The Village of Mineola Board of Trustees voted Aug. 12 to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement between the Mineola Memorial Library Board and the Library Employees Unit of the United Public Service Employees Union that includes salary raises in each of the next two years.
The new collective bargaining agreement, which is retroactive to June 1, 2012 and will last until the end of May 2018, includes salary increases of 2.6 percent and 2.7 percent for 2016 and 2017 and increases in longevity bonuses. The agreement also includes increases in employer contributions to dental and optical benefits for employees, but no increase to health insurance.
“We have terrific employees at the library but the board also understands significantly our responsibility to taxpayers,” said Russell Burcheri, who represented the library board in the negotiations. “That’s part of the reason why these things take so long.”
Burcheri said the union and the library board had continued to negotiate in good faith after the previous collective bargaining agreement expired in 2012.
The deal that was finally reached, he said, was in line with the industry standard.
Employees who have worked at the library for 10 years will receive a $1,300 bonus. The bonuses increase for every five additional years of service completed.
Unlike most libraries, the Mineola Memorial Library is separate from the village as well as local school districts.
It therefore negotiates a separate collective bargaining agreement from the one the village negotiates with the UPSEU for its workers, Burcheri said.
“Even though they are separate entities, we don’t feel that the library people should be treated materially different than the other village workers,” Burcheri said.