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Mar 2, 2010 5:55 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton police contract caps annual raises at three percent

Mar 2, 2010 5:55 PM

East Hampton Town has struck a six-year deal with the town’s Police Benevolent Association, retroactive to 2007. The new contract was hailed by Supervisor Bill Wilkinson for including cuts in proposed raises for police officers.

Mr. Wilkinson said in a press release on Thursday that a tentative contract agreement was reached after a five-hour negotiating session on February 22. “I have asked for sacrifices in salaries from some of our most senior staff and from our law enforcement forces,” said Mr. Wilkinson in the release. “Through their cooperation and sacrifice, they have set examples that will not only set the standard for future board decisions but convince the workforce and residents that as stakeholders we must all come together to right the ship.”

The town has yet to release a copy of the contract, but Mr. Wilkinson said that the deal calls for 2-percent increases in salaries in 2007 and 2008, 3-percent raises in 2009 and 2010, a 2.9-percent raise in 2011 and a 2.5-percent increase in 2012. In previous contracts, East Hampton Police Officers had often been granted salary increases of at least 4 percent.

Mr. Wilkinson also highlighted the unusually long terms of the agreement. Traditionally, the town’s PBA contracts have been for two years, but he said he was able to negotiate a longer contract due in part to the fact that the police had already been working without a contract for more than two years.

PBA President Joseph Fallacara could not be reached for comment.

The town plans to make retroactive payments totalling about $440,000 to the PBA, which has 76 members, for 2007 through 2009, according to East Hampton Town Budget Officer Len Bernard. Mr. Bernard added that the yearly increase in the police budget due to the raises for 2010 through 2012 will be about $200,000.

Mr. Bernard added that police longevity payments, vacation, sick time and other aspects of the contract will remain at the same rates as in the contract that expired at the end of 2005.

Police officers currently earn an additional $1,950 after completing five years of service, which increases by $150 each year until their 10th year when they receive a $2,700 pay raise, which increases by $150 annually until they reach 15 years of service, at which time they receive a $3,200 raise, which increases by $150 per year until retirement. Police officers will continue to have 22 days of sick leave per year and a vacation schedule that begins with seven days of vacation for the first year of service and tops out at 28 days per year after 10 years of service.

Calls to police headquarters this week requesting the salary of a first year officer were referred to Chief Todd Sarris who was not in.

“This is a prime example of the PBA working with town officials to come to an agreement that will not only provide for the welfare of our employees but also protect the hard earned tax dollars of our residents,” said Mr. Wilkinson in the release. “Especially in light of a deficit for 2005 through 2009 that will be close to $30 million, this six-year agreement creates certainty at a time when assurance needs to be built back into our town’s finances and establishes a realistic and fair salary structure for a major portion of our payroll costs through 2012. The police union should be commended for their team approach to settling this contract during a period of significant financial stress for our town.”

East Hampton and its PBA entered binding arbitration last summer, after negotiations with former Town Supervisor Bill McGintee, a former town police lieutenant, stalled.

Mr. McGintee, a Democrat, often blamed former Republican Supervisor Jay Schneiderman’s administration for not including a projected 4.25-percent salary increase for police officers in the 2004 budget, which he inherited from that administration.

Mr. Bernard, who was also Mr. Schneiderman’s budget officer, said this week that Mr. Schneiderman had included a substantial amount of money, in excess of $300,000 per year, for police raises in a contract that was settled just days before his administration left office, in contingency in the town’s B fund. He said that he made Mr. McGintee’s administration aware that the money was there.

Mr. McGintee included $400,000 for police raises in his 2009 budget, and the 2010 budget that he presented just before resigning in October included a nearly $800,000 increase for police salaries.

Mr. Bernard said this week that the police budget only had $240,000 left in its salary line for 2007, $10,000 left in its salary line in 2008 and was likely over its salary line by nearly $1 million for 2009. He said, however, that the budgetary implications could have been much worse if the PBA’s initial salary increases were implemented. He added that the new contract had already saved the town $375,000 over what it had anticipated spending the past three years.

“It depends on your assumptions of what would have been,” he said when asked if the contract would save the town money.

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Devils in the detail....should be no increase in 2010 over 2009!
By voter (33), Amagansett on Feb 26, 10 3:46 PM
I think the title to the article is incorrect.

They aren't conceding salaries, they are reducing the % of future salary increases.

They were previously 4+%!!

Do you realize that at 4.5%, their salaries double every 15 years?

Anyway, like the above poster pointed out, the budget still increased 14.6% in one year (according to the article from 8.9m to 10.2m). give me some details.

