Written by Linda Portney Goldstein, Lportney@antonnews.com Saturday, 06 April 2013 00:00
For the first time in 20 years, the Commissioners of the Port Washington Police District have successfully negotiated a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Port Washington PBA avoiding contract arbitration. The Commissioners voted to approve the MOA on March 27 during their regular business meeting.
Dave Franklin, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, said “Coming to an agreement has saved taxpayers and the PBA approximately $35,000 each in legal fees.” He also thanked Commissioners James Duncan and Angela Lawlor-Mullens for, “doing the lion’s share of the work in negotiating on behalf of the Board. It was a team effort and a good faith effort on both sides.”
The PBA voted to ratify the MOA on March 25. Lieutenant Brian Staley delivered a message from the Executive Board of the PBA. “We would like to thank the commissioners for your honest negotiation of the contract.”
The broad conceptual terms of the MOA will be translated into a contract during the next few weeks. Although the specifics of the agreement have not yet been spelled out, the PBA achieved a major goal in convincing the commissioners to enroll the district in the state retirement plan known as 375 I Permissive. This change has been advocated by the PBA for at least a year. Actuarial reports and a statement from the New York State Comptroller’s office support the cost reduction features of the change.
Under the program senior officers can retire at age 55 instead of 62. Their ability to retire at an earlier age will create vacancies in the department for new officers at lower pay. New personnel will also make significant contributions to the retirement plan, further reducing the cost to the district and taxpayers.
The cost savings are not anticipated to kick in until year three of the contract. It is estimated that substantial savings will accrue during the next years, reaching maximum savings in years eight through ten.