Labor Negotiations Summary
As outlined in a past issue, for the last five years, the City and the Rye Police Benevolent Association (PBA) have been in negotiations over a new labor agreement. Despite many attempts to resolve outstanding issues, we are at an impasse and have proceeded to binding arbitration. The last collective bargaining agreement between the City and the PBA covered 2003-2008 and resulted on average a 3% per year (15% cumulative) salary increase with no increase in employee contribution to health insurance or other benefits. The PBA has proposed a 3% increase for two years, a 6% cumulative salary increase, with no increased employee contribution to health insurance or other benefits. The City of Rye has proposed a wage increase in the range of 2% per year accompanied by increased employee contributions to health insurance and a more flexible step plan for new hires. The City's proposal reflects the current economic realities facing the City and is consistent with increases negotiated with other bargaining units in Rye and in neighboring communities. The range of salary increases that are possible will depend on whether certain options are chosen, such as adding a health insurance contribution for all non-contributing officers or a less than fully retroactive pay agreement. Salary increases are permanent and compound with benefits such as pension, overtime and holiday pay which are based on salary, and increase labor costs even further. The City of Rye, in order to achieve financial sustainability, must find a way to balance dramatically increased benefit costs, along with higher salaries, while working within the mandated tax cap. That is why we continue to seek contracts -- not just for the Police -- that will lessen the impact of higher benefits costs. We esteem the contributions Rye employees make to our safety and well being; and we respect the need to limit the tax burden on Rye residents.