Yates County, the Yates County Sheriff, and the Law Enforcement Officers Union, AFSCME Council 82, AFSCME, AFL-CIO have concluded negotiations for a 6-year successor collective bargaining agreement for the vounty’s deputy sheriffs bargaining unit covering the period of Jan.1, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2024.

The unit members will be offered a single health insurance plan rather than the current two plans. This unifies all county employees under a single health plan, which will result in some cost savings for the county while assuring the employees continue to receive high quality health coverage for themselves and their eligible dependents, according to the March 6 official announcement of the agreement.

The parties also agreed to restructure the existing base wage schedule by adding a new top step along with some further flat dollar adjustments for the more senior members of the bargaining unit to encourage retention of unit members. Finally, the across-the-board wage increases will be 1.5 percent for 2019 and 2020, 2 percent for 2021 and 2020, and 3 percent for 2023 and 2024.

The Yates County Legislature ratified the agreement and authorized the expenditure of the necessary funds at their March 4 legislative meeting. The union’s members have also ratified the agreement.

The bargaining teams met six times beginning Nov. 8, 2018 to develop a fair agreement for the parties and to ensure the continued and uninterrupted criminal law enforcement protection for the citizens of Yates County. 

The statement says the county and the sheriff are appreciative of the professional approach taken by the Union’s representatives to the bargaining process.

The county’s lead negotiator was attorney John Corcoran of the Hancock Estabrook, LLP law firm in Syracuse. The union’s lead negotiator was Greg Carey, staff representative with Council 82.

Yates County Legislative Chairman Douglas Paddock commented, “I am very pleased with the agreement that has been reached. Conversion of all personnel to a single health insurance plan has been a goal of the legislature for some time. All parties were professional and respectful of opposing positions. The agreement, I believe, will benefit all parties, both in the immediate future and long term.”

Yates County Legislator and Public Safety Chairwoman Leslie Church added “I couldn’t be more pleased with the agreement for law enforcement and the county as well.”

Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike stated “Going forward, I am pleased to see that the county and the Deputy Sheriffs have both ratified the new collective bargaining agreement.”

Labor Relations Specialist Carey commented, “This is a good agreement that is in the best interest of our members, the County of Yates, and the taxpayers. It demonstrates the commitment of Sheriff Ron Spike, County Legislative Chair Douglas Paddock, Acting County Administrator Winona Flynn, the complete county negotiation team, and the county’s labor attorneys John Corcoran and Whitney Kummerow, to the employees and the important professional work that this union’s members do to carry out the mission of the Sheriff’s Department every day.”