Contract

CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS

(As posted on the CSEA Statewide web site 4/11/14, www.cseany.org)

Following a long and challenging set of negotiations, CSEA - New York's leading union - and the New York State Office of Court Administration have reached agreement on a contract for 5,700 employees of the Unified Court System.

"This was a very difficult negotiation that demonstrates a fair agreement can be reached when both labor and management work in good faith," said CSEA President Danny Donohue. "The result addresses management's need for long-term reform of the compensation structure while maintaining the rights and benefits of the CSEA members who work hard every day."

"I am very proud of the CSEA negotiating team for their focus and determination to get the job done responsibly," Donohue said.

The six-year agreement runs from April 1, 2011, through March 31, 2017 with the following highlights:

  • Two (2) percent across-the-board salary increase in October 2014;
  • Two (2) percent across the board salary increase in April 2015;
  • Two (2) percent across-the-board salary increase in April 2016;
  • $750 Bonus (pensionable) payable March 31, 2017;
  • Transition from a two to a three tier longevity system beginning in April 2016 with changes in the payment amounts and other reforms;
  • Maintaining benefits provided through the CSEA Employee Benefit Fund;
  • A variety of changes in work rules and other contract provisions.

Changes in health insurance were already made in 2011.

The agreement also establishes a contingency for the possibility of up to a two-day payroll lag in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 fiscal years to avoid layoffs in the event that the UCS budget is not approved by the state legislature and the governor as submitted.

Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti said, "The Unified Court System is pleased that it has reached this agreement with CSEA, which will provide salary increases over the next three years for approximately 40 percent of the court system's work force. We believe the agreement balances the state's ongoing fiscal constraints with the desire to provide increased compensation and benefits for the court system's hardworking employees. Moreover, it addresses a number of CSEA's longstanding concerns, including the return to work process, seniority and expediting the disciplinary process for alleged time and leave violations. We look forward to ratification and implementation of this agreement."

CSEA will move quickly in the next few weeks to seek approval of the tentative agreement by the union's rank and file court employees. If approved, it must also be acted on by the state legislature.

CSEA members, who work in the Unified Court System statewide, perform a wide range of duties from clerk and administrative work to court officers and reporters.

Click Here to download Tentative Agreement Highlights

TIMELINE AND HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE TENTATIVE CSEA/UCS 2011-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement:

Timeline for the UCS Contract Ratification
There will be an announcement regarding the Agreement in the May edition of The Work Force, which will include exact contract language.

Contract ballots will be mailed on May 12, 2014. The package will include a letter from President Donohue, a ballot, a fact sheet and instructions.

Replacement ballots will be available between May 19th and May 23rd.  Members can request replacement ballots by contacting the Contract Administration Dept. by phone.

The deadline to return ballots is June 9th, by 5 p.m.

The ballots will be counted and the results announced on June 11th


Contract Negotiations Update 3/21/2014

(Mary Rubilotta, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration)

Negotiations continued this week with UCS on March 19th and March 20th.

Both parties focused on areas not involving compensation and significant progress was made. UCS withdrew a good number of their proposals concerning time and leave issues and overtime. In return, CSEA agreed to a number of UCS proposals dealing with direct deposit, blood donation, personal history folders, printing of the Agreement and pre-tour prep when on LODI. Other areas  were also discussed where UCS agreed to changes requested by CSEA like return to duty exam, sick leave bank, layoff notice and jackets worn in the summer months.

Later in the negotiations, UCS made a compensation proposal to the CSEA Negotiating Team. UCS started out by telling the Team again that they expect to receive a flat budget, which means UCS will start off the fiscal year in a deficit due to other initiatives (like the legislation creating more NYC Judges) having unexpected costs that they must absorb. UCS expressed concern that they will not have enough money to meet payroll the last payroll period of the fiscal year and living with flat budgets through attrition and not backfilling vacancies is no longer a viable way to run the court system.  Among other changes, the UCS compensation proposal contains significant structural changes to the way employees are currently paid in such areas as step increases, longevity increments, service bonus awards and across the board increases.  UCS also proposed a lag that would only be triggered if they could not meet payroll at the end of the fiscal year.

The CSEA Negotiating Team took some time to digest this proposal.  While the Team acknowledges that UCS is facing some financial operating issues, it is unwilling to agree to all of the drastic structural changes sought by UCS. UCS has been living with flat budgets for the last three years and Judge Lippman has done nothing during that time to scale back on any of his costly initiatives. It took several years for UCS to get into this bad fiscal shape and they want to solve it overnight on the backs of the non-judicial employees. The Team made a counter proposal that it believes showed some movement in the area of compensation that will allow UCS to realize some savings in future years. UCS did not seem to appreciate the counter proposal and said they would have to review it and get back to us next week. The CSEA Negotiating Team has additional dates scheduled to meet with UCS on March 26th and 27th.

