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TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REACHED ON CSEA PACT

Officials from Niagara County and Local 832 of the Civil Service Employees Association said Thursday they have reached a tentative contract agreement, but neither side would release details.

The CSEA is the largest of the county's six labor unions, with 955 members. They have been working under terms of a contract that expired last Dec. 31.

County Human Resources Director Albert T. Joseph and Local 832 President Linda Gibbons said the agreement was completed Wednesday in a 5 1/2 -hour session in the county attorney's office in the Courthouse.

They said the negotiators worked straight through from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"We have a tentative agreement on all issues," Joseph said. "It'll probably be two or three weeks before we can release the terms."

He said the chief negotiators for the two sides probably will take that long to embody the agreements in legal language. The lead negotiators were former Assistant County Attorney Richard J. Rotella for the county and CSEA labor-relations specialist Vincent Sicari.

Ms. Gibbons said written summaries will be sent to all CSEA members before a general membership meeting is held to answer questions on the pact.

Then a ratification voting day will be scheduled sometime in October. Ms. Gibbons said polling places will be set up in two county offices in Lockport, two in Niagara Falls and one in North Tonawanda.

Joseph said the County Legislature will not act on its approval of the deal until the union votes "yes."

The CSEA contract is the first of the four major union contracts the county needs to settle. Negotiations are continuing with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Police Benevolent Association and the Deputy Sheriffs Association. The latter, despite the name, represents correctional employees and dispatchers.

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