Of the 2,883 ballots counted, 2,144 voted "no," 706 voted in favor, and 33 ballots were disqualified, according to the unit's website. The office of local 815 is located in Cheektowaga.
Joan Bender with CSEA Local 815 says the union members' biggest concerns were Provisions to eliminate retiree health insurance coverage for new hires and those employees with fewer than 15 years of service; a requirement to pay 15 percent of health insurance costs; an unacceptable level of compensation-- $1,250-- referred to as a "signing bonus," to cover lost wages since the contract lapsed in 2006; and a provision that makes changes to holidays and time off.
"We brought the tentative agreement reached in late July to our membership and they have spoken by voting 2,144 no votes to 706 yes votes, a three to one ratio," said CSEA Erie County Local President Joan Bender "We will return to the negotiating table for discussions once again in good faith, balancing what is best for our members and their families."
In response, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz issued the following statement:
“I am disappointed that a majority of CSEA’s voting membership rejected a contract that would have put more money in their pockets while asking for modest contributions to their health care plans. The contract that was presented was fair to CSEA members and to County residents, and was realistic in its assessment of the economic climate in Erie County. While CSEA has chosen not to move forward with a new contract at this time, Erie County will continue to negotiate with other unions whose members are a vital part of the County workforce.”