Contract Negotiations Update 2/25/2014

(Mary Rubilotta, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration)

CSEA met again with UCS on 2/19/14 and 2/20/14.

The CSEA Negotiating Team had another tension filled, frustrated negotiations session with the UCS. UCS continues to seek major concessions in both economic and non-economic areas of the contract like compensation, uniform and equipment allowance, workweek and employee benefit fund, to name a few.

In addition to trying to maintain or increase current benefits in the contract, the Team raised a number of specific issues it felt needed to be addressed if the parties are going to reach an overall agreement. Examples of such issues include disciplinary process, layoff notice and seniority.

The Team is working hard to find common areas in order to move the negotiations forward and progress was made on some minor issues. This process is very fluid, but we will keep you apprised as we continue to negotiate with UCS for a fair contract that we can bring back to the membership for ratification.

The Negotiating Team meets again in early March.

Contract Negotiations Update 2/4/2014

(Mary Rubilotta, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration)

CSEA held negotiations with UCS on 1/30/14 and 1/31/14.

UCS painted a bleak picture of their financial health over the last four years. Since 2010, UCS has had a negative growth operating budget, meaning their costs are greater than the money coming in.  Over this time period, UCS has been able to absorb these increased costs by streamlining administration and reorganizing or consolidating offices and programs that provide services to the courts and the public. Other steps that have also been taken include eliminating or reducing programs that are not critical to the court's core mission, modifying court operations, only spending on essential services and significantly reducing the workforce.

The UCS submitted a 1.81 billion dollar budget for fiscal year 2014-2015 that they like to call the "Road to Recovery" budget (2.5 % increase over the 2013-2014 budget).  The Governor submitted the UCS budget to the Legislature but included a commentary saying this proposal is out of step with his goal of a fiscally responsible New York and encouraged the Legislature to keep any increase to 2 percent or less.  UCS told us that anything less than 2.5 % could be disastrous for the court system.

UCS indicated at the bargaining table that any increases CSEA sought to the collective bargaining agreement would have to be paid for by finding savings somewhere else in the agreement.

CSEA reminded UCS that during these difficult fiscal times, Judge Lippman has implemented or is seeking to implement several expensive initiatives like judges' raises, indigent criminal defense standards, civil legal services, judge extensions, assignment of judges to Acting Justices of the Supreme Court, judge conferences, adding new Family Court judges, and keeping court operations open to 5 p.m.  During this same time period, court employees have endured layoffs, doing more with less, receiving no cost of living increases, having additional health insurance costs, and the discontinuation of QTP (Partnership for Education funds) and child care/elder care programs.

CSEA went on to say that if UCS really valued the non-judicial employees as much as they say, they would show it by negotiating a fair agreement. If there is to be pain, then everyone should share in it - judicial and non-judicial employees.

Additional negotiation dates have been set for the end of February and early March.

Contract Negotiations Update 11/26/13

(James Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration, November 26, 2013)

The UCS Team met with CSEA on November 19 and 20th.  Management's intention is to make structural changes to the expired contract which will fundamentally reduce their costs and our pay and benefits.  They were more specific than they have been before.  As required by law, CSEA will review their proposals and respond.  What the CSEA Team hopes is that both sides will work out an agreement that satisfies both parties. We have no intention of rushing or stalling-we want to do what is needed to achieve a good result.

It is more likely that this will be a lengthy process than a short one, but we want a contract that is fair and reasonable.  We hope UCS shares our goal.

Contract Negotiations Update 10/3/13

(James Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration, October 15, 2013)

UCS brought in some management reinforcements from the Budget and Human Resources Offices to discuss its concerns.  While acknowledging that it now has enough cash to meet payroll for the current fiscal year (which ends on March 31, 2014), it is seriously concerned about not having sufficient funding from April 1 onward.  Therefore, UCS's position is that an agreement should provide a "cost of living" pay increase, but also save money by modifying or eliminating a number of benefits in the expired agreement.

The employer acknowledged that CSEA's comprehensive proposal to settle the contract, which we gave them back in June, was a dramatic movement in the bargaining process.  But it is not enough to save sufficient dollars.  UCS gave us yet another set of proposals, which would reduce many additional benefits we now have.  What's more, they told us they expected to have even more proposals along these lines.

UCS is now negotiating in a zig-zag  pattern.  Every time the CSEA team tries to hammer out a compromise, management makes a sharp turn in a different direction.  And how can we make an intelligent response when we don't know all of UCS's proposals?  They apparently believe we are mind readers.

We will meet again in November, if only to receive yet more management proposals.  But the prospects for reaching an agreement now are bleak, unless UCS takes another "zag" toward a realistic attitude.

