It would be easier for local governments to implement the property cap approved by the Governor and NYS Legislature if our state lawmakers eliminate police/firefighter arbitration panels. Just this week, as an example, a NYS arbitration panel awarded the police in the town of Clarkstown a 3.4%retroactive increase for 2008 and 2010. The town wanted to impose a zero percent increase. These panels of unelected arbitrators set salaries for police/firefighters and have the power to impose excessive salary hikes on local governments around the state. In years past the salary hikes imposed by arbitration panels for police and firefighters exceeded inflation.
Elected officials are being asked to control property tax hikes. We're being told that we can't raise taxes over a certain amount. Yet, we currently have no control over the salaries of a large number of our employees - public safety employees. New York State should provide local officials with the ability to control all salaries under our jurisdiction. The buck should stop with elected officials who approve budgets, not with unelected arbitrators.
Arbitration panels were created in New York as part of the Taylor Law in the 1960s with the objective of creating harmonious and cooperative relationships between government and its employees. The law is outdated and should be repealed.
Paul J. Feiner
Greenburgh Town Supervisor
Copy of article in lohud.com
Clarkstown police awarded 3.4 percent raises for 2 years
11:39 PM, Jul. 5, 2011 |
A state arbitration panel awarded the Clarkstown police union a retroactive 3.4 percent salary increase for 2009 and 2010 even as it conceded that the police officers were among the highest paid in the nation.
The award came over the objections of the Town of Clarkstown, which wanted a salary freeze for the two years. The Clarkstown Police Benevolent Association asked for a 5.5 percent increase for the period.
"It wasn't what we would have written," Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack said. "We were hoping for a lower number."
FIRST LADY OF FLUTE TO INAUGURATE FREE OUTDOOR CONCERT SERIES THIS THURSDAY EVENING AT YOSEMITE PARK, OFF OF 119 7 PM CONCERT---
This Thursday --and every Thursday in July up till August 11 --you can enjoy outstanding jazz for free ---at Yosemite Park, in back of the Theodore Young Community Center (Manhattan Ave). The free outdoor concerts begin at 7 PM. The first lady of Flute Bobbi Humphrey will inaugurate the series on July 7.
CONSERVATION ADVISORY COUNCIL SPONSORING PROGRAM ON JULY 14TH
JULY 14th- Beth Evans, Principal and Senior Ecologist, Evans Environmental Consulting, will be discussing "Science and How It Is Utilized in Mitigation Planning".
This event will be held at the Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Road (off Central Avenue), Scarsdale, NY, commencing at 7pm, as the first part of that evening's CAC meeting. THE PUBLIC IS WELCOME.