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Smithtown union agrees to more drug tests

The union representing most of the Town of Smithtown’s employees has agreed to a new contract that could lead to expanded drug testing, Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said Thursday.

As part of the two-year pact, a five-member committee will be appointed to determine which job titles will be added to the pool of employees who are tested for drugs, Vecchio said. The town only tests workers who have a commercial driver’s license and drive heavy-duty vehicles, as mandated by federal law.

Vecchio said union members voted Tuesday to approve the proposed contract. Civil Service Employees Association representative Kelly Brown could not be reached for comment. CSEA members are working under the terms of a contract that expired Dec. 31, 2010.

Town officials have said they wanted to expand testing after seven employees — including two highway department supervisors, who are not tested for drugs — were charged last year with criminal drug possession. All were suspended without pay.

Penalties for positive drug tests typically result in demotions, and employees are ordered to enter the town’s employee assistance program. Repeat offenders may be fired.

The CSEA represents 409 of the town’s 450 employees.

 

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