PLATTSBURGH - An agreement has been reached on a contract for corrections officers working at Clinton County Jail. However, the more than year-long negotiations process has left a bitter taste in the mouth of one county legislator.
In a statement from Clinton County Legislature chairman James R. Langley Jr., R-Area 7, Peru, the legislator said an agreement is in place but "the [union] leadership acted so inappropriate they deserve a little of their own medicine. "
According to Langley, the local Civil Service Employees Association union, which represents the jail workers, accepted terms of an agreement which were "the county's offer in full," according to a state-appointed fact-finder's report.
"Therefore, this entire matter could have been concluded in March had the union representation been honest with their members," Langley stated.
The legislator further stated because the offer was the original offer, "the county stuck with it because it was the right thing to do. :
"However, had it not been accepted, there was a good chance the next offer would have been less because there has been a drastic change in our economy in the past year," he added.
The legislature has "the highest regard for our correction officers and the job that they do everyday and this contract reflects that feeling," he continued.
"I think I can speak for all my members, although each may have a higher or lower level of agreement, that we do not share the same regard for their leadership in this case," he stated. "I realize that will sting and cause a reaction, but the fact of the matter is the leadership of the corrections union made fools of themselves when they could have had a little class and I hope they would be more honest with their members in the future. "
Langley noted the leadership of the corrections union is not the same as the general unit and that the legislature has begun the process of reaching a new contract with the general unit. He stated he expects those negotiations to be "a much easier affair given our past history together. "
A union representative wasn't immediately available for comment.