Featured Story

Three-year Shelter Island Highway Department contract released

A three-year agreement between the town and the Shelter Island Highway Benevolent Association that concluded at the end of December 2023, was only recently released.

A change in the town’s outside counsel handling the negotiations resulted in delays in finalizing language, according to Town Board Administrative Assistant Kristina Martin.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, 17 union members employed in several categories received a 3% increase in salary. Another 3% is to be added at the beginning of 2025 and again at the start of 2026.

In the agreement are criteria for promotions, vacations, layoffs and hiring.

The town is to provide for the certification and recertification of employees handling hazardous materials. Those handling hazardous materials are to be paid at an overtime rate for the hours involved, whether accepting deliveries or other work with the  materials.

The town will pay for hospitalization under a statewide plan for those employees as soon as legally possible.

Employees hired as of Jan. 1, 2005, are eligible for health insurance coverage after three consecutive months, or a shorter period if required by law.

Employees aren’t eligible for health insurance if they are eligible to be covered by another town employees’ health insurance coverage. As of Jan. 1, 2024, the town will pay 85% of retirement health insurance costs. With an employee hired on or after Feb. 3, 2012, the town will pay 80% of that retirement health insurance cost.

Employees accrue up to 10 days of vacation pay in a year on a prorated basis and may request accrued vacation days after the first six months of employment. That jumps to 15 days after five years; 20 days after 10 years; after 16 years, 21 days; and increases year by year until hitting 25 vacation days after 20 years.

An employee is allowed to carry over up to 10 vacation days from one year to the next.

A buyout provision is in the contract on an “experimental” basis and can be canceled with notice to the union. Money payable under the buyout provision can be paid or added to a deferred compensation account.

The contract provides for 13 paid holidays, one of which is a floating day to be scheduled at the discretion of the highway superintendent. Any employee required to work on a holiday will receive double pay. A holiday falling on a Saturday will provide for the day to be celebrated on the day before and any holiday occurring on a Sunday will be celebrated on Monday.

Personal leave may be taken upon 24 hours of prior notice for legal matters, medical appointments for family members or funerals outside of immediate family members.