For around 18 months now, deputies in Wayne County have been working without an updated union contract. In late-May, the union representing road patrol deputies, rejected the county’s offer- and called an impasse.
Since then, it’s been radio silence – at least from the public’s perspective.
Now, in a conversation with FingerLakes1.com, Wolcott Town Supervisor Lynn Chatfield, who is part of the county’s negotiating team, said conversations could resume in a meaningful way.
“They called an impasse,” Chatfield recalled of the union, represented by Teamsters. “We have still maintained some communication between the parties.”
He says that a meeting is slated for Friday, October 6. Details of that meeting weren’t available. However, Chatfield said it could represent a big step forward.
“We need to get back to the table, sit down at the table and talk,” the Wolcott supervisor said of the situation. “If you can’t sit down at the table and talk – you can’t gain.”
Supervisor Chatfield said the County knew it had issues with retention within the sheriff’s office. It’s nothing new, though. Law enforcement agencies across the region are dealing with the same issues of retention, compensation, and work schedule – all factors that have contributed to the ongoing impasse between the union and county.
At the end of the day, Chatfield says the new contract needs to deal with the retention of 3-to-5 year deputies. “Once we get them, we need to keep them,” he added. “Training is very expensive and we want these deputies to be part of our community long-term.”
“Hopefully when we sit back down and get these talks going again we can come to an agreement and get this taken care of,” Chatfield continued. “I think we’re pretty close, it’s just – let’s get back into the room and talk.”