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The Cayuga County Legislature held an executive session Wednesday to discuss ongoing contract negotiations with the Civil Service Employees Association that represents many county employees.

AUBURN — Cayuga County officials and union representatives are set to meet for the third of three scheduled contract negotiation meetings Thursday, as part of a process of "facilitated intensive negotiations."

With the contract between Cayuga County and the Civil Service Employee Association's Cayuga Unit expiring Dec. 31 of last year, the two parties have been holding negotiations with the help of a neutral facilitator from the state Public Employment Relations Board.

According to a December letter to union members from union leadership, both parties would exchange proposals on Jan. 3 and hold intensive negotiation sessions with the facilitator on Jan. 15 and 16.

On Wednesday, the Cayuga County Legislature held a special meeting to discuss the negotiations with the county's negotiation team in an executive session.

The county's negotiation team is made up of County Administrator J. Justin Woods, Chief Assistant County Attorney Richard Graham, Human Resources Administrator Mike Russell, Budget Director Lynn Marinelli, Legislator Elane Daly, D-Auburn and Pete Jones, of Bond, Schoeneck and King as outside counsel.

According to Woods, the facilitated process of three days of negotiations is meant to quickly produce a framework of an agreement rather than allowing negotiations to drag on for an extended time.

Members of the county's negotiating team declined to comment on the negotiations, beyond Woods saying the meetings had been productive and he was hopeful to continue working with their partners on the other side of the table.

Representatives from the CSEA negotiation team or union leadership could not be reached for comment.

The previous contract was approved in 2015 and featured pay raises of 1.5, 1.75 and 1.9 percent for 2015, 2016 and 2017 and 2018, respectively. According to Woods, the union represents approximately 350 county employees. 

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Staff writer Ryan Franklin can be reached at (315) 282-2252 or ryan.franklin@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @RyanNYFranklin

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