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Feb 23, 2016 2:31 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor Village Police Have A New Contract

Sag Harbor Police are working under a new contract for the first time since 2011. ALISHA STEINDECKER
Feb 23, 2016 3:14 PM

Sag Harbor Village Police have a new contract for the first time since 2011.

According to Mayor Sandra Schroeder, the contract was signed at the beginning of January and negotiated without the need for mediation. “It took hours and hours, and back and forth, and face-to-face meetings, and it was pleasant, and it’s done, and everybody is happy about it,” she said.

The terms of the contract are retroactive to June 1, 2013, because an arbitration agreement negotiated with former Mayor Brian Gilbride had expired just before that date. “So they had nothing changed since then,” Ms. Schroeder said. The new contract, which covers a force consisting of the police chief, two sergeants, a detective and seven police officers, will remain in effect until May 2017.

Officers will be compensated for annual salary increases of 2.5 percent for 2013 and 2014, and then 2.25-percent salary increases for 2015 and 2016.

To save money, Ms. Schroeder said, a new “step” was added to the salary schedule, so that seven rather than six years of service will be required before officers can reach the top rate of pay. Previously, an officer could make $94,000 in the fifth year, which then jumped to $110,000 in the sixth and final step. Starting with new department members, the pay will be $102,000 in the sixth year, then rise to $110,000 in the seventh and final step.

Additionally, the night pay for officers increased retroactively by $250 annually for 2014 and 2015, and that will continue in 2016. According to the contract, the night pay differential for officers will be $5,200 for 2013, $5,450 for 2014, $5,700 for 2015, and $5,950 for 2016.

Officers also may carry as many as 25 vacation days per year, which can be used as sick time, family leave time, personal time or terminal leave, which is accumulated leave that also can shorten the number of days before retirement. As many as 75 days of unused vacation days that have not been used toward terminal leave can be paid out when officers retire.

Additionally, up to 150 unused sick or vacation days can be used toward terminal leave for officers who leave before they have completed 19 years on the force. Officers who have accumulated more than 150 unused sick or vacation days will receive one day’s pay for every two days of unused sick or vacation days. Officers with more than 19 years on the force can apply as many as 238 sick or vacation days toward terminal leave, according to the contract.

Ms. Schroeder noted that the new contract provides an incentive for police officers to use a gym. If officers go to a gym for at least three hours a week, for four consecutive months, they will receive two additional sick days. “These people go to the gym,” she said. “Now it is going to be a competition with the guys. Exercise is more than just physical health, it’s stress relief, and in their position that is important.”

“It was a pleasant experience,” Ms. Schroeder said of negotiating the contract. “That is what you sign on for—you just really have to sit together and think what each other is saying, go home and kick it around, and see what you agree or don’t agree with.”

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