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Douglas: ‘I did not walk away’ from union

Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman Randall “Randy” Douglas said he has had enough.

While the Jay Supervisor said that Essex County CSEA President Michael McGinn did make good on a promise to meet with him on Tuesday, Dec. 6, there was no follow up on the part of the union.

“We met for over an hour on Tuesday and came up with five possibilities that they would take back for a vote,” Douglas said. “I asked him to have someone call me by Wednesday so we could meet on Friday. I never received that call.”

Douglas said that he did receive an email in the early morning hours of Friday, Dec. 9, informing him that the negotiating team for the CSEA would not be able to meet until January, leading to a number of correspondence between the two sides over the weekend that left Douglas frustrated.

“I’m done,” he said. “I have done everything that I could to bring them back to the table. I gave them every ample opportunity to come to the table with our negotiating team.”

Douglas also disputed that the county had walked away from the negotiating table, which McGinn said during the Dec. 5 public hearing on the budget.

“I never walked away,” Douglas said.

Moriah Supervisor Thomas “Tom” Scozzafava said he felt that keeping some of the position cuts in the budget was in reaction to CSEA not coming to the table.

“I know that there are some hard feelings toward the union, and I know that some of them have been pointed at me,” Scozzafava said. “I don’t think it is right to let these employees go just to show them. That’s the feeling that I am getting here with these cuts.”

Douglas disagreed.

“They continue to put this on the backs of all of us,” Douglas said. “Only 30 people signed their petition to vote, and if they need help, they need to be able to help themselves and they need to get together and force a vote. They have had that chance.”

A total of nine full-time and one part-time jobs will be receiving pink slips based on the 2012 budget passed by the supervisors.

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