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Latest News - August 2013

August 15, 2013
Northampton County Prison corrections officers' new union contract introduced
Source: The Express Times
By: Tom Shortell

Northampton County Council is poised to approve a two-year contract with the corrections officer union at Northampton County Prison.

The council voted 7-0 at tonight's regular meeting to introduce the contract. Council members are expected to approve the pact at their Sept. 5 meeting. Council members Peg Ferraro and Lamont McClure were absent tonight.

Under the terms of the contract, members of AFCSME District Council 88, Local 2549, will receive a graded pay bump backdated to this year and a 3 percent raise for 2014. In return, each employee will give up three days of sick leave and give up holiday pay for his or her birthday. Union members will also have to contribute an additional 1 percent of their health care costs this year and next, according to a memo sent out by County Executive John Stoffa.

The union requested the contract only last two years so county and union negotiators can get a better sense of how the Affordable Healthcare Act will affect medical costs come 2015, said Patricia Siemiontkowski, director of human resources. Until that becomes more clear, it is too early to nail down the potential savings for the county under the contract, she said.

"It's really too early to project what exactly these savings are. We feel we did get some givebacks," Siemiontkowski said.

Union Vice President Tom Davis said negotiations were tense at first, but both sides reached an agreement without getting everything each side wanted.

"I think the taxpayers will be well served by the contract," Davis said.

After 11 months of negotiations, "I'm just glad no money wound up in an arbitrator's pocket," said council member Tom Dietrich.
 
A call to Warden Todd Buskirk was not immediately returned this afternoon. Arnold Matos, director of corrections, was not available for comment.

Council's personnel committee unanimously recommended the contract during its meeting Wednesday night.

 

 


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