Massena tries again for negotiator post

MASSENA — Village of Massena officials are hoping the second time is the charm in their search for someone to assist with contract negotiations.

They had sent out a request for proposal from firms that were interested in assisting with contract negotiations with the village’s bargaining units. Those were due Sept. 11.

Village officials had previously used an outside firm to help with some negotiations, while they handled others themselves. That person had been used for three of the contract negotiations.

“In the past we’ve utilized a contractor negotiator. That works very well,” Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire said during Tuesday’s village board meeting.

However, finding someone to assist this time around wasn’t easy.

“One proposal came in. In my opinion, it is much more in terms of the scope of the work we need. It is certainly too costly,” he said.

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. “However, there are five remaining. So we are looking to see what services were out there to assist with two of the five. We would continue to work on all five,” he said.

Since they received only one proposal, Mr. LeBire recommended, and trustees agreed, to send out another request for proposal to see if any additional firms would submit a bid.

“My recommendation is to go back out one more time,” he said.

Proposals must include previous experience, references, hourly rates, travel costs, schedule availability and proposed negotiator rates.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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