Sunday, August 14, 2016

Monroe County Contract Rally

Hundreds of people turned out for a rally for a fair contract in front of the Monroe County Legislature building on August 9th.  It is time to bargain in good faith and get back to the table.  Several members spoke at the County Legislature meeting after the rally including Flo Tripi CSEA Region 6; President, Bess Watts CSEA Local 828 President and Jim D'Amico, Unit President.   
You could feel the energy and solidarity!  

Members were out in full force rallying for a fair contract

Members packed the Monroe County Legislative chamber

Bess' speech to the Monroe County Legislative body

Good Evening, my name is Bess Watts, President of Monroe County Civil Service Employees Association Local 828.  For over 50 years CSEA has represented the county’s  workers to insure that they are fairly compensated for the valuable services they provide the public.  For most of those years the relationship between labor & the elected County administration was positive and respectful and led to smoothly negotiated contracts quickly put in place so workers and management could resume their focus on the work they do….

Today however the climate is adversarial toward dedicated, skilled and hard-working employees  and contract negotiations drag on unsettled for years. Who benefits from the years of wasted effort? Not workers, not managers, not the public in need of services… only the outsourced legal consultants, the high priced private law firm Harris Beach, major donors to the Republican party, benefits from every billable hour they spend thwarting a fair contract settlement.    

For several years these negotiators have demonstrated an overt disregard for the value and skill of professional and paraprofessional workers who are employed by Monroe County.  County administrators have taken measures to hide the true cost of tax dollars spent on the law firm Harris Beach.  Much like the inscrutable dealings of the County with their use of LDC contracts, the County employs lack of transparency and intentional accounting obfuscation when one questions the true cost and value of outsourcing legal work that the well-staffed internal County legal department would do. 

After the LDC fiasco please don’t ask County taxpayers to “trust” that their money is being used wisely…  It is valid to ask why the county retains a firm that cannot seem to successfully negotiate contracts despite the huge sums it is paid…   Negotiate in good faith to insure the operations of the County run smoothly & county workers have the support and resources necessary to deliver the high quality services our county residents deserve. Thank you.

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