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After Three Years Without a Contract, Yorktown Employees to Receive Raise

YORKTOWN, N.Y. — After three years without a contract, employees of the Town of Yorktown will receive a 1.5 percent raise on their salaries for 2011, and a lump-sum increase of 1.5 percent for 2010.

The Yorktown Town Board unanimously voted Tuesday to allow Supervisor Michael Grace to sign a collective bargaining agreement with CSEA, the union of state, county and municipal employees, covering January 2009 to December 2011.

Town Board member Nick Bianco said the contract gave the employees no pay raise for 2009, a 1.5 percent lump-sum increase for 2010 and a raise of 1.5 percent for 2011. He said the 2010 lump-sum increase meant that the employees would receive that money separately, not as part of their base pay, and the increase is therefore not cumulative. For 2011, their salaries are being increased and the raise is cumulative.

Bianco noted that the previous board anticipated that the agreement would be reached and allocated funds in this year’s budget to pay for it. He thanked the town employees for accepting pay freeze for 2009, and said he appreciated their acknowledging the economic climate in town.

Both Bianco and board member Terrence Murphy stressed that no town employees were laid off before or during negotiations.

“It was a close call for a couple people in town here, and you guys do a great job," Murphy said. "All of our town employees keep up the great work. I wish we could have given you more. Unfortunately, this is what we have, and 2012 is a — we’re starting from scratch again with you. Reality is that nobody got laid off, and thanks.”

Bianco and Grace stressed that the employee whose position had been targeted to be cut in the former supervisor’s draft budget had been working out very well. Grace even said he wished he had more of her.

“We wanted the employees to know that we’re going to fight all the time to keep their jobs,” Bianco said. “And I think only because we did that, only because we’ve done that, they finally came to the table and accepted the proposal, which I think is fair. If we didn’t do that, if we had just started laying off people, I wouldn’t blame them for not accepting anything.”

Grace thanked former Supervisor Susan Siegel and the former Town Board members who worked on the agreement, as well as the town employees.

“A shout-out to our town employees for understanding what the town's overall issues were and fairly negotiating this contract,” Grace said. “Their goodwill will be remembered when we sit down to do this all over again.”

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