Deputies' union agrees to delay pay hike

QUEENSBURY - Warren County has struck a deal with the county sheriff's patrol officers union that calls for a six-month delay in a pending pay raise.

Leaders of the Police Benefit Association have agreed to amend their existing work contract that calls for a 3.5 percent raise beginning Jan. 1, changing it to start the raise instead on July 1, county Attorney Paul Dusek announced Thursday shortly before noon. The union represents about 50 patrol officers, sergeants and investigators.

The delay in the scheduled pay increase is in exchange for the county not laying off or firing any more union members, Dusek said.

The agreement does not prevent eliminating jobs due to attrition or retirements, he said.

County Board of Supervisors Chairman Fred Monroe said the deal will save Warren County taxpayers about $100,000.

The PBA contract, effective through Dec. 31, 2011, calls for an 3.5 percent increase beginning Jan. 1, 2010 and another on Jan. 1, 2011.

The PBA union does not include jail guards, dispatchers and support staff which are represented by the Sheriff's Employees Alliance. Negotiations are ongoing with that union as well as others, seeking concessions that reflect the reality of the sluggish economy, Monroe said.

The agreement is subject to the approval of the full county Board of Supervisors, and it may be endorsed by the full board as soon as Thursday evening, Monroe said.

Other unions in the county have so far refused to reopen their work contractrs for re-negotiating pending raises or benefits, county Budget Officer Kevin Geraghty said Tuesday.

Among those resisting any negotiations is the Civil Service Employees Association. Delaying or scrapping a pending two-stage 7 percent pay increase over two years could reduce the county's $3 million budget gap substantially, county officials said this week.

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