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Suffolk AME ramps up fight over Suffolk County Community College contract

One of the billboards used by Suffolk County

One of the billboards used by Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees in their pressure campaign. Credit: Suffolk County AME

Suffolk County’s largest employee union is ramping up a fight over a contract dispute for about 600 Suffolk County Community College employees.

The Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees has placed ads on Long Island radio stations, and is asking its 6,000 members to wear red in solidarity. The union also uses billboard truck with the message, “Bad For Workers Bad For Suffolk County,” to pressure SCCC’s negotiating team.

AME president Dan Levler said the union is seeking the same contract terms Suffolk this year gave AME members who work for the county, including 12% total raises through 2024. Levler also noted that all county employees will have to pay into their health care for the first time starting in 2020.

“Any offer that’s less than the deal we struck with the county is a nonstarter,” Levler said in an interview.

The AME contract with SCCC covers college security guards, janitors, receptionists and other staff who are not teachers or administrators. The agreement expired three years ago.

Levler said the average pay for those members is $42,000 a year.

Interim college President Louis Petrizzo said the administration is “negotiating in good faith with AME,” and members of the negotiating team “hope to reach an amicable agreement soon.”

Petrizzo said SCCC “tries to balance fairness for our employees with affordability for our students.”

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