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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cops upset they don't get raises in addition to contract!

From the Eagle Tribune;

November 30, 2011
Atkinson gives raises to most town workers
By Cara Hogan

ATKINSON — Selectmen voted to give a 2 percent raise to all town employees — except the police department and library staff.

And some police union members aren't too happy.

Selectman Craig Schuster said town employees haven't had a raise since 2009 and because of the increased cost of living, selectmen decided almost everyone needed a raise.

"We did have it budgeted this year to give a 2 percent retroactive increase to town employees, beginning last March," he said. "During the discussion, we decided a 1.5 percent raise in 2012 will be executed, too."

The increase will cost the town about $8,000 more per year, Schuster said.

Library employees didn't get a raise because library trustees already gave staff members raises for this year.

But some police department employees are angry about being passed over, according to Patrol Officer Kevin Donnelly, union president for the department.

"I went down to Town Hall and asked, 'Why don't we get a raise?'" he said. "They said because we have unions and a union contract, we don't. I understand that, but I didn't understand why, with a swipe of a pen, selectmen could give a raise to the rest of town employees."

Schuster said it's just the way the system works.

"The police department (is) under the collective bargaining agreement and we are currently negotiating with them for their increase next year," he said. "This was no personal attack on the police department. We will give them an increase when the contract is completed."

Once the department and selectmen agree on a contract, voters must then approve any raises in March. The police department hasn't had a contract since 2009, when voters rejected the proposed contract.

Of all the town employees, the police department could end up the only ones without a raise, Donnelly said.

"I would hope (the contract) wouldn't be voted down again, but times aren't great," he said. "When people go to vote and have a choice to give somebody a raise, taxes are so bad, that's an easy one to say no to."

He said it seems unfair for only some town departments to need voter approval for raises.

"I don't see why with a swipe of a pen selectmen could give a raise to the rest of town employees," Donnelly said. "We have five or six people at the police department that aren't in the union. What about the chief? The chief's wife?"

Police Chief Philip Consentino said he wishes his officers could get more money.

"I feel bad for the officers," he said. "They've gone since 2009 without a raise. That's why we lost so many officers, because they were able to go other places and get more money than what they did here."

The department lost three officers to other local departments in the past year.

"It's probably just a dollar raise for some, so it's not about the money," Donnelly said. "It's just the overall treatment I didn't appreciate by the selectmen."


Anonymous said...

Maybe they've been getting double raises all along. Double dipping again?

Anonymous said...

I have a question about the PD part timers. The Chief is limited to what, 20 hours a week since he is underqualified?

What about limitations on the other cops, say Kevin for example, who was paid $35k in 2010. That means if he was limited to 20 hrs a week, he have to be making $35.00 an hour ! So what are the rules here? Do the PT police have limits on hours they can work?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the PD gripe: they chose to unionize, so the town is forced to live by the contract. AFAIK, the rest of the town employees are NOT unionized, so the town treats them differently than the PD union. That's the way it works.

Guys: you made your choice, now man-up and live with it.

Anonymous said...

Show some public spirit and earn that raise. Become a whistleblower and rat on the Chief. Or admit participation in some APD wrong-doing and turn state's evidence. Get the Chief out of our sight and the money will be yours.

Anonymous said...

Or start to actually do something when you're called.

Anonymous said...

Officers are leaving because of the politics of their boss and the corruption he represents. The Conman has made them promises his mouth can't keep, and they get sick of it after awhile. Once they realize what he's done to them and they lose their faith in him, they are GONE. Mix in the corruption they have witnessed over the years, and they realize they don't have a chance.

Keep your union guys, that's the only way you will get your due. Your union will support you while your boss is trying to under mind you behind your back.

Phil Consentino is no ones friend except himself. If you remember that and keep your union, you will do well in life. If you forget, Consentino will drag you to the bottom of the abyss and drown you.

Now you know why the selectmen don't trust him. You can't build a good democracy on lies. That's why Consentino has never been or can never be a good cop.

