Photo by Jim Franco/Spotlight News
COLONIE — Once negotiations are finished up with the last two unions, everyone getting a town paycheck will get a raise.
The Town Board on Thursday, Dec. 7, approved raises to all employees not represented by a union to basically match what the union workforce will get starting next month.
That means all elected officials, all department heads, all deputy department heads and a host of other positions in Town Hall from the senior attorney to crossing guards will see a bump in pay equal to that of those employees in a bargaining unit.
According to the resolution, which did not generate any comment from any board members at the agenda review session prior to the public meeting, about 55 employees not in unions will get a 1 percent bonus paid for 2018, a 2.5 percent raise in 2019 and a 2.5 percent raise in 2020.
There are five unions representing the some 435 employees and another two representing the more than 113 police officers and Police Department leadership.
Three unions have reached an agreement with the town – the Police Supervisors Association, the Police Benevolent Association and the administrative unit of the United Public Service Employees Union. There is a tentative agreement with two unions and the town is still in negotiations with two others. As per negotiation protocol, the town cannot disclose which unions are at which stage of negotiations, said Chris Kelsey, the town’s accounting supervisor and acting comptroller.
Next year’s budget, which was recently adopted, will need to be modified to cover the cost of the 1 percent bonus in 2018. It is considered a bonus because it will not be added to the employees’ base salary and therefore it is not part of the 2.5 percent raises on the back end of the contracts.
Kelsey said the town can use proceeds from the recent $1.7 million sale of the Community Center on Central Avenue – which was under-utilized and in need of cost prohibitive renovations/repairs – to cover the increases needed in the 2018 budget. As per guidelines from the state Comptroller’s Office, since the sale of the Community Center is a one-shot source of revenue, the proceeds can only be used for non-recurring expenses.
The other non-police unions who will see the 1 percent bonus will cost the town about $225,000, Kelsey said. Police unions will not receive the 1 percent because they negotiated a 1 percent base rate salary increase for 2018, which will cost about $125,000 and is already in the budget. The police supervisors union also got a 1 percent increase this year.
The police unions, though, will see a 2 percent raise in 2019 and 2020 rather than the 2.5 percent like the other unions.
Supervisor Paula Mahan said the 2.5 percent raise on the backend for non-police employees made the offer by the town roughly the same to all employees.
“The cost of living keeps going up and we try to keep town employees on pace with the overall increases,” Mahan said. “It is fair for them and it is fair for us because it’s all we can afford.”
All seven contracts – regardless of where the negotiations stand – are for four years and while there are some differences in getting to the bottom line, basically the police will see about a 1.5 percent annual increase and other employees will see about a 1.25 percent increase per year, Kelsey said.
The cost of the contracts is approximately:
• $100,000 in 2019 for about 55 non-union employees
• $102,500 in 2020 for about 55 non-union employees
• $600,000 in 2019 for about 435 non-police employees
• $615,000 in 2020 for about 435 non-police employees
• $250,000 in 2019 for about 113 Police Department employees
• $255,000 in 2020 for about 113 Police Department employees