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    Layoffs averted for some New Castle County workers

    New Castle County has struck a deal with one of three unions holding out for restoration of pay rollbacks. County Executive Chris Coons (D) says Local 459, which represents parks and maintenance workers, has agreed to continue the 5 percent rollbacks instituted last year in exchange for a promise of no layoffs in 2011.

    New Castle County has struck a deal with one of three unions holding out for restoration of pay rollbacks.  County Executive Chris Coons (D) says Local 459, which represents parks and maintenance workers, has agreed to continue the 5 percent rollbacks instituted last year in exchange for a promise of no layoffs in 2011.

    Coons had said the union and two others representing clerical and technical workers and  managers and supervisors faced layoffs, if they could not work out deals with the county.

    “I’m very pleased that we were able to come to an agreement with Local 459.” Coons said. “This agreement ensures our parks, sewers, libraries and fleet will be well cared for without any disruption in service to residents.”

    The agreement with Local 459 also includes one paid furlough day in this fiscal year, and five paid furlough days in the next fiscal year for union’s 249 parks and maintenance workers.

    The continued  pay rollbacks, which county officials estimate saves nearly $724,000,   are part of Coons’ proposed $234.9 million operating budget for 2011.  County Council is scheduled to vote on that budget May 25.

    The county’s chief administrative officer Rick Gregory is hopeful deals with the other two union holding out can be reached.

    “We’re making a lot of headway,” Gregory said. “The union presidents are showing a real willingness to come to the table to avoid layoffs.”

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