County offers to drop 'two-tier' plan
In its effort to avert a strike and maintain business as usual, Madison County officials are dropping a "two tier" pay plan and offering a four-year contract to a union threatening to walk out.
The proposal calls for a 3% salary increase in the contract's first year, followed by 2.5% increases for the remainder of the contract.
"The county believes that this proposal directly responds to AFSCME's chief objection to the previous contract offer and is consistent with the agreement that was overwhelmingly approved by the deputies of the Sheriff's Department last week," according to a press release issued by the county Wednesday afternoon.
Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan nor county attorney John Gilbert could be reached for comment.
Negotiations between the two sides were continuing Thursday morning.
In its latest offer, the county also made a proposal that called for a "signficant" contribution to union employee's dependent health insurance coverage.
AFSCME Local 799 president Scott Davis was in a late afternoon meeting with union members.
County employees, who have worked without a contract for more than 10 months, objected to the county's two tier proposal which would have provided a different pay scale for newly hired employees.
"The county believes that it has negotiated in good faith, that it has offered their valued employees a fair contract proposal that is both fiscally attractive to them and responsive to their expressed health care needs and concerns," according to the statement.