WHITE PLAINS — Westchester County Unit members have overwhelmingly rejected an eight-year contract proposal, refusing an offer that would have ended the protracted negotiations that have been ongoing since the end of 2011.
The rejected tentative agreement had included wage increases aimed to offset newly-introduced health insurance premium contributions. While County Executive Rob Astorino’s spokesperson later called out CSEA members as unwilling to make premium contributions, many workers said the real issue was that the contribution levels proposed would unfairly affect some of the county’s lowest-paid workers.
“Our members have not just spoken; they have screamed their rejection to the county’s settlement offer,” CSEA Westchester County Unit President Kwabena Manu said. “County Executive Astorino and his advisers should know by this vote that the members of CSEA demand and expect fair treatment.”
CSEA’s lead negotiator, Labor Relations Specialist Larry Sparber, has contacted county officials to review both sides’ next steps. Meanwhile, union leaders and staff are working to further engage unit members in the negotiations process by seeking additional member input and increasing communications.
— Jessica Ladlee