FULTON, NY – The Fulton Common Council unanimously passed a tentative agreement with one of three labor unions that represent the city of Fulton.
The Civil Service Employees Association, CSEA, represents Fulton city employees that do not belong to the city fire or police departments whom are represented by their own unions.
Negotiations have been ongoing between the city of Fulton and the CSEA after a three-year contract expired at the end of 2014.
Earlier this month (Nov 1), the Fulton Common Council unanimously approved an agreement between the city and the union.
The agreement came nearly two years after the contract’s expiration because “we wouldn’t settle,” said Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr.
The new contract will be in effect until its expiration at the end of 2017.
The agreement allowed no increase in wages for the year 2015, a one-time $500 increase for each employee in the year 2016, and a two-percent increase for each employee in the year 2017.
In the three-year contract from 2011-2014 that preceded the new agreement, employees saw no increase for two years with a two-percent increase in the last year of the contract.
“These employees work with our city, they know what shape we’re in. I appreciate them working with us,” said first ward councilor and council president, Tom Kenyon.
Kenyon recalled an incident he witnessed in which DPW employees, represented by the CSEA, were doing road work when they used their break to fix a basketball hoop for young children that were outside playing.
“They really do great work that’s above and beyond, so thank you,” he said.
Mayor Woodward said the same agreement was proposed to the city fire department whose union, International Association of Firefighters (IAFF,) remains in negotiation with city officials.
“They did not accept, and came back with a proposal for five-percent each year,” Woodward said, to which city officials did not approve.
Woodward said the negotiation with the fire department and IAFF is at impasse and is scheduled to go arbitration. However, the two are considering a final sit down before arbitration.
“I can’t imagine offering one union more than the other. They’re all equally needed, you can’t put out a fire if the roads aren’t plowed,” Woodward said.
CSEA representatives did not return requests to comment.