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Jul 15, 2016 1:17 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Expected To Make Union Settlement Determination

Southampton Town Board listens to Laura Smith, president of the Civil Service Employees Association, regarding the settlement between the union and town.   JEN NEWMAN
Jul 20, 2016 12:27 PM

The Southampton Town Board is expected to approve a controversial part of a settlement agreement with the union representing town workers at the next Town Board meeting on Tuesday, July 26.

Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said he expects the majority of the board to authorize him to sign a settlement with the union that will classify certain administrative titles as union positions, as long as the rest of the larger agreement is resolved.

The full settlement agreement would add 34 administrative titles to the existing union contract, and it would also approve raises for six positions, accelerate the pay raise schedules of those employees and reduce health insurance contributions for some employees, among other adjustments.

Laura Smith, president of the Civil Service Employees Association, confirmed that a draft settlement is being reviewed by the town and the union, and she expects the Town Board to make a final determination at its next meeting.

“This is actually all due to the highway superintendent overstepping his authority and bounds,” Ms. Smith said at a July 12 Town Board meeting.

The entire settlement originally required the signature of Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor, which Mr. Schneiderman said a Public Employees Relations Board judge will mostly determine is not required. Mr. Gregor refused to sign the settlement approved by the majority of the Town Board, arguing that the titles should not be added.

“I am elected to be the chief executive officer for the town,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “He is not. I cannot do my job if he is exercising a power I don’t believe he had.”

Councilwoman Christine Scalera defended Mr. Gregor, stating that despite concerns over fiscal consequences of the settlement being voiced earlier this year, the board majority decided to move ahead. In March, Ms. Scalera called the settlement a “one-sided deal” that could cost the town a half-million dollars in the first year alone due—in large part—to a decrease of contributions toward health care by the union members to 10 percent.

“Bringing down contributions into health care when there is no benefit for the taxpayer in exchange is unprecedented,” she said. “It was not done correctly. We should have reopened the contract renegotiation and we would have talked about these things transparently so the taxpayers would have been fairly represented.”

“This whole thing is such a disgrace to the town and to the union because we tried to put an elephant through a mouse hole and nobody can function,” Councilman Stan Glinka said after a heated debate ensued between Ms. Smith and members of the board.

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it just seems more colourful when you watch it on sea-tv on the town portal. Cant wait till the next installment of ..as the Town Board Turns...
By freedomofspeech (15), Hampton Bays on Jul 15, 16 1:44 PM
What a terrific photo accompanying this story -- two of them look bored out of their minds, two seem like they's give anything to be somewhere else, and one looks like Hillary Clinton checking her e-mail.

Look alert, officials, no matter how tedious the speaker!



By Frank Wheeler (1809), Northampton on Jul 15, 16 2:27 PM
2 members liked this comment
Unions should be banned from government. They will take every taxpayer dollar.
By Babyboo (265), Hampton Bays on Jul 16, 16 7:56 AM
1 member liked this comment
Even Roosevelt said public unions are a disaster.
By chief1 (2637), southampton on Jul 16, 16 11:01 AM
And JFK signed an executive order legalizing them. Whats your point?
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jul 19, 16 12:10 PM
Why are the public employees unionized? Let them go on strike and see if any of the taxpayers care. Same for the teachers, time to stop pussyfooting around. Free enterprise, free labor, free the people.
By dfree (694), hampton bays on Jul 16, 16 11:26 PM
2 members liked this comment
town government employees are legally forbidden from striking
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Jul 18, 16 7:48 AM
Most of the towns union employees have low salaries for what they are required to do. Most people could not live on their salary. Also, the town and Union should concentrate on those employees that are an embarrassment to the town with their illegal activities. Time to clean house.
By Resident tax (153), Hampton bays ny on Jul 17, 16 10:02 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Resident tax (153), Hampton bays ny on Jul 17, 16 10:04 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Resident tax (153), Hampton bays ny on Jul 17, 16 10:05 AM
Please give an example of a "low salary for what they are required to do". Include cost of health care and pension in your calculation, and the number of times the job caused the employee to collapse from the exhaustion of being overworked.
By dfree (694), hampton bays on Jul 17, 16 3:18 PM
2 members liked this comment
Go to the town and do some research
By Resident tax (153), Hampton bays ny on Jul 17, 16 7:05 PM
Unfortunately, I could not find any examples to support your argument. Could you help me? Please let me know which town employee has "a low salary for what they are required to do."
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jul 18, 16 10:05 AM
Go to the town and do research. Unless you walk in their shoes you do not know what any employee anywhere does on a daily basis.
By Resident tax (153), Hampton bays ny on Jul 18, 16 10:15 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Frank Wheeler (1809), Northampton on Jul 18, 16 11:16 AM
Not sure why we the taxpayers are forced to have union workers as OUR employees.
By bigfresh (4179), north sea on Jul 18, 16 3:16 PM
Because its the law?
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jul 19, 16 12:11 PM
The town workers are well paid, and if they don't like it they can quit.
By chief1 (2637), southampton on Jul 18, 16 10:09 PM
The King has spoken.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jul 19, 16 10:03 PM
1 member liked this comment
Let them eat cake!! (or was that the queen?)
By CaptainSig (702), Dutch Harbor on Jul 21, 16 8:11 AM
Paid well? Once again tax payers talking when not knowing stats. Let me ask you something. How does a single mom with an income of 44,000 who has been working for the town for over 15 years make it in the town of Southampton? Yes some employees are paid too much money for what they do but some are also very under paid. And for the people who say add in retirement and insurance why don't u take a look at a pay stub and you will see that the employees do pay into their pension and health insunarnce. ...more
By turkeyloser (22), east quogue on Jul 21, 16 1:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
A person employed full-time for 15 years has not been making contributions to their retirement for the past 5 years. After 10 years you no longer make contributions to the NYS retirement system.
By diy_guy (101), Southampton on Jul 30, 16 7:37 AM
That's what the job is worth, take it or leave it.
By bigfresh (4179), north sea on Jul 21, 16 4:18 PM
No doubt that some employees are unsatisfied with their take home pay. But please educate me further, what specific jobs or job categories are paid less than the private sector?
By dfree (694), hampton bays on Jul 21, 16 6:11 PM
Plumbers, electricians, painters, heavy equipment operators. Check the union rates vs. town pay for these titles
By CaptainSig (702), Dutch Harbor on Jul 23, 16 7:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
a plumbing assistant on the east end makes $12/hour with no benefits. are you saying the town plumbers are paid more or less than this? painters can be had by the score at the baskin robbins in hampton bays at 6am every morning for $20/hour with no benefits. are you saying town painters are paid more or less than this?
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jul 25, 16 11:51 AM
As I have expressed in a letter to the editor this action is a crass demonstration of the unholy alliance between unions and politicians. In exchange for support the majority of the town board has put their obligation to pay back the union at a sizable expense to the public without benefit. And now that Town Highway Superintendent Alex McGregor has held firm and is practicing sound management principles Supervisor Schniderman makes up a new resolution which had not existed before to go around the ...more
By tom (53), Hampton Bays on Jul 23, 16 10:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
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