After three years of operating without a contract, a formal agreement was approved last week between the Town of Lloyd and the Lloyd Police Department. It will be backdated to January 1, 2015 and run through December 31, 2019.
Supervisor Paul Hansut highlighted a few of the changes: adding one personal day for the officers and making Martin Luther King’s Birthday a paid holiday bringing that total to 13 days. Hansut said there are specific salary increases for full and part-time officers of 2.25 percent for 2015 through 2017 and rising to 2.50 percent in 2018 and in 2019, the final two years of the contract. Hansut said there will be some retro-active pay to 2015 and will include the full-timers that were in the department during that time but there were no part-timers at that time. He said he will discuss with the town’s bookkeeper how and when the past money is to be paid to the employees.
“We’ve been behind the curve a little bit with our part-time police officers so we’re hoping that’s going to be attractive to hiring some new part-time folks as well as keeping our full-timers,” he said. “This has been a three-year process and I’m happy that this board as a whole is going to ratify this tonight and this is one of the good things this board has done as a team.” Hansut complimented PBA President Officer Anthony Ventura and his membership for their recent ratification of the contract.
“I have been very proud of our Police Department here in this town, our Chief, our Lieutenant, our Sergeants and our patrol men and women. They do a phenomenal job in the town and we are very happy and proud of the service that you give us,” he said.
Hansut thanked members of the Town Board and Police Department personnel who were in attendance at the board meeting, adding, “Be safe out there.”
In a subsequent interview, Chief Daniel Waage said he is pleased the contract process has been completed after three years.
“I am very happy it has been ratified because it was like a black cloud that was hanging over the Police Department when you’re out a contract, especially for so long because I asked a lot of my guys to do things over and above things that normally go toward charity,” he said. “When morale is not as good as it could be because of a black cloud hanging over, sometimes that’s a little tough. I have to say, however, that all my guys have participated and worked hard for me.”
Waage said the contract stalled, in part, over a few managerial issues.
“I was finally able to sit down with board members and the PBA president and we came to a common sense understanding on why certain things could not be done and after that it was completed fairly quickly,” he said.
Waage said one of the issues was over compensatory time “to where it could not be denied, ever, for the officers. It would be extremely hard for me to manage that based on my need to supply officers to the street on a 24/hr basis.” He said once he clearly explained this during negotiations, they were able to get past this point and move forward. He said there were also a few other minor items “but nothing that could not be worked out.”
The annual budget for the Police Department is $1.3 million. There are 11 full-time and 13 part-time officers. In addition, there are 3 full time and 6 part time dispatchers.
Waage said the budget figure covers the needs of the department.
“That’s salaries and keeping the lights on here at the station, fuel for the year, tires; it’s everything,” he said.
Hansut is glad the contract process is over and that it did not go to arbitration.
“I am happy we got it settled. I think it’s a fair deal for the officers and a fair deal for the town and overall a very fair contract,” he said.
By Mark Reynolds