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City Council To Vote On Union Agreement

It appears city officials have reached a new contract agreement with one of its bargaining units.

On Monday, the Jamestown City Council will be voting to possibly approve a contract with the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) Local 1000.

Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist told The Post-Journal if the contract is ratified by both the council and the union, details of the new contract will be released to the public.

Sundquist said it was one of his priorities at the start of his term to come to agreements with the three city bargaining units that are working without a new contract, which also includes the Kendall Club Police Benevolent Association and the Jamestown Professional Firefighters Association IAFF Local 137.

“Since the beginning of January, myself and my staff have tried hard to negotiate agreements not only with the CSEA, but also with police and fire,” Sundquist said. “We want to ensure that all employees are working under a current agreement. We’ve had multiple conversations to flush out the details and both parties have come to an agreement.”

Sundquist said he believes both the council and the union will ratify the new contract.

“After the council’s vote, assuming the council votes ‘Yes,’ then their members will vote,” he said. “We believe both parties have a pretty good contract and will ratify accordingly.”

The last agreement between the CSEA and the city was in 2015, which expired at the end of 2018. The new contract, if approved, would expire at the end of 2021. The CSEA has 16 full-time and five part-time employees who work as clerical staff and engineers.

Last year, city officials reached contract agreements with their three other bargaining units — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and two units of the Jamestown City Administrative Association.

In other business, the council will be voting on adjustments to the 2020 budget because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, the council, during a special meeting, approved to cut this year’s budget by $1,155,674 because of the impact the pandemic has made on sales tax revenues and the possible cut in state aid.

“Based on our estimates, the city of Jamestown now faces a potential budget shortfall between $2 million to $4.75 million. These estimates are due to a projected 10% to 30% decrease in sales tax revenue, a 20% to 30% reduction in New York state aid and a general loss in miscellaneous city revenue (permits, parking fines, etc.),” states the city’s COVID-19 restructuring plan, which was signed by both Sundquist and Joseph Bellitto, former city comptroller. “We want to be very clear that these are estimates given current financial information, and like all things during this pandemic, subject to change depending on federal or state funding, budget realignments or further changes in law.”

Phase One cuts include a $100,000 budget reallocation from the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency to the city because of additional funding the city has received through the CARES Act; a $100,000 savings through the Public Works Department central garage; a $289,000 savings in Public Work Department streets; a $251,000 savings in the Parks Department; and a $310,187 savings in overall benefits.

The council will also be voting to enter into a contract agreement with IPL Corp. for the illumination of the Washington and South Main Street bridges as part of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk illumination plan, which was part of the funding the state provided the city for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Of the $10 million the city received from the state for the DRI program, $428,500 will be paid to IPL Corp. to implement the lighting plan on the bridges.

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