Red-shirted CSEA members staged a silent "show of solidarity" at the town board meeting of May 18. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Riverhead Town has settled its labor contract with its largest union, whose members have been working out of contract since January 2015.

The new deal, which is not yet inked, provides a cumulative 1.875-percent wage increase over the four-year contract period, 2015 through 2018, according to Supervisor Sean Walter.

CSEA members get no increase for 2015, a .375 increase for 2016, and a .75 increase for 2017 and 2018, the supervisor said.

Employees will receive the annual 1.25-percent step increase pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement’s salary schedule, he said. However, long-term employees who have already reached the highest step on the salary schedule will not receive that 1.25-percent yearly bump.

“The majority of employees are not at the top step,” Walter said.

“I think it’s a fair contract for all concerned,” he said. 

CSEA unit president Terri Davis-Sweeney could not immediately be reached for comment.

The CSEA unit’s last contract, which expired Dec. 31, 2014, gave workers a cumulative 2.5-percent wage hike over four years, starting in 2011. 

Riverhead Town remains out of contract with its police unions, whose contracts expired Dec. 31, 2015.  The last contracts with the Riverhead Policeman’s Benevolent Association and the Riverhead Superior Officers’ Association were settled in 2012 and provided a 2-percent per year raise through 2015— a cumulative 6-percent hike over the three-year period.

“They have not made their demands on the town,” Walter said of the police unions. Offers “similar” to what the town offered the CSEA will be on the table, the supervisor said.

“With the tax cap, nobody can get a raise, with the step, that exceeds 2 percent per year, because it’s not sustainable,” Walter said, noting that the town and CSEA were at odds for two years over that stance — the lesser of 2 percent or the cost of living increase. 

The town board has so far voted twice to pierce the state-imposed tax cap — for 2016 and 2017. 


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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.