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Genesee County Legislature panel backs contract with CSEA unit

BATAVIA – The Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means committee has approved a four-year contract with the 280-member Civil Service Employees Association Local 819 that calls for annual pay increases of 1.8 percent and a slight increase in workers’ health insurance contributions.

Wednesday’s action moves the resolution to the full legislature, which is expected to vote on it at the Jan. 20 meeting.

“I think this is a good agreement for the county,” said Legislature Chairman Raymond F. Cianfrini, a committee member. “It’s for four years, which gives us a comfort zone for awhile.”

County Manager Jay A. Gsell reported that the union voted 158-13 in favor of the new contract, which would be effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Previously, CSEA members’ contributions to the county’s health insurance plan were based upon their paycheck, with a cap of 10 percent. The new agreement will require employees to pay a portion of the health care premium – starting at 10 percent this year and increasing to 12 percent in 2019.

“We wanted to get them more invested, literally and figuratively, in their health care,” said Gsell, adding that the contract has been set up to treat all of the union’s employees in the same manner.

“It’s the same for everybody,” he said. “We’ve standardized it and increased the percentage.”

The contract settlement will add about $112,000 to the 2016 county budget in salary, Social Security, Medicare and retirement benefits.

CSEA Local 819 is the largest of five county unions, the others being the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Sheriff’s Employees Association, CSEA Nursing Home Unit and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

In other action, the committee:

• Approved the county’s participation in a no-cost, pre-sort mail program for one year with IMS Direct of Rochester, which will provide discounted postage rates on all mail up to a 3½-ounce first class letter. Based on the volume of mail processed last year, the county will save about $5,000 per year, said Eve Hens, purchasing director.

• Voted to enter into a three-year contract with S.G. Risk, LLC, of Lyndhurst, N.J., for actuarial services for the county’s self-insurance plan. The annual cost for a yearly valuation is $3,000.

• Authorized a budget amendment that will allow the sheriff’s office to utilize grants totaling $92,000 for overtime, equipment and Department of Homeland Security program costs.

• Appointed Pierluigi Cipollone of Batavia to a three-year term on the Genesee County Planning Board, effective immediately.