Probably due to higher pension and healthcare costs for personnel. ...more
By C Law (350), Water Mill on Feb 27, 10 6:17 AM
I think Bill has done a good job with a difficult contract to negotiate, but something also has to be said about the police, who were willing to negotiate in good faith and come up with a deal that does its best for both sides. In these times, noone should be getting a raise but lets be realistic. This should set an example for all the other municipalities and districts.
Is TASH watching?
By ehboardwatcher2010 (21), sag harbor on Feb 28, 10 9:52 AM
a salary concession to me means no increase or a decrease in pay/benefits. it really does not mean you accepted less than your negotiarting stance.
By baseball (5), westahmpton beach on Feb 28, 10 3:53 PM
I am curious if the EHPD get an automatic step increase in addition to their rasies. If so what is it and what does that add to the contract and raises? The Town is facing a 30 million dollar deficit according to Supervisor Wilkinson and he called for a reduction in payroll of 2.5 million dollars for 2011 during the campaign. We have heard calls for increased fees for the transfer station and dock fee increases have been approved. All of this comes after 2 years of massive property tax increases ...more
By benzwirn (11), east hampton on Mar 1, 10 9:46 AM
Those are hefty increases at this point in time. And to call them "concessions"? Absurd. These are increases Wilkenson is basically saying everyone else will get, instead of freezing everything. The deficit is stagerring and if they don't move quickly on reducing payroll (and all of its related benefit costs) get ready for another whopping tax increase. Nickel-diming dock and garbage fees and the like will do nothing against that $30 million hole.
By zaz (197), East Hampton on Mar 1, 10 10:43 AM
Safe to say that article does not tell the whole story, there may be agreements on staffing cuts, which adds to cost savings, plus the cost of arbitration and it's unknown outcome had an agreement not been reached must be factored in. Not to mention it gives the town a definite picture of what it's finances will be like in regard to police costs for the next few years, which obviously is extremely advantageous given the uncertainty that has been EH Town finances as of late. Seems like a smart move ...more
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Mar 1, 10 10:56 AM
1 member liked this comment
unless there are reductions we do not know about there are no concessions here. And coming to a negotiated agreement rather than an arbitration is not a concession, nor is it a savings.
By diogenes (57), westhampton on Mar 1, 10 2:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
To BZ -- other than the entry level steps a patrol officer goes through in his/herfirst three years (and it's more probationary increases), police do not get yearly automatic increases like teachers do under the Triborough Doctrine throughout their careers (even without new contracts). So the new pay schedule for EH Police is what it is -- good for the town.

