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Final arbitration meeting held involving AFSCME members

06.20.14

JUNE 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Final arbitration meeting held involving AFSCME members

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, May 29th- The third and final arbitration meeting between the The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union and officials representating Lackawanna County was held on May 27th. Now the two sides will wait to find out from the arbitrator what the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) will be between Lackawanna County and the Correction Officers (CO’s) employed at the County’s prison in Scranton.

AFSCME and Lackawanna County failed to reach an successor contract agreement and the arbitrator will determine the pact between the parties. Under law the CO’s are forbidden to strike when their union fails to reach a successor contract agreement and the two parties must meet before an arbitrator. The first arbitration meeting was held on March 12th. The parties also met before the arbitrator on May 7th and according to the union, both sides closed-out their testimony before the arbitrator on May 27th.

AFSCME Local 2736 represents the CO’s of the Lackawanna County prison, and have been without a CBA since December 31st, 2012 when the previous pact expired. The parties have been working under the terms and conditions of the expired contract.

Eric Schubert, Business Representative of AFSCME District Council 87, which Local 2736 is affiliated, told the newspaper the membership was disappointed with Lackawanna County’s final contract offer.

The proposal included a huge increase in monthly health insurance costs and other concessionary contract demands.

Mr. Schubert stated the arbitrators’ awarded labor agreement will likely be better for the membership that what Lackawanna County was demanding.