Hempstead Village police officers will receive salary increases totaling 11.75 percent over five years, according to the terms of a contract approved unanimously by the Hempstead Village Board.
The contract runs retroactively from June 1, 2011 to May 31, 2016, and includes salary increases of 1.5 percent starting June 1, 2011, 2.25 percent on June 1, 2012, 2.5 percent on June 1, 2013, and 2.75 percent on June 1, 2014 and on June 1, 2015. The health insurance contribution from newly hired full-time employees will be 15 percent, after one year of service, for the duration of employment and through retirement. The previous contract expired May 31, 2011.
"It's a good contract because it is fair to the police employees and the residents of Hempstead," Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. said. "It would save us in the long run millions of dollars."
The contract was approved, 52 percent to 48 percent, by members of the Police Benevolent Association of Hempstead on June 14. After board approval, Hall and PBA president John Murphy signed it June 19.
"The guys that voted for it feel like it was a fair contract," said Lt. Francis McNamee, a former PBA treasurer and corresponding secretary. "The guys that didn't vote for it thought we were giving up too much. . . . We wanted to avoid arbitration. Going forward, I think it is a good place for both the PBA and the village."
The village anticipates savings from the health contribution of $109,000 per officer over a 20-year career. Savings per officer will be $235,000 over 20 years, said village Treasurer and Comptroller Raymond Calame.
In the contract, those hired after June 1, 2013, are entitled to 20 vacation days instead of 30 for the first three years. After four years, they get 35 vacation days instead of 45, and seven federal holidays. Employees eligible to retire may accumulate 90 unused vacation days for payout instead of the previous 45 and can be paid out for 15 unused personal leave, up from five.
The police department has more than 120 officers who patrol about 54,000 residents. The village has one of the highest crime rates on Long Island, according to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. About $24.8 million of the village's $72.88 million budget is spent on public safety.