The people of East Hampton should be thankful to Supervisor Wilkinson and the PBA for negotiating a fair settlement that could have ...more
By happynow (19), east hampton on Mar 1, 10 6:09 PM
2 members liked this comment
I want to know if the EHPD also get built in step increases which will greatly affect the raises discussed... the Town is 30 million in the whole....the Town Board is looking to raise fees, which is nothing more then a backdoor tax...maybe Happy you don't think our taxes and fees are high enough....if you have no money you don't give out raises, you try and keep people working...as for the Communication Tower for Montauk...we in Suffolk County did everything we could do to move this along...then ...more
By benzwirn (11), east hampton on Mar 1, 10 6:53 PM
BZ ....no built in step increases...just ask any officer who has been on the job for more than 3 years.... they are laughing at your comments....boat fees affect people who have chosen to buy a boat and can afford to own one not the poor folks who can't afford property tax increases that jeopardize their homes ..which is the reason sanitation fees were not raised because everyone has garbage....Police have binding arbitration....you just don't ask for givebacks.....thought you would realize this......you ...more
By happynow (19), east hampton on Mar 1, 10 8:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
Happy you don't sound like a very happy person. Why be so hostile, are all of those nasty comments necessary to say? What did he ever do to you.? He ran for supervisor. Smile happy life is to short to be so negative.
By pgibson (2), Sag Harbor on Mar 2, 10 12:18 PM
Happy Now...why so defensive...sounds like you work for the Wilkinson Administration...why hide behind a phony name...I am just asking questions...if the police get step increases in their contracts a 3per cent raise can become a 6 per cent raise...I recognize the election results...do I forfeit my rights to ask questions about how my tax dollars are being spent...my point was simply that the Wilkinson team has stated we are facing a 30 million dollar deficit...we have come off two years of massive ...more
By benzwirn (11), east hampton on Mar 3, 10 7:49 AM
While an arbitrator can set salary increases (which can go either in the Town or the union's favor) the Town determines staffing levels, and that's something the PBA knows. I'm a fan of Wilkenson but I think the Town needed to take a firmer line with the PBA...no increases at all or a modest retroactive increase for the 2 prior years. There is no way now that any other unions will settle for less than what the PBA got, and I suspect that with the size of the deficit that will have to mean layoffs. ...more
By zaz (197), East Hampton on Mar 1, 10 9:46 PM
BZ..."In Suffolk County the Police gave givebacks worth some 12 million dollars" That is nearly 2,500 cops we are talking about, plus that "giveback" as you call it was or will be out of their retro pay for whatever raise increases are. BUT, they get that back upon retirement, with whatever raises are given between now and then. I would bet good money when the Suffolk PBA's award comes award it will not look anything like the agreement here in EH. By the way Ben, what are you going to do with ...more
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Mar 1, 10 9:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
Bayman...what money did anyone take from you for additional SC Police Officers...unless you live in western Suffolk County and in the Police District, you do not pay Police District Taxes...I am sure you knew that...
By benzwirn (11), east hampton on Mar 4, 10 11:32 AM
Wow, not even a denial. So it's seems you are suggesting that it's okay to take money from constituents for services not provided as long as they pay taxes in the S.C. police district?
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Mar 4, 10 6:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
Geez...part of the SCPD is funded with sales tax...approximately 54 million dollars...with the econmy still reeling there is an expected 160 million sales shortfall...so fpr the 200 cops the Legislature wanted to hire may there simply may not have enough money to pay for all 200...the CE has directed that the first 70 be put thru the academy right away and they will monitor revenues to see when the balance can be added...the County Legislature raised Police District taxes by 12 million dollars...the ...more
By benzwirn (11), east hampton on Mar 5, 10 4:15 PM
Your argument makes sense, but for the fact that the very well publicized increase in PROPERTY TAXES, to hire 200 cops is what I am referring to. Ok, let's here it Ben...
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Mar 5, 10 4:52 PM
Bayman...I understand what you are saying...we'll see how sales tax revenues are...the debate over the additional hiring of SCPD will continue...but there should be no debate that they do a great job...the recent arrests in the Brentwood stabbing is an excellent example of first rate police work...they caught 3 defendants in the State of Maryland where they were making plans to leave the Country...hats off to them for a quick resolution of a murder that had left that community rightfully upset...let ...more
By benzwirn (11), east hampton on Mar 6, 10 1:34 PM
Interesting question. I don't know if I could answer without asking another question: What were these reassigned deputy sheriffs doing before they were assigned to the LIE and Sunrise? Clearly something is now not getting done that was, or it still is and but at the overtime rate. Doesn't seem like cost savings to me, looks more like smoke and mirrors. Unless of course the sheriff's office is overstaffed in which case I would expect deputies to be laid off if and when SCPD takes over the highways ...more
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Mar 6, 10 8:02 PM
To pgibson....can't be too happy with the mess the town is in thanks to the knuckleheads that ran the town into the ground......the comments are not nasty just facts.......I am very, very happy that someone with a little bit of sense and smarts is now runnning the town of East Hampton......BZ should just let Wilkinson do the job he was ELECTED.......really ELECTED.....I mean really-really ELECTED.....really can't get much more ELECTED in fact.........to do without throwing rocks at a major accomplishment ...more
By happynow (19), east hampton on Mar 2, 10 7:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
The only one who seems to be throwing rocks is you. Very childish
By pgibson (2), Sag Harbor on Mar 3, 10 1:53 PM
If the truth is a rock, then I guess I'm throwing rocks......plenty of rocks
By happynow (19), east hampton on Mar 3, 10 6:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
Len is that really you...no wonder you are "Happy Now"...you still have a job....good luck we are all going to need it...I agree Bill Wilkinson received a mandate...I wish him luck...night meetings...taxi regulation...good initiatives...I supported them as well...but if I have questions I will raise them...Len you lost a few races along the way, never stopped you from writing letters...I would never have suggested that you do...we can rasie questions and hopefully on occassion disagree and still ...more
By benzwirn (11), east hampton on Mar 4, 10 11:42 AM
BZ -- You don't really belive Happy is Len? Believe me when I say you should re think that conclusion.
By truthinbonac (46), Amagansett on Mar 4, 10 8:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
Len you are Truth in Bonac...How much did the EH 2010 Budget leave to the new Board in the Contingency Account in the B Fund to account for issues unresolved including police contract settlements...I recall 1 million dollars...there is plenty of revenue in the 2010 Budget without having to go out and borrow a ton of money or raise revenues...even the revenue from the Beach Sticker Fee that was repealed before you got there was accounted for...Len your team promised to balance the Budget by reducing ...more
By benzwirn (11), east hampton on Mar 6, 10 1:52 PM
Ben....first you say I am Len ....now you say Truth is Len.....your confusion is confusing.......who the heck is Len?.......Tommorrow you may say Baymen is Len?.....or maybe Ben is Len?...........or Len is Ben?.........I would guess I am me and the Truth is he........but Len?......your guess is as good as mine.................................................................????????.......and by the way who the heck cares...... because in two years no will will care because Bill Wil's work will be ...more
By happynow (19), east hampton on Mar 6, 10 10:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
Happynow is clearly not a happy person. "She" appears to be slightly off balance. Not good if "she" is in charge of the towns finances.
And I do hope that in two years we all have the option of forgetting about Bill Wilkinson. Its just a shame that we are stuck with the other two parts of his "team" for another two years. Secret meetings, political donor motivated firings and "restucturings." It really is much more scary than anyone will admit to. Check out the tone in Town Hall.. Incompetence ...more
By ehboardwatcher2010 (21), sag harbor on Mar 7, 10 9:43 AM
Actually I am ver happy, and unless you are living in a cave you would know that the vast majority of people in the Town are overjoyed. The only people who are unhappy are those who blindly supported the previous administratioon as it destroyed the town's finances, crushed the town's credibility and good name, and treated employees with disdain and a lack of dignity and respect. Intelligence, fairness, openess and professionalism has been restored in town hall. It truly bothers those who ruined ...more
By happynow (19), east hampton on Mar 7, 10 10:53 AM
Just to introduce some facts into this thread...

