Weekly Feature

2018-03-08 / Local News

Cheektowaga union, town agree on new contract


After months of negotiations, there is a new contract between the Town of Cheektowaga Employees Association and the town, and with it comes pay increases for the workers represented by the union.

Under the agreement, which runs through 2019 and is retroactive to 2016, TCEA employees will see 2 percent wage boosts each remaining year of the contract, as well as getting one for 2017. Plus the contract includes a one-time payment equal to that 2 percent raise amount to cover 2016, according to Deputy Supervisor Timothy Meyers, who negotiated on behalf of the town.

The Town Council authorized Supervisor Diane Benczkowski to execute the collective bargaining agreement with the TCEA at last week’s meeting, and it is the result of 10 months of negotiations, after the previous contract expired in 2015.

Sticking points included minimum staffing levels, but in the end, both sides reached the agreement without requiring outside mediation. Previously, the minimum staffing number was 225 union employees but that was negotiated down to 223, saving the town tens of thousands of dollars on salaries and benefits, Meyers said.

Other points raised during the negotiations included leave processes, and Meyers pointed out that since the contract talks were drawn out — they were initiated by the previous administration — negotiators from the current supervisor’s administration could address only those items brought onto the table during that time.

Although the negotiations were lengthy, with the two sides walking away from the table at different points, both sides spoke highly of the compromise at the meeting last week.

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