October 19, 2023

Oneida County Reaches Collective Bargaining Agreement with UPSEU Blue Collar Unit

News Photo

County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. announced today that a collective bargaining agreement has been reached between Oneida County and the United Public Service Employees Union (UPSEU) Blue Collar Unit that includes salary increases for starting and existing employees.

“I thank the UPSEU leadership for coming to the table with our team early and getting a fair and equitable deal done in such quick and efficient manner,” Picente said. “The County employees represented by the union are a valuable workforce that maintains our infrastructure and ensures public safety. I believe this agreement will help to retain these dedicated workers and recruit new ones.”

The UPSEU Blue Collar Unit represents employees in Public Works, Water Quality and Water Pollution Control, Griffiss International Airport, Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) Buildings and Grounds and MVCC Public Safety.

The five-year agreement covers January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2028 and includes the following:

  • A new salary schedule for the entire unit that raises starting salaries to assist with recruitment, and also raises salaries at various steps to assist with retention. This new salary schedule will go into effect January 1, 2024.
  • Longevity increases to further assist with employee retention.
  • Shift differential increases in the majority of departments.
  • Enhanced salary provisions for promotions to incentivize promotion from within.
  • $5,000 per year incentive payments for employees holding and utilizing specialized licenses for the County’s benefit including:
    • CDL A license
    • Professional Engineer License
    • Professional Land Surveyor License
    • Certified Motor Vehicle Inspector License

Negotiations began August 29, 2023 and concluded on October 10, 2023.  The County team was comprised of Chief Negotiator Amanda Cortese-Kolasz, Commissioner of Personnel; Thomas Keeler, Budget Director; Matthew Baisley, Commissioner of Public Works; Alfred Barbato, Purchasing Director and Crystal Marceau, MVCC Executive Director of Human Resources. 

The UPSEU team was comprised of Chief Negotiator Gary Hickey, UPSEU Executive Vice President/Regional Director; Tim Cottrell, UPSEU Labor Relations Representative; Mike Wakefield, Jarett Carpenter, Steven Jeffers, Frederick Wehrenberg and Robert Miller.

The Memorandum of Agreement will now be presented by the USPEU negotiating team to the full membership for a ratification vote, and if ratified by the membership, will be presented from County Executive Picente to the MVCC Board of Trustees and the Oneida County Board of Legislators for a ratification vote.

Oneida County Partners