Westmoreland County employees to vote on new labor contract
Rank-and-file members of Westmoreland County’s largest bargaining unit will vote Thursday on a new labor contract, which a county commissioner termed as her “final offer.”
About 900 courthouse employees and support staff at Westmoreland Manor, the county nursing home, have been without a contract since the start of the year. Negotiators reached a tentative deal in late November after a previous agreement was scuttled in October, when union members overwhelmingly rejected the proposed pact.
Officials said the latest deal is a four-year contract but declined to reveal specifics.
“I think it’s more than fair for both sides, and we need to move forward and get this resolved,” said commission Chairwoman Gina Cerilli. “There’s no wiggle room after this. It’s my final offer.”
Service Employees International Union Local 668 represents courthouse clerical and maintenance workers, 911 dispatchers and road crews. Union representatives along with officials from Healthcare Pennsylvania, the union that represents Manor nurses and other staff, will brief members in a series of meetings Thursday before votes are cast.
The unions, while separate, bargain and vote together.
Union spokeswoman Amelia Abromaitis confirmed members will vote Thursday but wouldn’t reveal specifics.
Union members in October voted down a proposed four-year deal that called for raises in the final three years of the contract and increased employee health care contributions.
Commissioner Charles Anderson said the county’s current offer is fair but declined to say whether he will endorse future negotiations.
“I’m not going to draw a line in the sand,” Anderson said.
Commissioner Ted Kopas also refused to say if the proposal would be the county’s last offer.
“My policy is to never comment on negotiations, but I’m hopeful it will be approved,” he said. “It’s a fair offer, and I believe they should vote to approve it.”
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or [email protected].