Cheektowaga plans to keep about 65 long-term temporary town employees whose last work day was to have been today.
The Town Board has scheduled a special meeting for 9 a.m. Saturday to reappoint the seasonal employees.
Board members are basing their action on information received from Town Attorney James Kirisits during a closed work session Wednesday evening, Supervisor Frank E. Swiatek said Thursday.
The board received a copy of a 1983 agreement between the town and the Cheektowaga Town Employees Association in which the union "agreed to withdraw any court proceeding dealing with part-time, temporary and seasonal employees." A companion agreement dated the same day calls for deletion of a section in the union contract requiring seasonal employees to be paid at the lowest rate in the contract, Swiatek said.
Norbert Rutkowski, union president, had no comment on the 1983 agreements until the matter is discussed by the union's negotiating committee and lawyer, Richard Wyssling, at a meeting scheduled late today. Rutkowski said he was unaware of the agreements until Thursday.
Town officials contend the agreements cancel an arbitrator's decision in which seasonal employees paid less than contracted wage scales cannot work longer than 90 days, Swiatek said. That decision was based on a 1982 State Supreme Court decision, upheld by the Appellate Division in 1983, affirming that seasonal employees working longer than 90 days must be paid at union rates.
In the 1983 agreements, the town made concessions in return for the union's withdrawal from "any court proceeding" involving the seasonals, Swiatek said.
The town has used non-union seasonals -- some working for the town for several years -- for blue-collar jobs in nearly all town departments. Currently, they are paid $4.65 to $7 an hour. The lowest wages in the contract are $9.03 for cleaners and $10.21 for laborers.
Councilman Andrew A. Kulyk, head of the board's Labor Committee, and union representatives reached a tentative agreement June 5 to pay the seasonals at rates higher than they currently receive but lower than the contracted rate. The proposed agreement would have extended the union contract for one year through 1992, and set a rate for union recycling workers.
The tentative agreement failed to win board approval at its June 18 meeting, and the union canceled a ratification vote.
A layoff of the seasonal employees could mean service cuts -- particularly by the Sanitation and Highway departments, town officials say.
In another matter, the board plans to act Saturday to extend the public comment period on environmental plans for the proposed Liberty Park Inn and entertainment center at 2911 William St.
The extension was requested by the state Thruway Authority, which has raised questions about use of a drainage easement on its property near the new William Street interchange, now under construction.
The board has deferred a decision on a rezoning request to permit construction of the Liberty Park project.