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Suffolk detective investigators negotiate 8-year, $4.7 million contract with county

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone takes questions from

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone takes questions from reporters following a press conference in Hauppauge on Monday. Dec. 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

The smallest of Suffolk's law enforcement unions, the detective investigators, has negotiated a new eight-year contract that the administration of County Executive Steve Bellone says will increase the county's costs by $4.7 million through 2018.

The proposed contract, covering 2011-2018, won unanimous approval in the county legislature's government operations committee Wednesday even though legislative budget analysts have yet to complete a review of the new agreement.

Bellone aides said the deal with the Detective Investigators Police Benevolent Association deal follows the pattern of earlier contracts with the Police Benevolent Association, the Superior Officers Association and the Suffolk Detectives Association. The agreements include three years with no pay hikes and staggered raises in the remaining five years to reduce the cash impact of the pay increases.

John Keary, president of the 47-member union, which represents detectives who work for the district attorney's office, said he expected his members to ratify the contract at a meeting scheduled for Wednesday night. The union has been without a contract since 2010.

Robert Lipp, director of legislature's office of budget review, couldn't say what the annual percentage increases will be because his staff was still calculating the impact of the deal. He said he hoped to have an analysis by the time the full county legislature meets Tuesday.

Lipp said there has been no money budgeted to pay for the settlement. However, Connie Corso, county budget director, said extra revenue from recent auctions of surplus county property and the unexpected exit of 100 county workers that was not budgeted will offset the nearly $700,000 cost of the contract this year and the nearly $1 million bill next year.

Legis. Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue), the committee chairman, said the impact of the raises is reduced because there will be no raises in the first three years. He also said most detective investigators are hired after finishing an earlier law enforcement career, meaning they do not incur pension or health insurance costs.

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