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Jul 17, 2012 1:40 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor Village PBA Files For Arbitration; Mayor Raises Possibility Of Dissolving Village Department

Jul 18, 2012 8:40 AM

The Sag Harbor Village Patrolman’s Benevolent Association last week filed for arbitration in its ongoing contract dispute with the village, meaning a third party will make a determination on the union’s police contract.

Meanwhile, Sag Harbor Village Mayor Brian Gilbride said this week that he has sent a letter to East Hampton and Southampton towns to start the process of investigating the possibility of the towns providing police protection in Sag Harbor—possibly a first step toward dissolving the village department, where union members have been working without a contract since June 2011.

“That could mean either being able to rent or sell a village building,” he said, noting that the village’s police budget is about $2 million a year and does not include the costs associated with its headquarters. “We’ll take a good, hard look at it.”

The mayor said he is not in favor of disbanding the police department, but added, “If they keep going down this road we’re going, I think that’s a possibility.”

PBA President Pat Milazzo said he expects an arbitrator to be chosen sometime in the next few months. “At this point, we just sit back and wait to see what’s next,” he said. “I also suspect that the village will try to get some of our proposals removed from arbitration.”

About a mediation meeting held late last month, the mayor said of the union, “They didn’t budge very much. They didn’t budge at all.”

“As expected, we got very little accomplished,” Officer Milazzo said at the time. “There really hasn’t been enough constructive dialogue between the parties to come to any sort of agreement. There needs to be much more dialogue.”

Officer Milazzo said the village offered a new contract with a salary freeze for 2011, a 1-percent salary increase for 2012, and a 2-percent increase for 2013. But he said the union did not agree to that because “it would have been out of line” with wage increases for other village police departments in the region, which he said average about 3 percent per year. The union had been seeking roughly 4.5-percent raises each year.

The village also asked the union for a health care contribution for active employees, but the PBA rejected that, Officer Milazzo said.

The police officers are seeking a new three-year contract, which would be retroactive to last year.

The PBA includes all 12 officers in the village department, excluding Police Chief Thomas Fabiano. It last went into arbitration in 2007, after a contract expired in 2005, and negotiations were settled at the first meeting.

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Sounds like Gilbride's using this reach out business to the other Towns for police services as a negotiating tactic. He shouldn't bluff because it could cost the residents of Sag Harbor a lot more for those services and head-aches. It definitely will Sag harbor ! We got a great department out here and as a resident I don't want strangers who live many miles away patrolling our Village with no vested interest. Maybe Sag Harbor should reach out to the adjoining villages and Towns for Mayor services. ...more
By carson (79), southampton on Jul 27, 12 12:23 AM
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