The following is from a letter sent from the New York State Comptroller to the Town of East Hampton on November 10, 2009:

By truthinbonac (46), Amagansett on Mar 7, 10 5:07 PM
Truth...we are waiting.
By happynow (19), east hampton on Mar 7, 10 6:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
The State Comtroller wrote a letter to the Town on November 10, 2009. In reference to the Police contract it said "Because payments for salary increases and commensurate fringe benefits would be made in 2010, the appropriations for personal services in the proposed [2010] budget are likely inadequate." The Comptroller goes on to say, "The Board should increase appropriations for police department personnel services to a level sufficient to cover anticipated expenditures in 2010." The letter also ...more
By truthinbonac (46), Amagansett on Mar 7, 10 8:47 PM
2 members liked this comment
Len..the fact is the 2010 Budget B Fund left an additional 1 million dollars for unspecified contingencies...it is what you used to cover retro pay for the police...you guys have stated over and over that you are going to cut expenses by 10 million dollars by next year...if you keep your promises there is more than enough revenue in the 2010 budget...if you had any problems with the 2010 Budget you guys had 2 months to comment on it...you could have asked the then Town Board to amend it before the ...more
By benzwirn (11), east hampton on Mar 8, 10 8:54 PM
Ben, I responded to your last question to me in regard to the sheriff's office taking over highway patrol duties in Suffolk. Curious to know your response.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Mar 9, 10 3:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
BZ --I thought I was Len. You think everyone is Len. My bet it's probably Bayman. Anyway, My read is If the quote from the State Comptroller is correct then the Comptroller is saying the "$1 million dollars for unspecified contingnecies" was not enough for the what they thought would be the size of the police pay back and all other items the Comptroller says were not properly budgeted for in 2010. The Comptroller could be wrong, but the Comptroller is at least a neutral party who looked at ...more
By happynow (19), east hampton on Mar 8, 10 11:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
Just so you all know, Len is "eastend09", but he has several other alter egos.
By ehboardwatcher2010 (21), sag harbor on Mar 10, 10 10:58 AM
Boadwatcher2010 is obsessed by Len. Everyone is Len. I'm Len too! Boadwatcher 2010 to very confused as one might realize from her posts It is almost comical. Watcher10 is well known to the people of Montauk -- she is not from Sag Harbor.
By happynow (19), east hampton on Mar 10, 10 8:36 PM
happynow -- you cannot be len because boardwatcher, or maybe it was BZ, who thinks I AM LEN. No he thinks truth in bonac is len. Boardwatcher should watch the board. Please tell me who is she is from Montauk. I personally think she she is actually from Sag Harbor...most of the time.
By eastend09 (43), east hampton on Mar 10, 10 9:55 PM
... Still waiting
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Mar 11, 10 10:22 PM
.... Still waiting Ben
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Mar 12, 10 9:09 PM
To Mr. BZ, did you read Newsday today? Suffolk cops get 3.5% per year, they will be making almost $108,000 in six years, the top five PBA guys get their stipends doubled, and the $12 million in "concessions" you talked about is simply deferred compensation until officers retire at which time it will cost the taxpayers $7,100 per officer as they leave. REAL GREAT DEAL!
Wilkinson gets an average increase of less than 3% for six years (only 2% for 2007 and 2008) and essentially no other increases ...more
By moomaa (2), east hampton on Mar 13, 10 10:12 AM
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