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Schenectady County reaches labor deal with jail employees

Schenectady County reaches labor deal with jail employees

Only road deputies' union will be without settled contract
Schenectady County reaches labor deal with jail employees
The Schenectady County Jail is located on Veeder Avenue in the city of Schenectady.
Photographer: Gazette file photo

SCHENECTADY COUNTY -- Schenectady County has reached four-year labor agreements with three unions representing employees at the county jail.

The agreements, which cover corrections officers, supervisory personnel and administrators at the jail, are for the years 2017 through 2020, and call for the employees to receive 2 percent pay increases for each year.

The agreements were approved by two committees of the County Legislature on Monday, and will be voted on by the full Legislature when it meets Tuesday at the legislative chambers in Schenectady.

County Attorney Chris Gardner said that while the employees will receive pay increases, the county is in turn expected to save money under some of the health insurance coverage changes proposed in the contracts. The co-pay for emergency room visits will increase from $50 to $100, he said, in hope it will encourage those covered to use doctors' visits or urgent care centers for their medical needs.

The contracts, already approved by the union members, will also bring more employees under the Pro-Act prescription drug management program, which is expected to lower drug costs, Gardner said.

“There are some cost savings and salary increases in keeping with what we have agreed with other bargaining units," Gardner said.

The agreements cover 157 corrections officers and five kitchen staff in the main bargaining unit, 21 sergeants and lieutenants in the supervisors' unit, and four people in the administrators' unit. All three are affiliated with Council 82, AFSCME, a law enforcement officers' union.

Assuming the proposed contract settlements are approved, Gardner said the county will have labor agreements with every employee bargaining unit except the one representing the sheriff's road patrol. With the corrections contracts settled, Gardner said he expects the county to start focusing on trying to settle that contract.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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