UTICA, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente announced on Thursday, October 19 that the county has reached a collective bargaining agreement with the United Public Service Employees Union (UPSEU) Blue Collar Unit. The agreement comes after a 42-day negotiation with the union.

The unit represents employees in several different county services, including Public Works, the Griffiss International Airport, as well as Buildings and Grounds and Public Safety at Mohawk Valley Community College.

“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 in a statement. “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 agreement goes into effect on Monday, January 1 and will run until December 31, 2028. New features of the agreement include:

  • A new salary schedule for everyone that will raise starting salaries to assist with recruitment. It will also raise salaries at various steps to assist with retention.
  • Longevity increases to further assist with employee retention.
  • Shift differential increases in a majority of departments.
  • Enhanced salary provisions for promotions, to incentivize promotion from within.
  • $5,000 per year incentive payments for employees who hold specialized licenses, including a CDL Class A license, a Professional Engineer License, a Professional Land Surveyor License, or a Certified Motor Vehicle Inspector License.

The Memorandum of Agreement between the county and the UPSEU will now be presented by the union’s negotiating team to the full membership for a ratification vote. If it is ratified by the membership, it will be presented to the MVCC Board of Trustees and the Oneida County Board of Legislators by Picente for another ratification vote.