The Resource Center and the TRC United Employees Association, an affiliate of the New York State United Teachers, have reached agreement on a three-year contract.
The pact took effect Sept. 16 and will run until July 25, 2014. Key provisions of the new agreement include a second option in the health insurance plan; a yearly wage increase for employees; and a higher starting wage for newly hired direct support professionals. There were other provisions in the contract, including no wage re-openers in the second and third years.
This is the third full contract between the parties. About 650 of The Resource Center's 1,800 employees are members of the NYSUT local.
"This multi-year agreement is a benefit, not only to our employees, but to the many individuals we support and their families, and our community as well,'' said Paul Cesana, The Resource Center's executive director. ''This agreement reflects our continuing efforts to working together on solutions to difficult issues during these particularly trying times."
Lance Bensink, TRCUEA president, said there was strong support among employees for the terms of the agreement.
"Our people felt our most important issues were appropriately addressed, and we were supportive of a multi-year agreement," he said.
Participating in the contract talks for the union were Bensink; Shirley Bissell, NYSUT labor relations specialist; and TRCUEA members Steven Collander, Diane Cornell and Carla MacTavish.
Representing management were Cesana; Martin Idzik, an attorney with Phillips Lytle; Denise Jones, associate executive director and chief operating officer; Anthony Prinzi, assistant executive director for labor relations; Carol Svensen, director of personnel administration; Nickey Riczker, director of compensation and benefits; and Lucille Brooks, director of finance.
The Resource Center supports people with disabilities and their families in Chautauqua County. The organization also offers a variety of primary care, dental, health-related and mental health services that are available to anyone in the community.