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Oyster Bay Town CSEA President Robert Rauff Jr. stepping down

Oyster Bay Town Hall on March 26, 2012.

Oyster Bay Town Hall on March 26, 2012. (Credit: Nicole Bartoline)

The Oyster Bay union president who negotiated with town officials last year on concessions that averted mass layoffs but clipped employees’ salary growth is relinquishing his position.

Robert Rauff Jr., president of Civil Service Employees Association Local 881 since 2007, said he is to be replaced on July 1 by Jarvis Brown, the union’s executive vice president.

Elections, originally scheduled for May, will be not held because Brown is the only candidate, Rauff said.

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Brown did not return several messages left for him at the CSEA office.

The contentious reconstruction of the union contract last December upset many of the group’s roughly 1,100 members, but Rauff said he did the best he could.

“I didn’t want to fight against my own people,” he said. “It’s not worth it mentally and for my family.”

Rauff said his departure from the union leadership coincides with his decision to retire from the town’s environmental resources department at the end of the year, through Oyster Bay’s early-retirement incentive program.

The initiative is one of several cost-saving measures town officials have taken to combat an overall debt that, according to a March financial statement, was about $834 million.

The restructuring of the union’s contract under Rauff’s tenure might have averted as many as 200 layoffs but this year has meant salary freezes, among other sacrifices from union members.

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