Appellate Court Upholds Pay Raises For City Police

Jamestown police officers will receive about $840,000 in contested pay raises from 2016 and 2017.

The city argued that it didn’t have an ability to pay for the raises given its inability to increase property taxes and receiving $1 million in additional state aid to balance the city’s books. The union argued that the city has the ability to pay because it has a surplus and could take part of Board of Public Utilitie’s profits if it chose to do so.

In November 2018, a three-member arbitration panel released its split decision, 2-1, on the issue of a 2 percent pay increase, with independent arbitrator Howard Foster and John Crotty, police union representative, siding with the police and Todd Thomas, former city clerk and administrative services director who represented the city, providing a dissenting opinion.

State Supreme Court Justice James Dillon chose not to overturn the arbitration panel’s ruling, prompting the city to appeal to the Fourth Department Appellate Division. The appellate court ruled against the city on Friday in a simple three-sentence ruling affirming Dillon’s ruling.

Former Mayor Sam Teresi and members of the City Council appealed the ruling because, in their opinion, the $840,000 granted in arbitration will have an impact not only on any reserve funding that has been built up, but also on all future expenses for the city. In addition they said the increase to the police union will also likely be applied to the 2016-17 fire union contract, which is also still unsettled and has been awaiting the outcome of the police contract issue before being resolved.


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