Fulton County

CSEA workers protest over raises

Unionized county workers picketed before the start of the Fulton County Board of Supervisors meeting
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Unionized county employees staged an information picket before the start of Monday afternoon’s Fulton County Board of Supervisors’ meeting, protesting the lack of a raise from the county for the last 21⁄2 years.

About 30 members of Local 818 of the Civil Service Employees Association — about 10 percent of the membership — staged the protest outside of the Fulton County Office Building.

Local 818 President Ron Briggs said the CSEA members are upset the county has failed to grant the 250 members of the local a raise to cover the growing cost of living. “It is time to get serious and hopefully find an amicable solution,” he said.

The local’s contract with the county expired at the end of 2008 but was extended for one year. The local has been without a contract since Jan. 1, 2010.

He said the union is seeking a cost of living adjustment while the county remains fixed to positions of not offering a raise and requiring union members to contribute more for health insurance.

“They are only offering us zero for 2010,” Briggs said. “We understand 2010 and 2011 have moved on. We are asking for a fair wage.” He said members of the local do not receive annual salary step increases and get only a minimal amount for longevity, ranging from $50 to $200 per year.

He said the purpose of the picket was to educate the community about the role CSEA members play in county government. “We are here and we provide needed services,” he said.

Local 818 represents workers in almost all departments of county government except the Sheriff’s Office, which has its own union.

Briggs said the CSEA local is at impasse with the county and will begin fact-finding before a hearing judge from the Public Employees Relations Board on Friday. He said the fact-finder’s recommendations are non-binding and that the county could at the end impose a one-year contract on the local.

County officials were not available for comment Monday.

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