and the county cannot continue to pay such amounts without help.

“This system is just no longer sustainable, and the taxpayers are the employer, and it is not right for the employer to be paying more than the employees,” he said.

“It’s not the taxpayers’ fault, and it is not the union’s fault. We have some great workers, but we just cannot afford this anymore.”

‘DOESN’T OPPOSE UNION’

Dyer said he has nothing against the union or its workers but does not like the fact that all employees do not pay the same for health insurance.

“I think the contract should treat everyone fairly, and everyone should pay the same,” he said.

Musso said the union is willing to sit down and work with the county on coming up with more affordable options for health insurance.

“We’ve done it before, and we will do it again,” he said.

Email Joe LoTemplio:

jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

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