County blue collar union votes 3-to-1 for contract

The answer from members of Oneida County Blue Collar Unit on a three-year contract proposal is nearly 3-to-1 in favor.

Employees in the county’s Public Works and Water Pollution Control departments, as well as some at Mohawk Valley Community College, voted 74 percent in favor of the offer, or 138 to 48, county officials said Tuesday evening. Balloting was Monday and Tuesday.

The agreement still needs the approval of the county Board of Legislators. It could go before lawmakers at their August meeting. County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. briefed the board June 21 on the identical tentative settlements reached with the Blue and White Collar units of the United Public Service Employees Union. The White Collar Unit approved the proposal June 18.

The last contract with both bargaining units expired Dec. 31, 2010.

Here are the financial highlights of what the legislature is being asked to approve:

-- 2011: Workers receive pay increase based on step movement based on tenure that already took place. Step movement is required even without a contract. Step movement averages 3 to 4 percent. Employees who are at the top of the salary scale are not entitled to step movement and received no increase at all.

-- 2012: Workers on the salary scale receive step movement pay increase. Employees at the top of the schedule will get 2 percent increases..

-- 2013: Workers on the salary schedule will get 1 percent and no step movement. Workers at the top of the schedule will get 2.5 percent.

Also, $10 co-pays go to $20 co-pays.