File photo: Denise Civiletti

Riverhead Town and the Riverhead Police union representing the town’s rank and file officers have reached a four-year deal on a labor contract retroactive to the beginning of this year and running through the end of 2026. The agreement provides for a total wage increase of 14% over the four-year period.

A stipulation of agreement, dated July 25 and unanimously approved by the Town Board Tuesday, provides for a 6% base-pay increase in 2023 and 2.5% increases in 2024, 2025 and 2026. It also provides the same increases to night differential pay.

The base-pay increases bump the staring salary for a first-year officer to $64,553 in 2023, rising over the contract term to $69,517 in 2026, according to the salary schedule attached to the agreement. A sixth-year officer will have a base salary of $139,616 in 2023, rising to $150,350.66 in 2026.

The deal is the third major amendment and extension of the labor contract originally negotiated between the town and the police union in 2012. The existing agreement, which covered the period from Jan. 1, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2022 provided for a 2% increase each year.

The new agreement requires employees to have 10 years of service with the Town of Riverhead to be eligible for retiree health insurance benefits and sets new procedures for an officer requesting sick leave.

Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said Tuesday the PBA met and “unanimously voted for the contract” on Monday.

“We negotiated a very, in my opinion, very fair contract with the PBA. And, you know, they protect, they do a great job for us in this town,” Council Member Tim Hubbard said before voting to approve the contract. “So I’m honored to be part of the contract process along with the supervisor and make this happen.”

“I think that they did get a fair contract, a very generous contract, and they do do a good job. And I vote yes,” Aguiar said.

Riverhead PBA President Charles Mauceri could not be reached before this article was published.

The town settled a labor contract with the Civil Service Employees Union in March, which provided for salary increases of 5% in 2023, 2% in 2024 and 2% in 2025. All employees covered by the contract also received a $1,500 supplemental payment. The CSEA contract covers the town’s civilian workforce.

The town’s agreement with the Riverhead Superior Officers Association, which represents police department brass, also expired at the end of last year. Hubbard said in an interview yesterday town officials met with the SOA representatives a few times, but the union decided to wait until the PBA contract was settled until negotiations started again. The PBA and SOA contractual increases have historically been “very similar,” Hubbard said.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: alek@riverheadlocal.com