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Prattsburgh highway shop picks Teamsters, continues wind farm ban  

Credit:  By Mary Perham, Bath Courier, www.steubencourier.com 22 August 2010 ~~

Prattsburgh, NY – The Prattsburgh town road crew will go union, after the town board recognized Tuesday the results of a recent highway shop election.
Town officials had delayed accepting the Teamsters as the bargaining unit for the highway employees because of some concern about the election results.
However a state Public Employment Relations Board judge recently ruled the election was valid, according to town Supervisor Al Wordingham.
“I think it would be logical to take her word,” Wordingham said.
Highway Superintendent Chris Jensen said he had no reason to believe the election was invalid.
The town’s counsel, Ed Brockman said the town’s next step is to open negotiations with the union.
Highway employees are subject to civil service requirements, but everything else is now on the table, Brockman told the board. That includes wages, benefits, hours and notice of changes in scheduling, he said.
In response to one resident’s question, Brockman said the state Taylor Law prohibits public employees from striking.
The board is expected to name the town’s negotiator next month.
In other action, the board extended their moratorium on wind development for another six months, in order to allow more time to set up a wind utilities law. The law is being considered by the town zoning commission.
Wordingham said there has been no decision in the current legal battle between the town and developer Ecogen. Ecogen is looking to revoke decisions made by the current town board regarding its 16-turbine project.
The board voted 4-1 in favor of extending the moratorium, with Wordingham, and council members Steve Kula, Anneke Radin-Snaith, and Chuck Shick favoring the longer ban.
Councilwoman Stacey Bottoni voted against the extension, saying the town does not have the judge’s decision yet.

Source:  By Mary Perham, Bath Courier, www.steubencourier.com 22 August 2010

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