Suffolk County's largest union, the 6,000-member Association of Municipal Employees, has approved a six-year, $127.5 million contract, with 66.8 percent of members voting to ratify, according to unofficial returns.
Dan Levler, AME president, said we are “extremely happy” with the result, noting it was 12.4 percent higher than the 54.4 percent margin for the last contract when it was ratified in 2013.
“These results prove our union is unified and supportive of everything we did to make this happen,” said Levler. “We attribute the higher number of yes votes … to members being happy with the significant raises, the longevity increases and, for the union, for the first time having control of its benefit fund.”
The union released the vote percentages but not the actual numbers because the American Arbitration Association, the outside agency overseeing the election, must review the numbers before issuing formal certification, which is expected in the next week. Officials said the vote turnout was about 60 percent.
The new contract for the AME, which had been without a contract since Jan.1, 2017, will raise salaries for white- and blue-collar workers by 12 percent through 2024, increase longevity pay by $250 over the life of the agreement and provide $775,000 in increases for the union benefit fund.
The pact also includes a provision under which Suffolk County will contribute $150,000 to top union officials for potential loss of overtime and promotions because of their union work. The extra pay amounts to $18,795 for each of the eight AME executive board members.