Contract Negotiations Update 6/20, 6/21/13

(James Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration, June 28, 2013)

CSEA made a dramatic bid to speed up negotiations for a new contract on Thursday of last week.  We offered management a proposal for a "total package," one that would resolve all outstanding issues and result in an agreement on an entire contract.  We attempted to protect our members' pay and benefits (a difficult task in the current fiscal climate) and agreed with some of management's proposals to help meet their needs.

UCS did not yet react in detail, but there was a more positive demeanor on the other side.  CSEA hopes to be hearing from UCS soon in attempt to break the log jam.  We will need to meet again to know if they are ready to negotiate seriously or not.  UCS had indicated that it is unlikely they will be able to meet before September, due to vacations, etc.  We'll know soon enough if they are interested in our offer.

Contract Negotiations Update 6/6/13

(James Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration, June 6, 2013)

The CSEA Negotiating Team met with UCS on May 28 and 29.  Management gave us new proposals on a number of topics.  Both sides discussed at some length how various proposals would work.  At one point, UCS suggested that CSEA was not willing to discuss management proposals.  Given the fact that UCS had offered many of its ideas less than 24 hours ago, the CSEA Team thought we had done just the opposite.  UCS also refused to agree on a final date for new proposals, as we have been asking for months.

We are scheduled to meet again in the third week of June.  We hope to make some progress, even in light of the employer's seeming lack of interest in coming to an agreement.

Contract Negotiations Update 5/2/13

(James Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration, May 2, 2013)

The CSEA negotiating team met with UCS on May 1st, 2013.  UCS delivered their initial contract proposals.  Discussions were held.  No specific salary-related proposals or compensation matters were proposed or discussed.  UCS again brought up their concerns over budget shortfalls this fiscal year and next and their further concern over meeting payroll.  They stated that there will be more proposals coming from them.  We hope to meet again at the end of May.

Contract Negotiations Update 3/1/13

(James Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration, March 1, 2013)

The CSEA Negotiating Team met with UCS's team in Albany last week. For the first time in these negotiations, management gave us some idea of how they see the process.  They believe they do not have enough money in the upcoming budget, and probably won't have enough in the budget after that, to fully fund the current number of employees.  They are taking measures to reduce costs, including the reassignment of employees from administrative offices to court rooms, more hiring freezes, etc.

In short, they are planning to make "no growth" budgets into a "no growth" contract. We will need to counter their arguments, especially with respect to the numbers.  CSEA will be able to get down to the specifics of their ideas soon, as UCS recently told us that they would finally be presenting their written proposals to the Team at our next session.  Once we have these details, we will be able to argue that our members need a fair agreement that meets the needs of both sides, not just those of management.

We plan to meet next in early May and hope to be meeting more often following those dates for some meaningful negotiations.

Contract Negotiations Update 11/15/12

Contract Negotiations November 14 and 15:

CSEA's  Negotiating Team met on Wednesday to review progress so far, to discuss the settlement of the Improper Employer Practice charge we filed last year (when UCS refused to negotiate several CSEA proposals), and to work on possible additional ideas.

On Thursday, CSEA and UCS negotiators talked at length about the slow pace of negotiations, the fiscal picture for the State in general and UCS in particular, and whether or not the recent storm damage will delay the process.

We hope to meet again in January on the assumption that UCS will have its act together in order to negotiate a new contract sooner rather than later.

Please check in for further developments.

 

Contract Negotiations Update 9/12/12

In January, 2012, CSEA filed an Improper Practice Charge with the New York State Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) with regard to contract proposals that UCS deemed non-mandatory when we met with them in September 2011.  This charge had to be filed within four months of UCS declaring these proposals non-mandatory and, since no additional meetings were scheduled before then, we had to file the charge to preserve timeliness.  This put negotiations on hold, since we couldn't move forward until this charge was resolved.  In August, CSEA and UCS settled the charge.

CSEA is currently in the process of scheduling the next negotiation session with UCS and will provide updated information as we move forward.

Contract Negotiations Update 11/16/11

Your CSEA Contract Negotiations team met with UCS on August 10th and September 28th, 2011.  The majority of our contract proposals have been delivered to UCS, and we have held extensive discussions regarding whether certain proposals are a mandatory or non-mandatory subject of negotiations.  UCS indicated that any proposals with a fiscal attached, they would be looking to go in the opposite direction.

We were scheduled to meet with UCS on October 27th, but the day prior to the scheduled meeting, management cancelled, saying they were not yet prepared to proceed with their proposals.

