By PHIL NOBILE
After almost two years without a labor union contract, the Village of Mamaroneck and the its police department are scheduled to reach an agreement for the next few years, with healthcare changes and salary increases highlighting the deal.
The village’s Police Benevolent Association has been without a contract since June 2012. If its terms are approved by the Board of Trustees, the new contract will last through May 2016.
Whether or not the settlement was adopted by the trustees at their April 16 meeting was unavailable as of press time.
“We’ve had a couple years of negotiations and, although not all parties are completely satisfied, all our efforts are in good faith and we’ve achieved this settlement,” Village Manager Richard Slingerland said.
Mayor Norman Rosenblum, a Republican, said he saw no reason the board wouldn’t adopt the settlement at its April 16 meeting, adding the agreement would serve the village better overall.
“This is long overdue,” Rosenblum said. “It fits well within the description of what both sides expect with a union contract…it’s fair to the taxpayers, village employees and will improve the overall effectiveness of the police department.”
The new settlement between the village and its police force differs in numerous ways from the previous June 2008 contract.
One of the more notable changes comes with healthcare. In the older contract, officers employed up to five years with the village were required to pay 25 percent of their insurance premiums, officers up to 10 years were required to pay 20 percent, and after 10 years no contribution was required.
The new terms require officers up to six years working with the village to pay 25 percent, up to 15 years of employment to pay 20 percent of the premium, with no further contribution required after 15 years.
Steady salary increases are another major point of the new contract, with a 3.25 percent retroactive increase for the past two years and a $2,000 stipend for the 2012 and 2013 years to each union officer, and another 7.5 percent increase in pay through the life of the contract included in the terms.
Slingerland was unsure what the potential cost would be for the taxpayer as a result of the planned increases for the next few years, but said taxpayer’s interests were in mind during the years of
“When there are increases in salary, it does correspond back to the taxpayers,” he said. “Between the village’s negotiations and the PBA’s negotiations, we tried to balance the interests of all the people involved, including the taxpayers.”
Other terms of the new agreement include a change in how grievances and appeals are filed to the village by a police officer. According to the village manager, the goal was to “standardize the response time” between the filing and appealing of potential grievances and it provided changes in filing timing—which Slingerland described as potentially personnel matters—settled upon. According to the terms of the contract, the filing time period was shortened from 45 days to 25 days.
Although all of the other village’s unions currently have contracts with the village, the CSEA’s contract is set to expire May 31 of this year. According to Slingerland, negotiations will begin soon on renewing the labor union’s terms.
Village of Mamaroneck Police Chief Chris Leahy was unavailable for comment as of press time.