Southold Town and its civil service employee union have reached a contract agreement, marking the end of a nearly two-year negotiation battle that required state intervention to help mediate.
The Town Board ratified the contract, which includes pay increases for the workers, during a special meeting Friday morning.
The union had signed off on the contract on Wednesday.
“It took a long time,” Supervisor Scott Russell said following Friday morning’s vote to approve the deal. “It a benefit both the town and its workers.”
The seven-page agreement (attached below) includes concessions from both sides.
A non-binding fact-finding report released by a state mediator in September had suggested the salary increases the union had been seeking would “make it difficult, if not impossible for the town to function.”
And while union workers initially requested a minimum salary increase of 3 percent annually, the signed contract showed both sides settled on a 2 percent salary increase each year for hourly and salaried employees effective Jan.1.
The town initially asked for employees to pay 20 percent into their health insurance costs, however, the state’s fact-finding report called the figure “unfair.”
The newly ratified contract calls for union workers to continue to contribute 5 percent toward their healthcare, the same they were contributing under the previous contract.
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Following the Town Board vote Friday, Tom Skabry, the president of the Civil Service Employees Association, which represents most non-police town employees, called the contract “a long time coming,” and a “fair” agreement overall.
“We are happy with the fact that the town and union came to an agreement,” Mr. Skabry said. “It is not a package of just what the town wanted and it is not just a package of what the union wanted, but in the end it is what I would categorize as a fair agreement.”
The previous three-year contract between the town and union expired in December 2012. The union’s members have been working without a contract since Jan. 1, 2013 and will be getting a 1 percent retro-raise for 2013 and a 1.25 percent raise for 2014.
The new contract will expire in Dec. 2016.
View the full contract below: