Cumberland Times-News

April 17, 2013

Contract talks between county, transit workers stall

Animal control employees also working without a deal

Matthew Bieniek
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — Allegany County and the union representing county transit employees have ended negotiations for a contract for the current (2012-13) fiscal year. Negotiations are expected to resume at some point in search of a contract for the 2013-14 fiscal year, said county officials.

Animal control employees also did not reach a contract with the county. The previous contracts expired last summer. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees represents both groups.

“We did not reach impasse but negotiations proved unfruitful,” wrote Brian Westfall, county director of human resources, in an email responding to a request for comment from the Times-News. There are 24 workers in the transit workers bargaining unit, including bus drivers, and two in the animal control unit.    

Negotiations went better on other fronts.

 “Negotiations for a new agreement with Roads Division employees have already begun, and a meeting is scheduled with representatives from the 911 Joint Communications Center. Requests to open new negotiations with Transit and Animal Control have not yet been received,” Westfall said.

 Westfall declined comment on the reasons a contract could not be reached with the two bargaining units. “Based upon the mutually agreed upon ground rules for negotiation, I am unable to provide further comment,” Westfall said.

The county negotiating team consisted of a number of members of the county’s senior management team. Commissioners decided not to employ an outside negotiator.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.