LARCHMONT, N.Y. - Larchmont's Chief of Police John G. Poleway can now join Mayor Josh Mandell to fill two of the three vacancies in his department after the Board of Trustees ratified and approved a three-year extension of the Larchmont Police Benevolent Association (PBA) labor agreement Monday night.
The board was unwilling to consider filling any of those vacancies before completing contract negotiations with the PBA, which saves money in three main areas: wages, health care contributions and retiree health care contributions. Under this contract, wages will increase 1.5 percent annually, the lowest in 25 years for the PBA.
"This compromise of just 1.5 percent represents a significant contribution on the part of our police force and will go a long way toward meeting the challenges we all face in this difficult economic time," said Mandell, who presented the agreement to the board at their meeting Monday night.
The PBA's annual wage increases have hovered around four percent over the last decade, with a low of 3.5 percent.
"In these very hard economic times, and given the size of this community, I really appreciate everything the police department has done to help us maintain ourselves as a village," said Marlene Kolbert, trustee. "We need that kind of cooperation."
The board also found savings by removing the dollar cap of $3,500 per year on health care contributions for new employees, who will now contribute a straight 25 percent during the entire term of their employment in the village. Lastly, all employees hired after Nov. 21 will be required to contribute to their retiree health care insurance premiums at a rate of 50 percent.
Mandell and Poleway can now interview candidates to fill two of those three vacancies, which Mandell noted will also save the village money. "Please keep in mind that retiring police, even when replaced, serve as significantly reduced costs in the upcoming budget for several reasons," he said.
Mandell said new employees will make up to $50,000 less in salary than the police they replace, in addition to requiring between $10,000 and $20,000 less in pension contributions.
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