LOCKPORT – The Niagara County Legislature voted Tuesday to ratify new contracts with the unions that represent the Sheriff’s Office’s road patrol deputies and its jail officers and dispatchers.
The groups, who belong to separate unions, approved the deals last week.
The patrol deputies, members of the Police Benevolent Association, part of the United Steelworkers Union, have a 10-year contract retroactive to the beginning of 2012. The Deputy Sheriffs Association, which represents the jail guards and dispatchers, have an eight-year contract from 2012 through 2019.
The patrol deputies will receive a $2,000 signing bonus, plus a 2 percent retroactive raise for 2015 and 2016. They will receive a 2.5 percent raise in 2017 and 2 percent in each year thereafter.
The jail guards will have a $2,750 signing bonus, 2 percent retroactive raises for 2015 and 2016, 2 percent each in 2017 and 2018, and 2.5 percent in 2019. The dispatchers’ deal is the same except for a 2.25 percent raise in 2018.
In both unions, guards and dispatchers hired before August 2007 and patrol deputies hired before January 2009 will see no change in their health insurance costs. Newer employes will begin paying $100 a month immediately for family coverage, which rises to $110 next year and $120 in 2018. In 2019, the charge is 10 percent of the premium with a $2,000 annual cap. From now on, all newly hired employes will pay 10 percent of the premium
“The union’s pleased that for members of the union, their medical insurance is being maintained,” said Andrew P. Fleming, attorney for the Deputy Sheriffs Association.
Current employees also will get fully paid health insurance when they retire, if they put in 20 years with the county. Newcomers will still have to pay 20 percent of their premiums in retirement after 20 years.
In another matter, the Legislature agreed to keep County Manager Jeffrey M. Glatz on for 30 more days to help his successor, Richard E. Updegrove, with the transition.
Glatz was planning to leave March 31. He said Updegrove’s first day of work will be April 4.
“It’s like the transition that I had with (Greg Lewis) when I started,” Glatz said.
The extra 30 days of work will cost the county about $15,000, said Budget Director Daniel R. Huntington. The money was taken out of the Public Works Department’s retirement buyout account. “If there’s a retirement, we’ll have to shift money or delay hiring (replacements),” he said.
The Legislature also voted in favor of a $10 million, 20-year bond issue toward the $25 million cost of the Niagara County Community College Learning Commons project.
The state is paying $12.5 million and the NCCC Foundation has been asked to raise $2.5 million toward the project, which features a remodeled library and a glass roof over what is now an adjoining courtyard. Work is scheduled to begin this summer and take about a year to complete.