Police, CSEA, school contracts expired

School, police and Civil Service Employee Association contract negotiations are quietly underway but the affected employees are working without contracts because they’ve all expired.

Talks at the school to renew contracts with teachers and other staff members are underway, according to Superintendent Michael Hynes. The teacher contract expired in June. Contracts for SRP (school-related professionals) and custodial workers contracts haven’t been in place since June 30, 2010.

“That’s a long time,” Dr. Hynes said. Workers’ morale is affected when people are without a contract, he said. He’s hoping the contracts can be resolved without more long delays.

“The fact that we’re talking, I’m optimistic,” he said.

Shelter Island Faculty Association spokesman Brian Becker  said talks are “ongoing and in good faith. We are optimistic that a settlement will be reached that is not only fair and equitable to the teachers of the school but also considerate to the taxpayers of Shelter Island based on the economic climate.”

Dr. Hynes said district negotiators are “looking at something that is meaningful. We are negotiating something that is fair and balanced,” he said.

SRP covers school-related professionals, including teachers’ aides, clerical staff and food service workers. While the contract for custodial workers is separate, it parallels the SRP agreements and is traditionally negotiated at the same time.

Police and town officials ended up with an arbitrated settlement last year that did not go beyond 2011. It provided for a 3-percent increase retroactive through 2009.

Although both town and police officials expressed support for the arbitrated settlement, no one wants to go that route again.

“We were sorry it couldn’t be resolved without going to arbitration, but that didn’t happen,” said Officer Dave McGayhey, head of the PBA,  at the time the settlement was announced in August. “The PBA is just hoping that we don’t have to go this route again in 2012 and we can resolve our contract without arbitration,” he said.

He couldn’t be reached for further comment this week but Councilwoman Chris Lewis, speaking in Supervisor Jim Dougherty’s absence, said talks hadn’t yet resumed with police but she agreed “no one on either side seeks arbitration as a solution.”

The town’s contract with the CSEA, covering 10 clerical and inspection workers, expired December 31, 2011. It was a three-year contract settled in April 2010  that was retroactive to 2008.

CSEA members include clerks in the Justice Court, Police, Highway and Building departments and the Assessor’s office, as well custodians and building inspectors and personnel who serve on various boards and committees.

Beverly Pelletier, the Justice Court clerk, is the CSEA negotiator. She said talks with the town haven’t yet begun and declined further comment.