(James Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration, October 15, 2013)
UCS brought in some management reinforcements from the Budget and Human Resources Offices to discuss its concerns. While acknowledging that it now has enough cash to meet payroll for the current fiscal year (which ends on March 31, 2014), it is seriously concerned about not having sufficient funding from April 1 onward. Therefore, UCS's position is that an agreement should provide a "cost of living" pay increase, but also save money by modifying or eliminating a number of benefits in the expired agreement.
The employer acknowledged that CSEA's comprehensive proposal to settle the contract, which we gave them back in June, was a dramatic movement in the bargaining process. But it is not enough to save sufficient dollars. UCS gave us yet another set of proposals, which would reduce many additional benefits we now have. What's more, they told us they expected to have even more proposals along these lines.
UCS is now negotiating in a zig-zag pattern. Every time the CSEA team tries to hammer out a compromise, management makes a sharp turn in a different direction. And how can we make an intelligent response when we don't know all of UCS's proposals? They apparently believe we are mind readers.
We will meet again in November, if only to receive yet more management proposals. But the prospects for reaching an agreement now are bleak, unless UCS takes another "zag" toward a realistic attitude.