The Rockland Civil Service Employees Association approved a new contract with the county yesterday, The Journal News/Lohud.com reports today. Nearly 79 percent of members voted to approve the contract, which covers the period Jan. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2013. Roughly 65 percent of members cast ballots.
The contract, which must be ratified by the Rockland Legislature, would defer two weeks of pay—one in 2012 and one in 2013—until 2014 for an immediate savings of $3.1 million in the fiscally troubled county. Freezing some pay earned by workers with a certain amount of time on the job would save another $1 million this year, according to County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef. It would ban layoffs for “budgetary reasons.”
The county has an estimated budget deficit of $95 million, and its credit rating is the lowest among all counties in the state, just above junk status. There are about 1,744 county employees.
P.T. Thomas, president of the Rockland Civil Service Employees Association, said the contract would preserve jobs and vital services and help alleviate the county’s fiscal crisis.
“It shows the union stood not only for the members, but so the county’s needs are met, at least for the time being,” he said.