Amityville, police union, revise contract

Amityville Village Hall Amityville Village Hall Photo Credit: Alexi Knock

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Amityville trustees and the union for the village police force announced an agreement this week that amends the current contract and sets a separate pay scale for new hires.

Village officials said the agreement, which also for the first time requires new officers to pay a portion of health care costs, could save Amityville more than $1 million over the length of the agreement, through 2018.

"We feel the negotiation we've entered into with the PBA is beneficial to the village in the long term," Mayor Peter Imbert said at the board meeting on Monday night, at which the pact was approved by a vote of 4-0, with Richard Ubert absent.

Christian Mullin, president of the Amityville Police Benevolent Association, said it was "a good deal for the village and for the police department."

Imbert described most of the changes as minor but said they could offer considerable savings if the department, which now has 17 officers, six below full strength, makes new hires in coming years.

The agreement preserves step increases for new hires but introduces a new salary scale of 12 years to top step, rather than the five years for current officers. New officers will also pay 15 percent of the cost of health care during employment. Current officers do not pay for health care.

The agreement also freezes wages of officers at top step until they are matched by wages in the Suffolk County Police Department. After that, wages for current officers will increase parallel to SCPD pay.

Mullin said that salaries for the Amityville department are comparable with those in SCPD.

In 2012, according to seethroughny.net, a database project of the Empire Center for New York State Policy, compensation for Amityville officers ranged from $103,196 to $201,348, with an average of $150,660.

The village agreed to establish a 401(a) retirement savings program similar to the one SCPD offers that allows officers to defer payment for unused vacation and sick time, a program officials on both sides said would cost the village nothing.

In general, Amityville officials and Mullin said, the village aims for parity with SCPD in its own contracts with the Amityville PBA. Operating, retirement and workers' compensation costs for the police department last year amounted to about $6.1 million, 42 percent of the village's $14.5 million budget.

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