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Niskayuna swiftly approves PBA contract

Landry: two-year agreement addresses town’s fiscal constraints, fair to union and town

— Another concession included any officers hired after Jan. 1, 2013, to pay 20 percent of any dental insurance premium. The town previously had fully covered dental insurance.

Stevens said the union understands health care costs are rising and the dental insurance concession places it line with health insurance, which he said members also pay 20 percent of the insurance premium.

Councilwoman Julie McDonnell thanked the PBA for working with the town to be “frugal” and thought the contract was beneficial for both parties.

The town compromised with the union to increase the minimum paid recall time, or calling in an employee during off hours, from two-and-a-half hours to three hours.

Landry said recall time compensation mostly applies to detectives and not police officers. He said the change wouldn’t have a “major impact” on expenses.

“We don’t see this happening much with the regular patrol people,” he said. “The recall normally happens when something unexpected happens — when there is a burglary or something that requires a detective to come on.”

He said the town can somewhat control recall time, too, such as waiting for a detective’s shift to start if it is only an hour away and having officers secure the crime scene. There is only one shift with no detective on duty, according to Landry.

Also, the new contract addresses this concern by providing new hours for detectives, Landry said.

Detectives previously worked the same shift schedule as police officers, but now detectives will work Monday through Friday. Landry said the change was made to have detectives working when business and other official offices, such as the District Attorney’s office, are open.

“It is more applicable of what their duties require them to do,” he said. “There are times where they are working on the weekend and they could be more productive if they are working during the week.”

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