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Good-faith negotiating benefits village, CSEA

The recent article and editorial about the contract between CSEA and the Village of Hamburg leaves out important details that should be noted.

CSEA and the village negotiated a fair and reasonable contract that shares the sacrifice as recovery from the recent recession continues. The contract reduces starting salaries for only laborers and refuse collectors in the bargaining unit, but through a seven-step pay scale, those workers are eventually brought back up to full pay. This allows the village to control costs during the economic recovery and recognizes the dedication and hard work of long-term workers in the bargaining unit.

The editorial also points out that retirees must now pay 100 percent of their health insurance coverage premium. This is not accurate. Employees hired after June 1 would pay 100 percent of the cost to stay in the same plan as when employed upon their retirement. However, the village enrolls employees in the Medicare Advantage Program when the employee reaches age 65.

The key to good negotiating is ongoing and open communication by both parties, coupled with the willingness for give-and-take and an understanding of the needs of everyone involved. The contract between CSEA and the Village of Hamburg is an example of what can be accomplished with good-faith negotiations.

Flo Tripi

President, CSEA Western Region

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