CSEA

CSEA

Sunday, January 31, 2010

This Q & A will address some issues raised since the Tentative Agreement was reached between CSEA Unit 7400 and Monroe County. For more information on the Tentative Agreement please refer to the web site as follows: http://cseaunit7400.com/

Q – What happens if the Tentative Agreement is voted down on February 4th?

A – The Union Negotiation Team fought hard for 1 ½ years to protect members benefits and reach a fair agreement. If the Union felt we could get a better Tentative Agreement we would still be at the bargaining table. If this Tentative Agreement is voted down, the Union technically starts from scratch. There will be no guarantees that we will preserve the gains we made in this Tentative Agreement. However, the Union will return to the bargaining table with the same tenacity they have had for the last year and one-half. The decision on this Tentative Agreement now rests solely with the union membership.

Q – How does the pay increases work as described in the Tentative Agreement?

A- If you are on the steps, you will receive a step increase according to the collective bargaining agreement. If you have been on the top step for one year you will get a percentage increase as stated in the Tentative Agreement. The percentage increases compounds and brings the employee over step. The salary step and the percentage increase are negotiated benefits. While employees on step will move through the salary schedule each year, the salary schedule will remain unchanged for the term of the agreement.

Q – What will the base health insurance plan be if the Tentative Agreement is ratified?

A – Blue Point 2 – Value.

Q – Why do we have to pay more for Health Insurance?

A – As you know, health insurance costs have skyrocketed and employers in general are trying to shift much of the cost of health insurance to the employee. According to Brown and Brown, their survey data for the Rochester area shows the average employee contribution toward health insurance premiums for a family plan is over 30%. Even though there are increases, the CSEA represented Monroe County Employees will be well under the average. The survey also showed that just 15 percent of Rochester area Employers offer health benefits to retirees, down from 20 percent last year. We have preserved health insurance at retirement in the current Tentative Agreement.

Q – If I choose to keep Blue Point Select and pay the increase cost, will the County collect the cost retroactively?

A – No, you will be responsible for the employee contribution for Blue Point Select outlined in the Tentative Agreement, but it will not be retroactively collected.

Q – Why didn’t the Union seek to have employees’ pay a flat amount instead of a percentage of the health insurance premium?

A – The Union proposed a flat amount as opposed to a percentage. The County entertained the concept but the flat amount the County was interested in was way to high and disproportionately hurt CSEA members who were in single health insurance plans.

Q – If I want to take advantage of the Health Insurance Retirement Clause of the December 17 Tentative Agreement, what do I need to do?

A – Read the Tentative Agreement carefully. You will need to give the County notice that you are retiring and you have to qualify for and file for retirement with the NYS Employee Retirement System (ERS). Also check out the memo from Bryton Connard on this web site titled “Health Insurance Retirement Clause of the December 17 Settlement Agreement”.

Q – Why is there no retroactivity in wages for 2009 in the Tentative Agreement?

A – The Union aggressively advocated for retroactivity in negotiations and it was the County’s position that there be no retroactivity. NOTE: no Monroe County Bargaining Unit has attained retroactivity over the last couple of years.

Q – Why is there no Section specific issues addressed in the Tentative Agreement?

A – If the Tentative Agreement is ratified, the Union will initiate Section Specific negotiations with the County within 90 days of ratification. NOTE: Any change in terms and conditions of employment needs to be ratified by the full Union membership.

Q – Where in the Tentative Agreement does it state that any promotion will result in a minimum 5% pay increase?

A – In the Tentative Agreement it states clearly on page 3 number 5 the following: "Amend Article 4, Section 4.7 to provide that an employee promoted will receive at least a 5% salary increase".

For additional information check out the 7400 web page by CLICKING HERE!

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