The Clarkstown Town Board approved a new five-year agreement with the Rockland County Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association with 2.5 percent increases each year. The contract, approved by the town board on Tuesday, goes into effect on January 1, 2013 and ends December 31, 2017.
Negotiations were ongoing between the town and bargaining team for the Rockland County PBA, which represents the town’s police officers, for a successor to the 2011-2012 agreement. They reached a tentative settlement on May 1. The union voted on it late Tuesday afternoon and passed it. The resolution to approve the agreement was a late addition to the meeting agenda.
PBA President John Hanchar spoke about the new contract.
"The PBA agreed to a cost of living raise that is less than what an aribtrator awarded just a short time ago," said Hanchar. "This agreement saves the town the cost of arbitration, and is less then raises received by comparable agencies in the region. The average homeowner pays about $1.50 a day for a 24/7/365 accredited police department that is among the finest in the nation."
The agreement includes a detective's call-in policy and shift differential. He said there are nine shifts each week that do not have a detective on duty. Under the policy, a detective volunteers to be on call for that shift and is paid for one hour at their regular rate to be on call. If the detective is called in to work, then their regular rate goes into effect for the hours worked.
The contract provides a two percent shift differential for the 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. tour. Officers work a rotating schedule and starting in January 2015 will receive the differential when they are assigned to the 4 p.m. to 12 p.m. schedule.
Hanchar noted the department has 10 fewer officers than a decade ago and is handling an increasing volume of calls that have made Clarkstown police the busiest town police department in the state.
The police department currently has 159 members, which does not include the two officers whose retirements were announced Tuesday night. The budgeted number is 163. Chief Michael Sullivan said he has asked for three more officers to be hired in light of another two or three retirements expected in June.