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County approves SEIU nursing home contract

Overall, Gardner said the county could expect to save nearly $661,000 in the first year of the contract.

Gardner credits most of the savings to health-care reforms that he said the county is implementing in all of its union negotiations.

"Our new retiree health-care reforms will save us $229,885.92 each year for the nursing home employees of 1199, bringing total annual savings of these new reforms to over $3 million," said Gardner.

The contract received bipartisan support from the Legislature. Minority Leader Robert Farley, R-Scotia, called the agreement "inherently fair" for nursing-home employees, whom he called "true public servants."

Late last year, the county agreed to a three-year contract with the 800-member Local 847 of the Civil Service Employees Association, which also offered 3 percent raises and similar health-care benefits to workers.

The county is still negotiating with the 200-member Sheriff's Benevolent Association.

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