By Janee Law
Northport Village trustees unanimously approved a new 10-year contract with its Police Benevolent Association that will save village taxpayers $3.2 million over the life of the agreement, according to officials.
Trustee Damon McMullen, also village police commissioner, said during the Oct. 17 public meeting that the new contract benefits village taxpayers.
Officials decided to seek renegotiation with village police on the current 13-year contract that was not set to expire until 2021.
The existing contract, which began in 2009, calls for two years of no pay raises, and then wage increases of base pay in years 2019 of 5.5 percent, 2020 of 6.5 percent, and then 2021 of 9.1 percent.
The contract was renegotiated to now run until 2027 and offer a one-time annual bonus payment of $25,000 to each officer for three years, and lowers ongoing raises to 2.75 percent until the term is complete.
Northport Village Deputy Mayor Henry Tobin said that spending more money upfront will save the village more money in the long run, adding that it’s a good investment.
The PBA is a union that represents the force ranks like sergeant, lieutenant, detective, and police officers. With 16 union officers on staff, Northport Village Police Chief Bill Ricca said the department’s annual pay for the new contract ranges from $52,026 to $133,782 on a 12-step raise schedule.
Ricca said that renegotiating the contract was a benefit for both the village and the PBA.
“Everybody got something good out of it and the real winners were the taxpayers,” he added. “This new contract is going to greatly reduce the tax burden, as opposed to what it would’ve been if the old contract stayed as what it was. It was a win-win for both sides.”