MASSENA — The former village administrator for Massena and Potsdam has been hired to assist village of Massena officials with contract negotiations.
Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire said the village has five contracts to negotiate with its bargaining units, and Everett Basford will assist with two of them. He will be paid a rate of $95 per hour and receive mileage reimbursement “at the appropriate level,” which is currently 58 cents per mile. Any other expenses will need to be approved by village officials. Among the bargaining units whose contracts will be expiring on May 31, 2020, are the Department of Public Works’ Civil Service Employees Association Local 1000, and the Massena Police Department’s Massena Police Protective Association.
Other contracts include 10 employees covered under a management contract, five employees covered under a personnel contract, three employees covered under a recreation management contract and three employees covered under a recreation maintenance contract.
Village officials had signed off on a three-year contract with Massena Permanent Firefighters Local 2220 in April, with that contract running from June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2023. Mr. LeBire said that was done with the assistance of a negotiator.
The village board had issued a request for proposals to assist with the current contract negotiations, and that initially brought in one response that Mr. LeBire said covered more than they needed and was more costly than necessary.
“It’s much more than we need in terms of services and the cost. To ask the village to pay that price, we weren’t comfortable with their proposal in those regards, fiscally speaking,” he said.
They opted to send out another request for proposal, which brought two responses.
“Given the expertise and knowledge that Mr. Basford has, I think he’d be more than capable of what we’re looking for. The proposal from Mr. Basford is very much in line with what we’ve used previously with other individuals,” Mr. LeBire said.
Mr. Basford will help negotiate two of the remaining five contracts.
“We handle more of it on our own as we did with the fire group, which went very well. We’re looking to continue that trend, moving away from it and structure it to where we can do it on our own. However, this year there are still five outstanding contracts that need to be negotiated due to their expiration dates. We’re looking to use a negotiator on two of the remaining five, and then hopefully get these structured to where the next round is even less of a need for such a person or firm,” Mr. LeBire said.