"PEP" Program Information

A new program called "PEP," Product Enhancement Program, will be taking the place of the "HOP" program, which expired with our last contract.  This program allows employees Grade 23 and below the opportunity to exchange six annual leave days for up to $1,000 to be applied to the employee's share of their health insurance premiums during 2012.  The attached file will give you complete information.  Each Judicial District should be contacting employees to inform them of the program guidelines and to advise them of the enrollment cut-off date of November 25th.
Click here for "PEP" Information

NYSHIP Changes

(Source:  James Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration, 9/28/11)
We have just learned that changes in the New York State Health Insurance Plan, NYSHIP, negotiated by CSEA for its Executive Branch members will apply to CSEA-represented court employees, non-unionized court employees, and judges as of October 1st of this year.  It is the responsibility of the NYSHIP Office to inform all affected employees about the details.  We do not yet know if this is being done at present.  Further developments will be posted on the web site.

NYSHIP Changes Explanation

(James Hennerty, CSEA Dep. Director of Contract Administration, 10/2/11)
Some CSEA members working for the court system are asking why the Empire Plan is changing before we have completed negotiating a new contract.  The reason is that Article 8 of the CSEA-UCS contract specifies that CSEA-represented court employees receive the same health insurance benefits (including co-pays, premium contributions, etc.) as our fellow NYS Executive Branch State empoyees do.  Now that we have made some changes in the Executive Branch, they become effective for our court employees pursuant to Article 8 of the contract.  And the expired agreement stays in effect until a new contract is completed.

Court Reporter Page Rates

(December 12, 2008, Donald Lynskey, Local 334 President)
The new Court Reporter Page Rate Agreement and Minute Agreement Form have been deemed to be effective as of November 18, 2008, the date upon which the Administrative Board of the Courts approved the change and Part 108 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator was amended. CSEA would have liked a smoother transition to the new rates, so that our members did not have to deal with "retroactive" negotiation of page rates, but UCS nonetheless has specified November 18th as the date of implementation. All CSEA members received a copy of the new agreement with the ratification materials included in the ratification process earlier this year. CSEA-represented reporters must still complete the new Minute Agreement Forms for private party transactions, but reporters now retain the forms themselves for a two-year period. In the event a request is made of a reporter for production of a Minute Agreement Form, that request must be in writing stating a valid reason for the request. If a reporter feels the reason for the request is inappropriate, please contact your union representative as there is a committee in place to review requests, if necessary.
CSEA-UCS 2008 Court Reporter Page Rate Agreement

2007-2011 Contract & Salary Schedules

The 2007-2011 UCS-CSEA contract and salary schedules are available in pdf format by clicking below. If you need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view the pdf file, it is available under the Member Services section on our website's home page.

CSEA-UCS '07-'11 Contract
CSEA '07-'11 Salary Schedules

Pay Raises

(September 3, 2008, James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration)
CSEA has been told that the pay increases and retroactive pay for UCS employees will tentatively be in the paycheck of October 15 of this year. Please note that the date is subject to change if there are complications in pay calculation.

Pay Raises

(July 29, 2008, James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration)
CSEA believes that the Office of the State Comptroller has given a preliminary indication that pay raises (including retroactive pay) for employees of the Unified Court System will be issued in a paycheck in October of this year. That estimate could change, but it is the only one we have so far.

CSEA-UCS CONTRACT RATIFIED

(June 25, 2008)
CSEA members by a 25-to-1 ratio have overwhelmingly ratified a tentative agreement with the Unified Court System. Members approved the agreement by 2,876 to 114.

The four-year pact, retroactive to April 1, 2007, includes salary increases in every year of the agreement, improved downstate and mid-Hudson Valley location pay, enhancements in longevity bonuses for long term employees, improved payments to the Employee Benefit Fund and Labor-Management programs and increases funding for body armor for security personnel. There were no significant changes to health insurance provisions.

Ratification ballots were counted June 25.

Highlight Sheet - Clarification on Retroactive Payments

(June 5, 2008)
The 3% increase that was negotiated for 2007, as well as the 3% increase from April 1, 2008 until the date the increases are paid will be retroactive. This money will probably be paid in one lump sum in a payroll check, date to be determined.

Tentative Contract Highlights

Click on the following link to view the tentative 2007-2011 CSEA-UCS contract highlights.
View 2007-2011 Contract Highlights

Contract Update

(As posted on the CSEA Web Site, www.csealocal1000.org, May 8, 2008)

"CSEA Reaches Contract Settlement for 6,000 Court Employees Across New York"

CSEA - New York's Leading Union - has reached a tentative agreement with the New York State Office of Court Administration on a new contract covering more than 6,000 non-judicial employees in the state's Unified Court System.

"CSEA and the Unified Court System have reached a fair and responsible agreement that recognizes the value and importance of the court employees who make the system work every day," said CSEA President Danny Donohue. "These were challenging negotiations and I am extremely proud of the focus and commitment of the CSEA bargaining team."

