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Meeting scheduled between Lackawanna County and SEIU

01.20.13

JANUARY 2013, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Meeting scheduled between Lackawanna County and SEIU

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, January 5th- Representatives of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 668, and the Lackawanna County Commissioners Office met on December 20th in a attempt to negotiate for a new contract agreement between the parties.

The previous four-year contract between the Union and Lackawanna County expired on December 31st, 2012.

In the December edition of the newspaper it was reported the chief negotiators of the Union were unhappy how contract negotiations have been conducted so-far between officials of Lackawanna County and the Union for a successor agreement between the parties.

The SEIU represents approximately 200 workers of Lackawanna County including roll offices employees. The union has one major contract that covers all of the bargaining unit employees.

Michelle Williard, Business Agent with Local 668, who is involved with negotiations stated, Democratic Majority Commissioner Jim Wansacz attended the December 20th meeting and spoke to the Union’s negotiating committee regarding why he and fellow Democratic Majority Commissioner Corey O’Brien are seeking only a one (1) year contract agreement with the SEIU. Several sticking points have emerged in gaining a new pact including length of contract, which the County has requested only a one-year pact, to the elimination of retro-active pay should negotiations go well into 2013.

Mr. O’Brien told the newspaper he will not negotiate in the media and believes the union should not also. “I think it is counter-productive for the union to negotiate in the press,” said Mr. O’Brien.

Lackawanna County recently eliminated four positions, increasing the number of jobs cut since October 2012 to twenty-eight (28). Many of the workers laid-off were SEIU members, something Ms. Williard has pointed-out.

Also, Ms. Williard said the Union is the last one to find-out of lay-offs. “They don’t notify us. The workers are told they will be laid-off on the day of the lay-off.”

The next negotiating meeting is scheduled for January 15th.

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