After just nine months on the job, Brian Macri has stepped down as president of the Suffolk Association of Municipal Employees, the county’s largest union.
Macri disclosed his decision, which took effect immediately, to members of the union’s eight-member executive board Tuesday, citing “personal reasons” without going into details.
Vice President Dan Levler took the helm of the 5,200-member union.
“I’m happy about what we did accomplish in my short time here, especially giving members an alternative to the lag payroll,” said Macri. He also said he missed his work as a forensic scientist in the medical examiner’s office.
Macri and the union’s new leadership endorsed Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s re-election last fall. The AME helped persuade Bellone to develop an alternative to a lag payroll, which would have delayed payment to union members of 10 days pay over 20 weeks, until they left county service.
The AME and Bellone agreed this month to allow Bellone to take $12 million from the union’s $24 million benefit fund this year and return the money over the next decade. Members have until April 1 to ratify the deal.
Macri, 51, of Mount Sinai, won a three year-term after a raucous six-way battle last spring in which former union president Dan Farrell came in last.
Some officials said Macri’s low-key manner helped him unseat the combative Farrell. They also said Macri at times seemed uncomfortable with the tug and pull of the top union job, in which he represented a diverse membership of white- and blue-collar workers.
Levler, 41, of Islip, comes out of the county’s public works department, where he worked for a decade as assistant director of sewer district activation, hooking up new subdivisions. He has been a member of the AME board of directors since 2011.
Levler said he has worked closely with Macri and does not see any problems arising from his exit.
“Everyone is ready to stand and work together to move forward,” Levler said.
The union’s priorities going forward will include discussions to end pay inequities for police and public safety dispatchers, as well as the shortage of custodial staff in county buildings.
Deputy County Executive Jon Schneider said, “We’ve worked with Dan Levler and I think we’ve worked well together and we expect that to continue to be the case.”