The four-year agreement retroactive to April 1, 2007 includes salary increases in every year of the agreement, improved downstate and Mid-Hudson Valley location pay, enhancements in longevity bonuses for long-term employees, improved payments to the Employee Benefit Fund and Labor-Management programs and increased funding for body armor for security personnel. There were no significant changes to health insurance provisions.

Across-the-board cost of living adjustments are as follows:

  • April 1 2007 - 3 percent or $950, whichever is greater (retroactive);
  • April 1, 2008 - 3 percent or $975, whichever is greater (retroactive);
  • April 1, 2009 - 3 percent or $1,000, whichever is greater; and
  • April 1, 2010 - 4 percent or $1,025, whichever is greater.

CSEA also agreed to a salary increase deferral for employees earning more than $115,000 annually until a judicial pay raise is enacted. Employees at or above that level will have their salaries held harmless but will receive the contract provisions once the judicial pay raise issue is resolved. If it is not resolved by the end of the contract, the employees will receive all of the contract cost of living adjustments retroactively. This issue would affect about 500 individuals out of the bargaining unit's 6,000 members.

CSEA-represented court employees work in a range of non-judicial jobs, from court clerks to clerical and administrative staff to security officers in the court system in every part of New York.

Additional details about the agreement will be posted on the CSEA website www.csealocal1000.org shortly. The agreement will be presented to the CSEA rank and file members for review and ratification in the weeks ahead. It must also be approved by the state legislature and signed by the governor.
[Editor's note: Additional details will also be available here at the CSEA Judiciary web site, www.cseajudiciary.org]

Negotiations Update

(James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration, May 7, 2008)

CSEA and UCS have made a tentative agreement on a new contract for 2007-2011. The deal includes increases in compensation, location pay, and other benefits. More details will follow once final wording is agreed upon.

Negotiations Update

(James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration, April 24, 2008)

After abruptly breaking off contract negotiations with CSEA on April 16, the Unified Court System (UCS) has apparently had a change of heart. CSEA is pleased that UCS has agreed to keep negotiating sometime during the week of May 6. (Details are still being worked out.) We hope to make significant progress on the remaining issues on the bargaining table. We made considerable progress last time, which is why we were puzzled by UCS's walk-out. Now both sides have another opportunity to reach an agreement.

Unified Court System Declares Impasse; CSEA to Fight Declaration

(James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration, April 22, 2008)

CSEA and Unified Court System management met April 15 in Albany for negotiations, after months of efforts by the union to force UCS to negotiate an agreement in good faith for CSEA-represented court employees.

Despite some progress, UCS continues to be unreasonable and declared impasse on CSEA on April 16 after only 15 hours of negotiations. That day, UCS shockingly told CSEA that unless we reached an agreement by the morning of April 17, UCS would declare impasse with PERB. CSEA is by far the largest of UCS's 11 bargaining units. CSEA finds it ironic that UCS, which stalled and avoided negotiations for a year, would demand an immediate agreement.

The good news is that UCS offered pay raises, location pay increases, longevity bonuses, child and elder care benefits, uniforms and equipment allowances, QtP funding and other areas.

Despite this progress, CSEA and UCS still disagreed on several issues. First, UCS management proposed insufficient funding for the benefits provided by the CSEA Employee Benefit Fund. The court system's plan also includes insufficient progress on providing body armor for court officers. Additionally, UCS wants to cap annual salaries at $115,000 until or unless judges get a pay raise.

CSEA will oppose the impasse declaration and ask PERB to order UCS back to the negotiating table. The stalling has gone on too long.

UPDATE FOR CSEA-UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS

(James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration, April 8, 2008)

Due to behind-the-scenes efforts by CSEA, the Unified Court System appears ready to negotiate for real on a new contract for court employees. CSEA has added two April days for negotiations with UCS, in addition to dates already scheduled in May. We are hoping that we will make real progress towards a new contract, and we will keep our members updated.

UPDATE - CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS

(James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration, February 6, 2008)

The CSEA Court Employee Negotiating Team met with the UCS team on Jan. 29, 30, and 31. UCS still did not have its final new proposals, as had been promised. UCS said it expects to have them in 2 weeks. Both sides reviewed and clarified CSEA's proposals on grievance procedure, discipline and discharge, overtime pay, Employee Benefit Fund, educational benefits, productivity enhancement program, child care and elder care, flexible spending benefits, uniform and equipment allowance, personal history folders, performance evaluations and QtP funding.

Regrettably, UCS was not prepared to make any counterproposals, much less reach agreements on any of these issues. Given that we have been negotiating since March of 2007, it seems astonishing that UCS has been so slow in getting to the heart of the matter. We suspect they are stalling as a way of pressuring us and the Legislature to raise judges' salaries. Obviously, CSEA represents our members, not the judges, and it would be wrong to hold our members hostage to something only the politicians can give to UCS.

