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AUBURN — After eight years without a contract, a workers union of Cayuga Community College may reach an agreement with the college board and county Legislature by early next week.

County and college officials said Monday they expect smooth sailing through the county Legislature and the college board of trustees for the Administrative and Professional Employees Group’s eight-year contract that was rejected by the county in March.

In the revised contract, the union makes concessions in their health benefits.

The contract for September 2004 through August 2012 was unanimously supported at Monday’s meeting of the Ways and Means Committee. The contract will come before the college’s board of trustees Wednesday; the Legislature will vote next Tuesday.

“It’s been long enough,” said Chair of the Legislature Peter Tortorici.

The 56-member union represents college staff who work in enrollment, financial aid, and other administrative positions. Top college administrators are excluded.

The group last came before the Legislature for approval of its contract in March.

The board voted down the measure, citing the need to change a few small items.

The contract must be approved by the Legislature because the college receives money from the county.

The new contract phases out a health benefit for some employees.

Employees of the college, county and soil and water district are combined in a healthcare consortium. The college’s union contracts had previously allowed employees with a spouse who is also part of the consortium to receive a partial payout of their health insurance, said Robert Frame, the union’s president.

The new contract will phase out that benefit over three years. The amount of that partial payout employees receive will decline from 75 percent, to 50 percent, to 25 percent.

Frame said the change affects only a few members of the union.

“It’s something we can live with,” he said.

The union fought for the college to offer a different benefit to the employees who will lose the health insurance payout, Frame said.

“The board’s response was, their consolation prize was, instead of stopping at zero, they would phase it out,” he said.

Board of Trustees chair John Camardo said he expects the board to support the contract at Wednesday’s meeting.

The board’s approval would mark the conclusion of the college’s negotiations regarding outstanding union contracts, until they are up for renewal in 2012, Camardo said.

Staff writer Sarah Gantz can be reached at 282-2237 or sarah.gantz@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at CitizenGantz.

 

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