The Wayne County Sheriff’s Road Patrol Union Teamsters 118 rejected the county’s latest contract offer. The big issues are still pay and benefits for deputies.
A New York State Public Employment Relations Board mediator worked with the parties to help them reach agreement, and the agreement was based upon that mediator’s recommendations.
The Tentative Agreement provided significant increases to wage rates and retained the existing 25-year retirement plan.
County Administrator Rick House stated, “The County is disappointed by the outcome of the Union’s vote. We believed the mediator’s recommendations were fair and appropriate and the County’s team was ready to recommend approval of the agreement to the Board. Unfortunately, we will not have the opportunity to do so.”
“Although there is not an agreement right now, the process is still ongoing,” Wayne County Sheriff Robert Milby said. He stated that the with deputies rejection "That doesn’t mean the door is shut."
The deputies unanimously rejected the offer. The key issue at the heart of this dispute is the absence of a 20-year retirement plan for Wayne County Sheriff s’ Road Patrol, making them one of the few law enforcement agencies in the region without this crucial benefit.
Sean Walsh with Teamster Local 118 believes the empty cars tell the story of why the county continues to lose deputies. According to the Union the Sheriff‘s Department has been struggling to retain experienced officers who are enticed by higher-paying agencies that do offer the 20-year retirement benefit.
In the Union statement the Wayne County Sheriff s’ Road Patrol Teamsters firmly believe that fair compensation and retirement benefits are essential to attracting and retaining qualified law enforcement professionals who play a vital role in ensuring public safety. Unfortunately, the county’s refusal to address these concerns has created an unsustainable situation, jeopardizing the effectiveness of the Wayne County Sheriff"s Department and the safety of the community it serves.
House countered that after a discussion with Sheriff Milby, currently the Wayne County Sheriff’s office is fully staffed with two officers currently in field training and another eleven in the Finger Lakes and Monroe County training centers.
In addition, House stated Union statements concerning the County ignoring public safety are unfounded. A recent meeting with the State Police indicated that there are nearly 50 State Troopers assigned to the Wayne County area.
House also stated that the County has reached a tentative decision on Wednesday with the CSEA general union representing 525 county employees. That agreement still needs the vote approval of majority of county of county employees.
House commented, “Regardless of the next steps, the County will continue to move forward to seek an appropriate agreement that provides fair compensation and benefits to our valued employees and protects the County taxpayers. We remain willing to meet with the union to work toward this goal.”