CSEA informed UCS that, if it did not agree to a date to submit final new proposals, we will take whatever legal action is necessary to force it to do so. The parties are tentatively scheduled to meet again on May 6 and 7.

UPDATE - CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS

(James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration, December 3, 2007)

Despite CSEA Executive Branch member's tentative contract agreement with New York State, our negotiations with the Unified Court System for a new contract remain stalled. UCS is finally ready to make our next bargaining session the last date for either side to make new proposals. We are attempting to have that next session sometime in January. We hope the Executive Branch agreement will ease the path for CSEA to reach an agreement. However, UCS seems determined to insist on givebacks and a cap on member salaries (the latter is tied to the lack of a pay raise for judges). It may be a long time before significant progress is made. Please check back periodically for further developments.

CSEA'S CONTRACT PROPOSAL SUMMARY - 2007

(Kathy Guild, Contract Adminstration Specialist, CSEA Headquarters)

CSEA published a summary of the Unified Court System's contract proposals after we received them. Following is a summary of some of CSEA's proposals to the Unified Court System.

SICK LEAVE

  • Increase benefits for line of duty injuries
  • Increase sick leave credit that can be used for health insurance in retirement from 200 to 250 days
  • Increase amount of family sick leave from 15 to 20 days per year

LOCATION PAY

  • CSEA has requested location pay consistent with other bargaining units, retroactive to 04/01/06
  • Location pay provided for any location outside of New York City where employees are required to pay for parking

ON-CALL PAY

  • CSEA is requesting that standby on-call roster lists be created and that on-call assignments be equitably distributed
  • Requesting that anyone on standby on-call receive 50 percent of hourly compensation for each hour scheduled to be on-call
  • Requesting anyone on-call on a contractually celebrated holiday receive 100 percent of hourly compensation for each hour scheduled to be on-call
  • Requesting that employees who are on-call and are called in to work receive a minimum of 5.5 hours of compensation

UNIFORM AND EQUIPMENT ALLOWANCE

  • Increase amount of uniform and equipment allowance to reflect parity with downstate unions and additional amounts for future years
  • Request UCS to secure introduction and recommend passage of legislation necessary to obtain an increased appropriation to fund security enhancement operations agreed upon by a labor/management committee

HOLIDAYS

  • Requesting that the day after Thanksgiving be designated as a Floating Holiday

REIMBURSEMENT FOR PROFESSIONAL LICENSE

  • Requesting that any member required to maintain a professional license or credential required to perform their job duties shall be reimbursed the fee for that license or credential by UCS

VACATION BUY-BACK

  • Requesting that employees be allowed to designate up to five annual leave days to be exchanged for monetary compensation at a rate of 100 percent for each day

CSEA EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FUND

  • Increase contributions from UCS for better benefit package
  • Give part-time employees full benefits
  • Keep retiree benefits

CHILD/ELDER CARE REIMBURSEMENT

  • Increase contributions from UCS for child/elder care reimbursement

WORKING CONDITIONS

  • Request that early dismissal of employees be allowed if Temperature Humidity Index cannot be lowered below 80 degrees within 30 minutes of the initial measurement, instead of 4 p.m.

INSPECTOR GENERAL

  • Proposed a Bill of Rights for CSEA members with respect to the Inspector General's Office investigations, which will preserve CSEA members' rights during an investigation, whether or not they are the target of the investigation

GRIEVANCE AND ARBITRATION PROCEDURES

  • Requesting improved language for grievance and arbitration procedures so that the process is completed in a shorter time-frame

CONTINUING EDUCATION

  • Requesting that QTP monies continue to be contributed by UCS for continuing education

Contract Negotiations Update, August 14, 2007

(James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration)

CSEA and UCS met during the first week in August to continue negotiations for a new contract. For the first time, UCS presented some of their proposals. Management had indicated earlier in talks that it intended to suggest cutbacks in benefits. Nevertheless, the enormity of the reductions proposed is shocking:

PAY

  • Cap salaries at $115,000
  • Sunset (allow to expire) increments and longevity bonuses until a new contract is ratified
  • Reduce longevity bonus

SICK LEAVE

  • Cut maximum amount of sick leave bank grants from 229 days to 130 days
  • Employees on sick leave are confined to their homes or must be reachable by telephone at all times
  • Reduce benefits for line-of-duty injuries

WORKWEEK

  • Increase to 40 hours a week

OVERTIME

  • No time and a half pay until the employee WORKS 40 hours in a week (paid leave would not count as time worked)

QTP MONEY
(used for employee education vouchers and payment to defray health insurance costs)

