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PLRB schedules hearing on complaint filed by Union against Northampton County

02.10.10

FEBRUARY 2010, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

PLRB schedules hearing on complaint filed by Union against Northampton County

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, January 15th- The contract dispute between Northampton County administrators and the United Steelworkers of America (USW) Union Local 2599, which represents workers at Gracedale nursing home, has resulted in the union filing a complaint with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) in Harrisburg. Northampton County owns and operates the nusing home in Upper Nazareth Township.

According to Jerry Green, President of Local 2599, which office is located on East Lehigh Street in Bethlehem, the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge was filed because the two parties agreed on a new four-year labor agreement but Northampton County administrators have renege on the contract.

“We spent time and money negotiating the contract, now they want to back out of the deal,” said Mr. Green.

Under the contract negotiated with Northampton County officials the 50 Gracedale employees represented by Local 2599 would receive a wage increase of more than four percent each year of the pact.

The previous contract expired on December 31st, 2008 and the two parties agreed to work under the terms and conditions of the old contract while negotiations continued for a successor pact.

On December 15th, 2009 Mr. Green filed the ULP with the PLRB alleging the County leadership willfully and wantonly knew that they would renege of the new agreement that was thought to be reached in good faith. According to the PLRB, the ULP was marked received on December 17th, 2009.

A hearing on the ULP is scheduled before Hearing Examiner Thomas Leonard on April 28th, in the Northampton County Courthouse in Easton.

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