Forty Somerset County prison guards will continue to work under the terms of a contract that expired at the end of 2010 while they and the county take contract negotiations to arbitration.
The county has asked the guards to accept concessions on either wages or health benefits. The guards, represented by the United Mine Workers, have not agreed to either offer. Under the county’s proposed agreement, guards can choose: Either work for their current pay for the life of the agreement without paying any health care costs, or receive cost-of-living raises while paying 7% of their health care costs.
An arbitrator will try to break the deadlock.