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Wayne County, deputies’ union hit roadblock on contract negotiations: What happens next?

Negotiating a new contract is always a challenge.

Right now though, the negotiations between Wayne County officials and the union representing deputies, sergeants, and investigators has reached an impasse.

County Administrator Rick House said Teamster Local 118 made the impasse declaration, according to the Finger Lakes Times. That’s the union representing members of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.

Now, a mediator will be assigned to assist in negotiations.

The contract between deputies and the county expired in December 2021. Nine meetings have taken place since February. However, the sticking point for negotiations is salaries.

“We wished to continue working through this,” House said of Friday’s meeting, which apparently only lasted 15 minutes. “We have come to agreement on numerous issues. It basically surrounds pay. We were very surprised. We wanted to continue talking, and we thought we were making progress,” House continued, speaking with the Finger Lakes Times.

Members of the union have contended that it comes down to competitive salaries and pay in the region. House alleges that the pay disparities described are partly inaccurate. House says the County wants to provide “appropriate and competitive wages and benefits to employees while respecting the needs of county citizens.”

This isn’t the first time the two sides have had difficulty negotiating new contracts. It happened in 2018, before a new contract was inked in 2019.