Suffolk lawmakers approve $3.1 million contract with detective investigators

Bizar Male

Suffolk legislators on Tuesday approved a new $3.1 million contract for the detective investigators union, the county’s smallest county law enforcement union and the last to receive a new contract.

The six-year contract will provide detective investigators with annual raises totaling 11.25%, boosting county salary costs by $1.99 million through 2024, legislative budget analysts said.

Terms of the 2019-2024 contract for the Suffolk County Detective Investigators Police Benevolent Association, which represents 51 detectives assigned to the county district attorney’s office, mirror those of other law enforcement contracts, officials said.

In cost-saving measures, sick pay will be reduced to 13 days a year, compared with 26 days under the previous contract.

Newer detective investigators will reach the top salary step in nine years instead of 10 as set out in the union’s previous contract. Top-step base pay is $181,969 and will rise at least once a year, according to a copy of the contract.

The new contract will provide a 2.25% retroactive raise for 2020, followed by 1% raises twice a year through 2023, according to the legislature’s Budget Review Office. Detective investigators will receive 1.5% raises in January 2024 and in July 2024.

No retroactive raise is included for 2019.

In 2020, the average base salary for detective investigators who worked the full year was $134,292 and their total pay averaged $161,747, including overtime and other pay benefits, according to a budget review office report.

Their payroll for active employees cost the county $7.4 million in 2020.

With the legislature’s vote Tuesday to approve the detective investigators contract, all the county’s nine bargaining units have contracts that will expire at the end of 2024. All other unions received new contracts in 2019 or early 2020.

Detective investigators have been without a contract since 2018.

The vote for the new contract was 16-0, with Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) abstaining.

Trotta said he wasn’t “a fan of long-term contracts,” and expressed concern the contract would “burden” the next county executive.

Also Tuesday:

  • Legislators approved an emergency resolution to restore $25 million to a sewer stabilization fund. The money was taken from the sewer fund by voter referendum last year to fill shortfalls in the county’s general fund. Bellone administration officials said the county ended up not needing the money.
  • Lawmakers voted to give health care workers discounted Green Key cards until April 2022. The three-year pass will cost $15 instead of $30. The cards allow residents access to county parks and reduced fees for park activities.
  • The legislature voted to allow Long Island University to use part of the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank for raising livestock and for agricultural education for students and the public. LIU is the only university on Long Island with a veterinary medicine school.
  • Legislators approved $1.2 million for district attorney’s office renovations, and $1 million for plumbing and electrical improvements at the county Medical Examiner’s forensic lab.

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