Rockville Centre's police union has been awarded a retroactive raise for multiple years.
According to Newsday [paid link], a state arbitration panel awarded police a 3.25 percent increase for both 2010 and 2011.
The award ends a period in which union members "have not had the benefit of any wage increase for over three years," according to the panel. The panel made the award for the state Public Employment Relations Board.
In a statement, village officials said they unsuccessfully attempted to reach what was described by the village as a "fair, negotiated settlement with the PBA."
After the settlement failed, the PBA elected to enter into binding arbitration, which is their right under current legislation, according to the village.
"The Village of Rockville Centre highly values our nationally accredited police department," the village said in a statement. "... We argued in arbitration that the interests and welfare of the public are a vital element of consideration and that the current state of the economy and pressure on taxpayers is at a critical stage. The arbitrators decision was similar to recent awards in Nassau County and did not address our requests for relief from the ever rising cost of salaries, healthcare and pension contributions.
"The village was however able to extend the period to attain top pay to seven years from five years and to more evenly distribute incremental increases, this accompanied with the new Tier 6 pension system, will save substantial money on new hires," the statement continued.