Town Board and union reach agreement on concessions
Tensions had flared as Glenville town officials negotiated a contract with the police union, but a compromise was eventually reached, ending a possible arbitration between the two sides.
The Glenville Town Board approved the Glenville Police Benevolent Association's contract during the Wednesday, March 16, meeting. The previous contract had been expired for 15 months. Detective Michael Lamb, who assumed the role of President of the PBA at the beginning of the year, helped usher in the final stages of contract negotiations. While the PBA and town officials have clashed previously, both sides were able to reach an understanding on concessions and raises.
Going into these negotiations, this board stated they needed to control costs, particularly the cost of employee health insurance, which is killing our budgets, said Glenville Supervisor Christopher Koetzle at the meeting. "Our contract needs to be fair, and it needs to be affordable. This agreement achieves many objectives, although not all."
The town is switching from an HMO 25 to HMO 30 plan, and the most expensive health insurance option was removed. Money paid to employees opting out of health insurance coverage also decreased, and new employees will receive an even smaller opt-out payment.
All of the other towns and cities in the county provide heath insurance to police officers retiring before 55 years old, said Koetzle, but the board thought the option was too expensive. Also, accumulated sick time will be used by retired officers to pay for health insurance expenses to avoid large payouts.
"Right now, they cash out a large sum of money, which would be difficult for the town to pay. If they are using this to pay for health insurance over time, it will be spread out and it will be pre-tax dollars, so it saves the employee and it saves the town a payroll tax as well," said Koetzle.