County, CSEA reach agreement on five-year contract

By Alberto Gilman
Posted 2/14/24

Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus and Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) President Denise Fuchs have announced an agreement on a five-year contract (2024-2028) for CSEA, Orange …

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County, CSEA reach agreement on five-year contract


Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus and Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) President Denise Fuchs have announced an agreement on a five-year contract (2024-2028) for CSEA, Orange County’s largest employee union. The CSEA contract covers approximately 1,600 of Orange County’s employees.

County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus stated, “I am very pleased to announce that the County administration and the CSEA have reached an agreement. On a daily basis, I have the privilege to work with the dedicated men and women that keep Orange County government running safely and efficiently.

Whether you’re an emergency services dispatcher, an employee in our parks or highway department, or a hard-working taxpayer, this deal benefits all of you. We have a lot to be proud of in Orange County and I think this contract provides employees a fair compensation for their work while also representing the best interests of the taxpayers.”

“We are excited to be signing this Memorandum of Agreement today, which we will take back to the CSEA membership for a vote,” said CSEA Orange County Unit 7900/02 President Denise Fuchs. “Our priority in negotiations has been to secure a living wage for county CSEA members that recognizes their tireless work, especially during the pandemic. We are grateful to County Executive Neuhaus for recognizing the need for fair wages, hazard pay, and other measures that will re-establish parity within the CSEA bargaining unit. I’m confident that this tentative agreement will aid in the retention and recruitment of county employees, which will be beneficial in the overall delivery of county services.”

The contract agreement: Provides for wage increases of between 4 and 4.5% per year for 2024 through 2028; Pays full-time employees for 40 hours per week (currently employees are paid between 35 and 40 hours per week); Provides hazard/retention pay for employees who worked for the County at the time of COVID (3/1/2020 – 2/28/2021) and who continue to work for the County in amounts of $1,500 to $5,000 depending on the nature of the job performed; Creates a seniority stipend for eligible long-term County employees who agree to either leave County service within the next three years or, if they do not leave County service, will restart their position at an entry level salary paying significantly higher health insurance costs; Increases the amount employees pay for health insurance under the NYS Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP); Creates a lower-cost health insurance alternative program which will save Orange County money while also costing employees less than they pay for the NYSHIP program; Adds Juneteenth National Independence Day to the County Schedule of holidays while taking away Election Day as a scheduled holiday; Provides an opportunity for faster resolution of employee disciplinary process by optionally referring such matters to the Commissioner of Human Resources prior to costly and time-consuming arbitration; Enhances educational opportunities for employees, clarifies the usage of FMLA eligible time, and enhances reporting requirements relative to employee misconduct outside the workplace.

Orange County Legislature Chairwoman Katie Bonelli said, “This agreement ensures our employees are paid appropriately and serves as an important retention and attraction tool for County government. I look forward to the CSEA membership’s vote on the proposed contract and the Legislature’s full approval.”