The New York State Nurses Association has become the fourth union to agree with Westchester County on a labor deal that includes – for the first time – contributions to the cost of their health care benefits, according to Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino.
The four-year contract covers about 50 nurses who work for Westchester County and was ratified by the union on Friday.
“I want to thank the nurses union for working with me to settle this contract under terms that are fair to both the union and the taxpayers,” said Astorino. “Since taking office in 2010, I have repeatedly called on our county government unions to pay a portion of their health care costs – just like everyone else does – and now four of our unions have stepped up and chipped in.”
The new contract calls for no increases in salary for 2012 and 2013, a 2 percent increase for 2014, and a 1.5 percent increase in 2015. Health care contributions begin on Jan. 1, 2014.
The contract is expected to save $107,000 over the remainder of 2013 and $297,000 over the life of the contract.
In addition to the nurses, members of Teamsters Local 456, the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, and the Corrections Superior Officers Association have agreed through negotiations to new contracts with employee health care contributions.
Ssalary increases in the nurses contract, Astorino said, will be funded through savings obtained from having the union move from the county’s self-insurance plan administered by POMCO to the NYSNA Trust, a less expensive insurance plan available to nurses in New York. Retired members of the union will remain in POMCO with no change in their benefit package, he said.
“This agreement is an example of how a jobs for savings contract works for both sides,” said Astorino.
Astorino renewed his called for the county’s four remaining unions, including its largest – the Civil Service Employees Association – to follow the example set by the nurses and the other three unions by agreeing to contracts with employee health care contributions.
The CSEA has been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2011.