  • Eliminate altogether

CSEA EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FUND

  • No increases in contributions (which means cuts in current benefits)
  • Remove retirees from the EBF
  • Sunset EBF contributions at the end of a contract (that is, no benefits at all until a new contract is reached)

CHILD CARE/ELDER CARE

  • No funding for this any longer

WORKING CONDITIONS

  • Eliminate provision closing courts when temperatures are too hot or too cold

EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATION LEAVE

  • Significantly reduce amount of EOL available
  • Prevent CSEA representatives on EOL from accruing vacation and sick leave

UCS further indicated that this was about 75% of its proposals. We expect more demands which would cut our members' benefits even more. Take particular notice of an increased work week, the elimination of child care and elder care payments, and the severe reductions in contributions to the CSEA Employee Benefit Fund. EBF benefits would have to be reduced, and UCS wants retired employees completely removed from the program!

Needless to say, the CSEA Negotiating Team sees a long, hard slog in negotiations until we get to a point where we can agree with UCS on a new contract. The CSEA Team has no intention of making an agreement which would slash our members' benefits.

Negotiations Update, June 6, 2007

(James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration)

CSEA and UCS were scheduled to meet for another session of contract negotiations in mid-June. UCS informed CSEA that it did not expect to have its negotiating proposals ready by that time. Both CSEA and UCS have tentatively agreed to meet again in early August. The UCS proposals will seek concessions and reductions in a number of benefits, UCS has told us. CSEA has been preparing for these negotiations since last summer. The CSEA Negotiating Team has presented numerous written proposals to management and attempted to have some real bargaining on the contract. Apparently UCS is not yet impressed with the hard work the CSEA Team has done.

CSEA is deeply disappointed in the continuing pattern of UCS delay regarding negotiations for a new contract. The old contract expired March 31, and CSEA has energetically pushed for an agreement, only to be met by procrastination on the part of management.

UCS has come perilously close to committing an improper employer practice-bargaining in bad faith-by its actions thus far. CSEA is fully prepared, if necessary, to take appropriate legal action to force UCS to cease its dilly-dallying and get down to work on a new contract. Let's hope the August session takes place and is productive.

Negotiations Update

(May 17, 2007)

The CSEA Negotiations Team met on May 15, 16, and 17, 2007 for our second round of negotiations with the Unified Court System management.

CSEA submitted additional proposals (adding to our initial proposals in March). Regrettably, UCS did not submit any proposals and indicated that they were still, even at this late date, working on them. We discussed our proposals with UCS, and during that dialogue, UCS indicated that they are looking to cut back in many areas beneficial to our members.

Tentative dates are scheduled for mid June.

Negotiations Update

(March 21, 2007, James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration)

The Court Employee Negotiating Team of CSEA began negotiations with the NYS Unified Court System for a new contract on March 20 and 21. The meetings took place in the Albany area. The CSEA Team had already sent UCS its initial proposals some weeks ago. UCS said it had not yet completed its analysis of CSEA's proposals but did engage in some discussion of the issues we presented.

UCS offered no proposals to CSEA yet, although the management representatives indicated they would do so no later than the next bargaining session, which will probably be in mid-May.

2003-2007 Contract

The 2003-2007 UCS-CSEA contract is available in pdf format by clicking below. If you need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view the pdf file, it is available under the Member Services section on our website's home page.
CSEA '03-'07 Contract

HIGHLIGHTS OF CSEA-UCS 2003-2007 CONTRACT

(James Hennerty, Dep. Director of Contract Administration)

CSEA and UCS have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. CSEA members are receiving ballots for a ratification vote now. They were mailed on June 18 and must be returned NO LATER THAN 5 P.M., JULY 12. The ballots will be counted on July 13.

If you are a CSEA member and have not received a ballot by June 28, please call CSEA at 1-800-342-4146, ext. 1279, or (518-)257-1279 for a replacement ballot. Please remember, only CSEA members can vote. Agency shop fee payers are not eligible.

The ballot envelope, in addition to the ballot itself, contains all the changes in contract language, and a sheet of highlights in the tentative agreement. The highlights are as follows:

Compensation

  • $800 bonus for employees on payroll when ratified contract is signed
  • 2.5% increase in salary 4/1/04
  • 2.75% increase in salary 4/1/05
  • 3.0% increase in salary 4/1/06
  • Increase salary by $800 3/31/07

Downstate Adjustment

  • For employees working in L.I., NYC, Rockland or Westchester counties:
    • $1,230 4/1/04
    • $1,264 4/1/05
    • $1,302 4/1/06
  • For employees working in Dutchess, Putnam or Orange counties:
    • $615 4/1/04
    • $632 4/1/05
    • $651 4/1/06

