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County Workers Shouldn’t Have to Pay for Financial Mngmnt

WATKINS GLEN — CSEA, the labor union representing about 150 Schuyler County workers, today said that the County Administration has mismanaged County finances, and that the layoffs proposed in the 2010 budget will have a harmful effect on County services union workers currently provide.CSEA Central Region President Colleen Wheaton said that it’s wrong for the County administration to be blaming proposed layoffs on the union workers for failing to make contract concessions.”Our workers understand that a contract is a contract, and we can’t go back on it, or else it has no value. More than that, it’s a promise made to them for the hard work they perform. Our members didn’t cause the financial shortfall the County faces, and they shouldn’t be the ones who have to make up for it”Wheaton said that the union has already agreed to cost-saving measures that, along with better financial management from the County, would have helped avoid the current shortfall.”We’ve already agreed to a change in our insurance carrier, and put into place an alternative drug importation option that should produce significant savings for Schuyler County taxpayers,” she said. “Meanwhile the County administration has not done a good enough job managing the finances, and has spent down most of the reserves that should have been available to get us through these tough economic times. The workers deserve better leadership and so do the taxpayers.”CSEA said that union representatives also requested the County offer an early retirement incentive to allow workers with more seniority to leave county service and save more money, but that it was rejected by County Administrator Tim O’Hearn.”The Schuyler County administration needs to stop blaming the workers and look at coming up with real solutions that don’t involve cutting back on services needed by taxpayers. We’re willing to work with them to find savings outside of re-opening the contract, but so far they’ve been unwilling to work with us,” Wheaton said.

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