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Erie County settles contract with blue-collar union's 1,500 members

After several years of contentious bargaining, Erie County has settled a contract with the its blue-collar union, offering 2 percent raises each year for the next four years to the 1,500 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1095.

"This wasn't an easy go for both of us," said AFSCME President Richard Canazzi. "It was a tug of war."

The agreement, ratified by AFSCME members in a 618-308 vote and approved by the County Legislature on Thursday, offers raises in exchange for new employees paying 15 percent of a lower-cost health insurance plan, Canazzi said. The union also agreed to cut sick days from 15 to 13 and various work-rule changes.

Earlier this year, after both sides reached an impasse, the Legislature approved a $1,000 payment to each AFSCME member as a settlement for 2016.

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