WPCNR POLICE GAZETTE. SPECIAL TO WPCNR from Robert Riley, President, White Plains Police Benevolent Association. June 30, 2015:
The executive committee of the (WPPBA) board is pleased to announce that the White Plains Common Council has ratified a new 6 year agreement between our members and the City. It is effective retroactively from July 1, 2012 and runs through June 30, 2018.
First, we want to thank our members for having faith in the board and standing by it during this long and trying time. We know it was not easy, especially since we have not had a raise in 5 years. Their loyalty and dedication displayed a high degree of honesty and integrity to the association and the board and for this we are truly grateful.
Second, this contract is a tough, but fair deal that clearly reflects our membership’s willingness to work with the City to reach a reasonable resolution. In these tough economic and anti-union times we were able to secure conservative raises for each year of this agreement. At the same time we were also able to protect our members’ health insurance costs by maintaining their same level of contribution to their coverage prior to retirement.
Third, we are also happy that we were able to convince the City to honor its longstanding past practice to the extent it has agreed to pay 100% of the health insurance premiums for our 45 members who were hired before1995 and who are still active on the force.
As many of you may be aware, the City enacted an ordinance in 2010 that required our former members who were hired before 1995 and who are now retired to pay 15% of their health insurance upon their retirement.
During the course of our discussions with the City in an attempt to redress that injustice we informally tried to convince the City to repeal that ordinance since it is an obvious change in the terms and conditions by which our former brothers and sisters labored for many years.
Unfortunately, the PBA is expressly prohibited by the NYS Taylor Law from formally bargaining on behalf of our retired members. It is the hope of the executive board and the current PBA members that reaching and finalizing this new CBA will give the City an opportunity to re-think its position regarding our former members; and that the City will honor the commitments it made to its retirees when they were active members of the police department and not require those retirees to bear new, unforeseen, unbudgeted and non-bargained for costs, such as health care insurance benefits.
Fourth, as a way of further ensuring the public’s trust in our officers, we have agreed to random drug testing of our membership.
In closing, we again want to thank all of our members. We look forward to continue to protect and serve the public and vigorously represent our members’ rights and benefits under our new collective bargaining agreement.
God Bless and Stay Safe