Nurses contract, resource officer position before county board

Published Nov 21, 2017 at 4:00pm

A new 5-year contract for county Health Department nurses with annual pay increases, and two public hearings on Oneida County Sewer District improvements totaling over $281.5 million, will be considered Wednesday by the county Board of Legislators.

Among other items before the board will be creating a new deputy sheriff patrol position as another school resource officer at Madison-Oneida BOCES in Verona, and a communications tower co-location agreement with Madison County.

The board meets at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Oneida County Office Building, 800 Park Ave. in Utica. On the agenda:

• Under a proposed new contract beginning Jan. 1, 2018, registered nurses (RNs) and public health nurses (PHNs) in the county Health Department would get annual pay increases of 2.75 percent through 2022 for employees who are beyond the step-increase scale. Those on that scale would receive increases based on movements up the scale in 2018, 2020, and 2022, plus 2 percent salary increases in 2019 and 2021. The scale movements equate to increases of about 2 to 2.5 percent, county Personnel Commissioner John P. Talerico said Monday.

The contract between the county and Civil Service Employees Association Local 1000 includes about 12 employees, while two other positions are vacant, said Talerico. The union membership has ratified the agreement.

In 2018 the starting salary ranges would be $36,767-$39,767 for RNs, and $40,325-$43,616 for PHNs, Talerico said.

Salaries at the top of the step scale, above which the employees move beyond the scale, are $49,351 for RNs and $54,127 for PHNs. About half the employees are on the step scale, and about half are beyond it, Talerico observed.

The agreement “is in line with negotiated settlements in the public sector and provides management with the tools necessary to provide services to the public efficiently and effectively,” Talerico said in a letter to County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.

• One public hearing for Oneida County Sewer District improvements involves steps to address sanitary sewer overflow problems in connection with a state Department of Environmental Conservation consent order, at a new maximum estimated cost of $277 million; the cost is up $160 million. The other hearing involves a North Utica project to extend an existing interceptor sewer under the Barge Canal to tie into the sewer system on the canal’s south side, at a maximum estimated cost of $4.5 million.

Estimated increased annual costs to property owners with single-family homes include $160 for the $277 million project, and $6.40 for the $4.5 million project.

The district serves 15 municipalities, with several on the county’s eastern side including Utica and the villages of Oriskany and Whitesboro. The City of Rome has its own sanitary sewer system.

• An additional deputy sheriff patrol position as a school resource officer at Madison-Oneida BOCES would be at a $45,901 pay range.

BOCES requested the additional position for its Verona campus “to increase the sense of safety and order within the school setting,” county Sheriff Robert Maciol said in a letter to Talerico. The position would be fully reimbursed by BOCES.

• The co-location agreement between Oneida County’s county Department of Emergency Services and Madison County involves installing public safety communications equipment on Madison County’s communications tower in the Town of Fenner.

The move would enable Oneida County’s new radio communications system to be connected to the Onondaga County “master core site” and complete a microwave communication “loop” needed to activate Oneida County’s system, the agenda said.