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Local News

March 4, 2014

Council to mull raise for city workers

The Common Council tonight will consider approving a contract with civil service employees that provides 2 percent pay increases in each of the four years covered in the agreement, according to a memo.

The local Civil Service Employees Association ratified the agreement last week. Union leader Linda Stiefel on Monday declined to comment further until after the council’s meeting. 

Joseph Steflik Jr., attorney on the city’s negotiating team, also refused to comment based on an agreement by the two sides to withhold statements until the plan is completely approved.

The CSEA’s previous one-year agreement expired Dec. 31.

Steflik, a partner with Coughlin & Gerhardt in Binghamton, said he also is representing the city in negotiations with the patrol officers and sergeants unions to replace contracts that expired Dec. 31.

Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller said he expects the Common Council to approve the pending contract with CSEA.

“It is within the guidelines that the council established for the bargaining team,” Miller said Monday.

According to copies of documents, provided by the mayor, from Steflik and Kathy Wolverton, the city’s personnel director, details of the pending agreement include:

— CSEA members receive a wage increase of 2 percent for calendar years 2014 through 2017, and the minimum wage increase for a current employee will be $500.

— Leave for service as a volunteer firefighter must have prior approval of a supervisor and will be charged against the employee’s paid time off, not including sick time.

— Health insurance premium contributions are 5 percent this and next year and increase by 1 percent each of the next two years, with payment caps increasing by 8 percent in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

CSEA represents about 52 employees holding clerical, public works and other jobs in City Hall, the water and sewer departments and other sites, Wolverton said.

Steflik said the city is exchanging proposals with the Police Benevolent Association and the separate union representing sergeants. He said 12-hour shifts are among multiple items on the negotiating table with the PBA.

The union and city agreed to a trial of 12-hour instead of eight-hour shifts starting in September.

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