Longevity Bonus

  • 4/1/03: $1,600 for 20 year service
  • 4/1/04: $1,650 for 20 year service
  • 4/1/05: $1,700 for 20 year service
  • 4/1/06: $1.750 for 20 year service
  • 4/1/05: $1,800 for 25 year service
  • 4/1/06: $1,850 for 25 year service

Health Insurance

  • Court employees will continue to receive the same Empire Plan benefits as CSEA Executive Branch Employees:
  • The percentage of contribution the State makes towards employees bi-weekly health insurance premiums will remain the same for the duration of the contract. 90% individual/75% dependent coverage.
  • Empire Plan Centers of Excellence will be expanded to include Cancer Resource Centers.
  • Effective January 1, 2005:
    • $900 maximum enrollee coinsurance out-of-pocket maximum; $500 for employees in Salary Grade 6 or below.
    • $1,200 maximum hearing aid benefit per hearing aid, per ear once every four years (children under 12-once every two years); $1,500 after 1/1/06.
    • $12 Participating Provider Co-payment.
    • Third level of prescription drug co-payment to differentiate between brand name and non-preferred brand name drugs:
      • 30 day supply (retail or mail order pharmacy) $5-Generic/$15-Preferred Brand/$30 Non-Preferred Brand
      • 31-90 day supply (retail pharmacy) $10-Generic/$30-Preferred Brand/$60 Non-Preferred Brand
      • 31-90 day supply (mail order) $5-Generic/$20 Preferred Brand/$55 Non-Preferred Brand

Health Option Program (HOP)

  • Employees at salary grade 16 and below will be allowed to exchange three vacation days for a $400 reduction in health insurance premiums. Such employees must have eight days or more of vacation to qualify. This benefit is for calendar years 2005 and 2006 only.

Attendance and Leave

  • The Kronos System of recording attendance for overtime eligible employees will be phased in for all work locations.
  • Written leave requests must be approved or denied within 15 working days.
  • New employees accrue vacation from date of hire.
  • Employees can charge 15 sick leave days a calendar year for illness of close family members (up from 10 days).
  • Up to 200 days of unused sick leave can be used as retirement service credit (up from 165).
  • Employees who become ill or are hospitalized while on vacation can apply to have vacation credits restored and sick leave credits used instead.
  • Sick Leave Donation Program, sick leave at half-pay and advancement of sick leave are eliminated as of January 1, 2005.
  • The Sick Leave Bank will have a special 6-month enrollment period to encourage employees to join.
  • Bereavement Leave: 2 days for employee's son-in-law or daughter-in-law.
  • When leaving employment, up to 50 days accumulated overtime credits can be cashed in. Any time over 50 days is converted to sick leave.
  • Under certain conditions, employees may leave early if the work place is too hot (temp. of 80+) or too cold (51 or less).
  • A pilot project will be established to consider giving compensatory time off to employees who must continue working when a court is closed.

Death Benefit

  • Employees who die from an injury on the job (through no fault of their own) will have a $100,000 benefit paid to their estate.

Overtime

  • will be paid on a minute-by-minute basis.

Pre-tax Transportation Benefit

  • When State Executive Branch employees get this program, UCS employees will also get it automatically.

Labor/Management Committees

  • Local level Labor/Management meetings are required.
  • New committee to study disciplinary procedures.
  • New Safety and Health Article and Labor/Management Committee.

Quality Through Participation Program

  • $403,890 for each of four years
  • To be spent on education, training, communications, health & wellness programs, and un-reimbursed medical expenses.

Out-of-Title Work

  • UCS has a time limit on issuing decisions
  • Improved monetary payment for winning grievances.

Uniform/Equipment Allowance

  • $595 6/1/05
  • $595 12/05
  • $615 6/06
  • $615 12/06
  • Court Officers will be credited with pre-tour prep time on a quarterly basis (8 ¾ hours per quarter). This will happen immediately with officers hired after 4/1/04 and with all officers on 4/1/05.
  • There will be a side letter providing $125 for officers who change to a new uniform blouse.

Employee Benefit Fund

  • 4/1/03: $980 per employee annually
  • 4/1/04: $1,040 per employee annually
  • 4/1/05: $1,080 per employee annually
  • 4/1/06: $1,130 per employee annually
  • Retirees: $885/yr. For all four years

There will be a reduction in current EBF benefits in order to stay within these contribution amounts. The EBF trustees will determine specific changes at a later date.

Work/Life Assistance Program (EAP)

  • Will continue, and UCS will pay the full cost.

Child Care/Elder Care

  • $172,358/ year for four years.

Reimbursement for Property Damage

  • Up to $350 for employee property damage pursuant to State Finance Law.

Seniority

  • A separate Article on seniority, containing the same provisions previously scattered throughout the contract.
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