(As posted on the CSEA Statewide web site 4/11/14, www.cseany.org)
Following a long and challenging set of negotiations, CSEA - New York's leading union - and the New York State Office of Court Administration have reached agreement on a contract for 5,700 employees of the Unified Court System.
"This was a very difficult negotiation that demonstrates a fair agreement can be reached when both labor and management work in good faith," said CSEA President Danny Donohue. "The result addresses management's need for long-term reform of the compensation structure while maintaining the rights and benefits of the CSEA members who work hard every day."
"I am very proud of the CSEA negotiating team for their focus and determination to get the job done responsibly," Donohue said.
The six-year agreement runs from April 1, 2011, through March 31, 2017 with the following highlights:
Changes in health insurance were already made in 2011.
The agreement also establishes a contingency for the possibility of up to a two-day payroll lag in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 fiscal years to avoid layoffs in the event that the UCS budget is not approved by the state legislature and the governor as submitted.
Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti said, "The Unified Court System is pleased that it has reached this agreement with CSEA, which will provide salary increases over the next three years for approximately 40 percent of the court system's work force. We believe the agreement balances the state's ongoing fiscal constraints with the desire to provide increased compensation and benefits for the court system's hardworking employees. Moreover, it addresses a number of CSEA's longstanding concerns, including the return to work process, seniority and expediting the disciplinary process for alleged time and leave violations. We look forward to ratification and implementation of this agreement."
CSEA will move quickly in the next few weeks to seek approval of the tentative agreement by the union's rank and file court employees. If approved, it must also be acted on by the state legislature.
CSEA members, who work in the Unified Court System statewide, perform a wide range of duties from clerk and administrative work to court officers and reporters.
TIMELINE AND HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE TENTATIVE CSEA/UCS 2011-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement:
Timeline for the UCS Contract Ratification
There will be an announcement regarding the Agreement in the May edition of The Work Force, which will include exact contract language.
Contract ballots will be mailed on May 12, 2014. The package will include a letter from President Donohue, a ballot, a fact sheet and instructions.
Replacement ballots will be available between May 19th and May 23rd. Members can request replacement ballots by contacting the Contract Administration Dept. by phone.
The deadline to return ballots is June 9th, by 5 p.m.
The ballots will be counted and the results announced on June 11th