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Oyster Bay Town, CSEA officials agree to allow part-time workers

Oyster Bay Town Hall, in Oyster Bay on

Oyster Bay Town Hall, in Oyster Bay on March 27, 2016. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

Oyster Bay Town employees will have a temporary pay cut end months early in return for allowing part-time workers in the sanitation and public safety departments under an agreement approved Tuesday.

A memorandum of understanding and stipulation, details of which have not been made public, settles two grievances filed by the Civil Service Employees Association Local 881 last year after the town began using part-time workers to cut down on overtime costs.

Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said at Tuesday’s town board meeting that the agreement would reduce the town’s operating costs.

“We will be able to improve services by having more people who are part time where we don’t have to pay for the full-time salaries and the full benefits package,” Saladino said.

Under the agreement, as described by Deputy Town Supervisor Greg Carman and CSEA President Jarvis Brown, the town will be able to have as many as 90 part-time employees per day in the sanitation department, which currently has 220 full-time workers. Brown said the original agreement that prohibited part-time workers in sanitation had been intended to protect full-time positions. Two dozen expected vacancies in sanitation because of transfers will be replaced by full-time and part-time workers, he said.

“Right now we need part-timers to help us move forward in the [sanitation] division,” Brown said.

The union brought its grievance last spring after the Saladino administration hired part-time workers to do sanitation work, which Brown said violated the contract.

The town board approved that contract in January 2017. In it, union employees agreed to a salary reduction of 2 percent in 2017 and 2018. Sanitation workers also gave up an effective guarantee of overtime work that had been in the previous contract.

Saladino did not take questions after the meeting and town officials did not provide details on the anticipated costs and savings of the new agreement.

Carman said the cost of the early restoration of full pay had been included in the town’s 2018 budget, which the board passed on Oct. 24, in anticipation that it would be included in the resolution of the grievances.

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