GREENBURGH, N.Y. — After almost four years without a contract, Greenburgh Department of Public Works employees are relieved to finally have settled a contract with the Greenburgh Town Board.
No salary increases in 2009 and 2010 had DPW workers flustered as other government employees' salaries climbed along with taxes over the years. The new contract will give Teamsters union members a 1.75 percent salary increase in 2012 and 2013 plus an additional $500 each year and a 2.25 percent increase in 2014 with an additional $400.
The contract will quiet outcries and months of picketing Greenburgh Town Board meetings demanding DPW salary increases.
"It's a good feeling and it's a bit of a relief. I respect the time everyone put forward to resolve the contract issues," said DPW Commissioner Victor Carosi. "It's a good contract for everyone now and I hope in the future everyone is satisfied."
Starting in 2013, DPW salaries will begin at $62,000 per year for laborers and range to $73,000 for foremen, Carosi said.
The money added to the salary increases will go toward paying a percent of health care costs the workers will have to contribute, which Carosi said amounts to about $600 per year.
Health care insurance costs between $16,000 to $18,000 for DPW workers, including family coverage, Carosi added, putting the workers' contribution toward health care between 3 to 4 percent.
Jim Keenan, who has worked for the Highway Department for 25 years, said not all the workers are completely satisfied with the contract, especially having to contribute to health care. But most are happy that it's finally over, he said.
"In 2009 and 2010 we had a zero percent raise — that really bothers a lot of the guys. It bothers me, too," Keenan said. "We worked very hard those years, just like we work hard every single day."
Keenan added that it's easy for the town board to tell DPW workers that they're doing a great job, but that it's more important to show it by giving them salary increases like everyone else on the town government's payroll.
"I've lived in Greenburgh most of my life. My taxes are going up like everyone else's, but my salary hasn't," he said. "This increase is going to help me out a lot."