Yesterday was November 30, 2010 and it was a milestone date for the Village of Mount Kisco and the Mount Kisco PBA. The Village’s contract with the PBA expired on May 31, 2007. The PBA has now been working without a contract for three and one-half years, effectively leaving Mount Kisco with the lowest-paid police force in Westchester county.
The impasse is not a result of the actions of one party only. The Mount Kisco PBA has been more active filing grievances and charges of improper practice than negotiating. For the record, they have been largely unsuccessful with their grievances losing most of the arbitration cases. The Village of Mount Kisco, however, is not free from blame since it takes two parties to disagree.
In the end, both parties are losers. The members of the PBA have not received a pay raise in over three years, which impacts most members. The Village is losing because it is unable to hire police officers to fill open spaces because eligible recruits will opt to work for municipalities with higher wages and a better relationship with the government. The Mount Kisco Police Department is severely understaffed and it is affecting service.
Hopefully, both parties will look at this anniversary as a time where they can negotiate with each other and work out a contract that is fair to the Village taxpayers and the police officers that Village residents rely on in times of trouble.