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May 2018

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Deadline for submission - June 30, 2017
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By now you are all wondering what the heck is going on with negotiations. I have had many phone calls from individuals asking why we don't as yet have a contract.
We formed our negotiations committee in June with between twenty-five and thirty interested volunteers, most of whom had never been involved in the process before
and, while enthusiastic, much information had to be processed. We met on an average of, at least, once per month and as time passed so did some of our committee
members. The committee reached consensus, not without disagreement, that we would attempt to resolve the issue of wages and, if successful, thereafter enter into
Interest Based Negotiations. With what has transpired over the last fifteen months regarding the difficulties the Correction Officer' Unit attempts to get a
contract, impact negotiations at the Clinton County Airport, which were successful but only after repeated attempts to resolve the issues, impact negotiations for
our General Unit members at the Clinton County Jail, that have yet to be resolved and our numerous grievances and Improper Practice litigations have given many the
impression that the current atmosphere is not right for Interest Based bargaining. Those who oppose this type of negotiating are not without merit considering
that the process relies upon the trust between both sides to reach successful fruition. We have been successful in our last two contract negotiations, giving
others hope that we will be successful a third time. Regardless, the committee reached consensus that we would follow the strategy that worked for us last time.
It was decided; however, that both sides should enter into the training offered by the Public Employee Relations Board prior to agreeing on the strategy.
Legislative Chairman Langley agreed. PERB was contacted but at this point but they do not have the manpower at this time for the training. CSEA has offered
their resources in attempting to find another source for training. We await their answer. We continued with out work and in November the Negotiating Team
was picked as follows: Myself, James Courson one of our Vice Presidents who works at DSS, Pat Baker our treasurer who works at the Clinton County Mental Health
and Addiction services, Judy Sipe from the Home Care Unit of the Public Health Department, Susan Thew from the Environmental Unit of teh Health Department, Amy
Ciolek from the Clinton County Nursing Home and Bernie Bushey from Clinton Community College. In December I made a request of County Administrator Zurlo to
have a meeting prior to the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) but was informed that the county could not meet "until after the first of the
year." Our first meeting is scheduled for February 6, 2009, at which time the issue of wages will be discussed and the procedure we will follow, including the
necessary committees and the departments that would benefit froe Interest Based Bargaining. We have also met with our Labor Relation's Specialist, Emy Pombrio,
to discuss areas in our contract that are in need of upgrading and she will be with us during the entire negotiations process. I wish I could forecast how this
will but transpire but I cannot. I, perhaps more than anyone, would like to deliver a package that includes things that each of our members want, but that is
too realistic. Most of you have heard one set of rumors or another. Suffice it to say that we will continue or policy of presenting a proposal that is
reasonable; one that is affordable to the county while at the same time attempting to provide a wage that is appropriate to the membership while at the same time
maintaining what we have worked so hard to acquire. I ask for your patience and indulgence and at the same time assure that, we on the negotiating team and
committee will not present ant type of agreement that does not take all these factors into consideration. This committee and team is dedicated to doing what
is in the best interests of the entire membership.

Yours in solidarity.
Joe Musso (Small)

Joseph F. Musso,
CSEA Local 884
    CSEA Local 884 (518)563-0761 
6 Booth Drive 
Plattsburgh, NY 12901