CHEEKTOWAGA (WKBW) By more than a two to one margin, members of the CSEA Local 815 rejected a contract proposal from Erie County, 1296 to 570.
The proposed deal included raises for union employees totaling 21 million dollars of taxpayer money over four years. Union members have been without a contract and without raises since 2006. The rejected proposal also capped free healthcare for life starting after July of next year. It would have also eliminated massage and acupuncture health benefits, that cost taxpayers 1.4 million dollars over the last four years.
The union will not comment on the no vote.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz responded in a statement: "I am disappointed that this tentative agreement has been rejected... I will be discussing next actions with Director of Labor Relations David Palmer and others."
Eyewitness News sat down with County Comptroller Stefan Mychajilw who said the rejection vote is not a surprise.
"CSEA has rejected contract proposals from former County Executive Chris Collins, and they've rejected a contract proposal from the current County Executive Mark Poloncarz, so they've been consistent in saying no," Mychajilw said.
So what's next for the county and the local CSEA?
"It's up to the County Executive whether or not he's going to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new contract for union workers. He doesn't have to, and that means that union workers will still get zeroes as far as raises are concerned," the Comptroller added.
The union would not comment on why this contract was rejected, but it now means they will remain without a contract, without any raises, but with the current benefits.