File photo: Denise Civiletti

Riverhead Town has settled its labor contract with the Civil Service Employees Association for the years 2019 to 2022.

Workers represented by the union will get a 1.25 percent pay increase retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019 for each step on the 2018 salary schedule, a 1 percent increase effective Jan. 1, 2020 and a .25 percent increase effective Jan. 1, 2022, according to a stipulation of agreement entered on June 17, 2019 and unanimously approved by the town board Tuesday.

The agreement reduces from 100 percent to 75 percent the rate at which the first 225 unused accumulate sick days will be paid out upon retirement, resignation or death for employees hired on or after the ratification of the agreement, if an employee had at least 125 accrued unused sick days at the end of any calendar year or sold back sick days pursuant to this agreement. It reduces the payout to 50 percent for the first 225 unused accrued sick days, if an employee had at least 50 unused accrued sick days as of the date of retirement, resignation or death.

The previous collective bargaining agreement between the town and the CSEA expired Dec. 31, 2018.

The parties agreed to a one-time retirement incentive in 2019, the terms of which will be part of a separate agreement, according to the stipulation, which does not disclose any of those terms.

“I’m pleased we were able to work together and settle the contract,” Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said. “It’s a fair contract and we were able to reach a quick settlement,” she said.

The union worked out of contract from January 2105 until December 2016 before the two sides were able to come to terms on the last labor agreement.

Councilman Tim Hubbard said he thinks this is “a very fair contract.”

“I agree,” Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said. “We have great employees. It’s been a very long time that they’ve been really rewarded for their work. The budget wasn’t balanced. We were always operating at a deficit. We finally had a balanced budget at the end of last year and we have caught up,” she said. “So, I’m glad to see they are getting the increases that they deserve. We can’t pay them for what they’re worth.”

The town settled labor contracts with its police unions last year, approving a five-year deal with the Superior Officers Association in July and that was retroactive to Jan. 1, 2016 and a five-year deal with the Riverhead PBA in October, also retroactive to Jan. 1, 2016.

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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.