GLENVILLE — The town and its police union have approved a new five-year contract that will provide officers with raises averaging 1.3 percent.
The contract unanimously approved Wednesday by the Town Board is retroactive to the beginning of 2017, and will also have the union members contributing more than they have in the past to their health insurance premium costs.
The agreement calls for the town's 19 police officers to receive a 2 percent raise for 2017, 1 percent in 2018, zero in 2019 (they will still get longevity increases), 2 percent in 2020 and 1.5 percent in 2021.
"We think it's a fair, well-deserved contract and it has something for both sides," said Officer Jay Borwhat, PBA president. "We appreciate the contract that Supervisor [Chris] Koetzle and Town Board approved and all the hard work that went into it."
The department currently has 19 patrol officers, but it budgeted to add another this July and a second new officer in 2019.
Koetzle said the top pay for a patrol officer, before overtime, will rise from $74,500 to more than $80,000 by the end of the contract.
Police starting pay won't change. Koetzle said officers now start at a salary of $38,500, but it increases to $44,660 after six months (when they've completed the training academy) and then $50,750 after one year. "It starts low, but it goes up pretty quick," Koetzle said.
Koetzle, who said the town's goal was to reduce costs, said PBA members will see their health insurance premium contribution increase from 10 percent to 15 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2019. All new hires will also start paying 10 percent of their dental and vision insurance coverage.
Also, unused vacation accrual will be capped at five weeks instead of six, sick-day accrual will drop from 18 to 15, and the cap on bankable compensation time will be reduced from 480 hours to 360 hours, Koetzle said. "These were things I've talked about for many years, " Koetzle said. "The amount of cash out we pay out when an employee leaves, this limits that."
Also, an $1,100 clothing allowance is being eliminated, Koetzle said.
Police department employee benefits cost the town about $919,000 per year.
For union members, the minimum age for receiving town-paid retirement benefits was reduces from 55 to 50. The town will continue to pay retirees' health insurance premiums until they become eligible for Medicare at age 65.