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Village sticks with small union negotiation team

August 17, 2011
By JESSICA COLLIER - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

TUPPER LAKE - Village board members are standing up to one of the village workers' unions, refusing to let union representatives meet with more than two board members for negotiations.

"I just don't want to entertain the thought," Deputy Mayor Tom Snyder said at Monday's village board meeting. "I mean, once they get you to do one thing, then you're gonna keep doing it over and over and over again."

Unit 1 consists of workers from the village departments of Public Works and Water/Sewer, plus two office employees. Union negotiators met with two village board members in the spring and haven't yet settled a contract.

"They're not interested in meeting with just two (board) representatives," said village Clerk Mary Casagrain. "Because the first negotiation didn't go well, they've asked to meet with the full board."

"If the full board was there, maybe they could make a decision that night and not drag us along any longer," Unit 1 President Marty Fuller, who works for the Water/Sewer Department, said in a phone interview this morning. "It's already been three months or more."

Fuller said his unit started negotiating with the village in April or May. The union's last contract expired May 31.

Village board members Chip Perham and Leon LeBlanc were the two board members who tried negotiating so far, but Snyder said he will take over for LeBlanc. He had been busy during the first set of negotiations.

No one on the village board even wanted to consider the idea of the full board meeting with the union. They said they haven't done it before and there's no reason to now.

"They said they're going to mimic whatever everybody else settled to, and it shouldn't be a problem," said village Mayor Mickey Desmarais. "It's a no-brainer."

The other two village unions, whose contracts had expired at the end of May 2010, settled on new contracts that involved no pay raises in 2011-12. Unit III, made up of village electric workers, came to an agreement in late December 2010. The police union, Unit II, finalized its two-year contract in March.



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