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No raises for SCCC employees amid inter-union clash

Suffolk lawmakers are weighing a $1.8-million plan to

Suffolk lawmakers are weighing a $1.8-million plan to amend Suffolk County Community College's budget so that tuition this fall will stay below $4,000. (Dec. 13, 2010) Credit: SCCC

Nearly 6,000 Suffolk union workers will get their first checks Thursday with 2 percent pay raises negotiated by Association of Municipal Employees earlier this spring -- but not the 800 white- and blue-collar workers at Suffolk County Community College.

Those workers will not get a pay hike because the Civil Service Employees Association last November filed a petition with more than 30 percent of the college workers challenging AME’s right to represent them.

Contract terms for the college employees can’t be legally negotiated until it is determined which union will represent them.

The Public Employment Relations Board will begin considering the petitions and decide whether to order an election July 7.

CSEA spokesman Rich Impagliazzo blamed AME for delaying tactics to stall a vote on who should represent members. He added that CSEA and college workers seeking a new union “are confident they can get a contract that is better than the mediocre deal” AME got for members. That deal gave Suffolk’s white- and blue-collar workers no increase for 2009 and 2010, but 2 percent increases as of Jan. 1, 2011, and 2012.

AME president Cheryl Felice replied: “If they compared our deal to the one CSEA just negotiated for their state members, I think they would overwhelmingly take the AME deal. In fact, AME is going to start asking CSEA members if they would like to join our union.”

While the first checks to reflect the pay raise will come this week, Jeff Tempera, Suffolk director of labor relations, said a lump-sum retroactive check due to county workers for the past six months will not come until sometime this fall.

Photo: Suffolk County Community College

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