MAcciard said...

part time officers, including the chief are limited to 1,300 hours per year. However if they work over 1,000 hours they get benefits for the next year. This is why the chief should be utilizing ALL of his part timers to avoid any going over 1,000 hours.

Anonymous said...

Then of course no one is tracking what Consentino does, so welcome the extra expense he causes.

OMG MORE CORRUPTION UNCHECKED! Once again, no one guarding the barn door.

Thanks again selectmen. (for nothing. Just more of their dog and pony show with fat horse leading the pack.

Anonymous said...

November 30, 2011 4:35 PM has it partially right.

By joining a union and agreeing to collective bargaining, you have agreed to negotiate any raises. The town is right in not giving raises to union members. Basically, you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

The chief has recently displayed a series acts that one would consider gross insubordination. He did it again a week ago. Those in private industry know he would have been fired for the first act. The BOS should have shown him the door last week.

There is a blight on this town. It could be an absolutely wonderful place to live if the BOS actually did what I'm sure they know what has to be done. One can only conclude the chief has established an insurance policy, also known as blackmail.

Since nothing is being done from the outside, those on the inside have the power to fix this problem once and for all. All it might take is one juicy story to the media. I'm sure there are plenty to chose from. You want a raise, show you deserve it and lift the cloud that hangs over this town.

Anonymous said...

Donnelly said. "It's just the overall treatment I didn't appreciate by the selectmen."

How do you think they felt when you stormed out?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

why on earth did they ever decide a union was a good idea for mayberry?

Anonymous said...

At the time, they were looking for protection from the dept head.

Boy was he mad when they tried to get that union. Now he wants union benefits too and has gotten them on occassion.

A lot of very bad information is being discovered about PD mismanagement.

Anonymous said...

I'm sick of the whole mess and want to see him replaced.

Anonymous said...

Why wasn't there any other officers at the meeting on monday? It seems to me that there should have been more people there. Is it because noone lives in town, or do they just not care? Is it possible that Donnely is only looking out for himself. At $35K a year, does he really need more.

Now according to the $35k reported and the 1300 hours a year reported by Mark, wouldn't he get paid $27 an hour to make this? So how much more of a raise does he need??????

Macciard said...

Dec. 1 @ 4:10;

The drive for a union was started in 1998 or 1999 by Officer Micheal Rivera, over favoritism by the chief. According to Rivera, work assignments were doled out on a preferential basis as well as bonuses, and other perks.

When he started the drive, the Chief allegedly responded by writing him up for not giving enough tickets during his shift(his shift was midnight to 8:00am) and other petty harassments.

Rivera filed an action with the NLRB, and even Baldwin testified that prior to the write up incident there were no established ticket quotas. There was also a "loyalty" letter sent by the chief to the officers on official stationary.

The Union was approved, with chief speaking out at town meeting in favor of it and the contract, just after an article came out accusing him of "union busting".

Rivera won his NLRB suit, Chief was Ordered to "cease and desist from bullying, harassing, and intimidating" his officers.

Rivera said it was about getting work rules on paper that management(read the chief) had to follow.

Anonymous said...

It is one thing to pay an part time officer $27.00 an hour in a municipality, but we have heard there is no crime in Atkinson, so it seems that this is an above board amount for Atkinson.

MAcciard said...

To Dec.1 @ 5:07;

He was mad right up until he was accused of "union busting" then he spoke in favor of it.

And, YES, even though the union contract SPECIFICALLY prohibits the chief form participating in it, while he was both Chief and Selectman, he approved for himself an EXTRAORDINARY payment TO HIMSELF of $1,300.00 "union benefit".

This only came to light the second year he tried to give it to himself, when Brian Boyle, then selectman(I think he may have been chairman that year) found it in the expenditure report and raised hell about it.

I filed a conflict of interest complaint about it, and Phil lied to them at that meeting, claiming he had been receiving that benefit for "over three years" "since BEFORE becoming a selectman" The benefit had never existed before the year in which he gave it to himself, It was a NEW benefit with that contract. COI chariman SMith asked me if I would withdraw my complaint in light of Chief's "testimony" I told him to give me a day to check out his story, and if true, I would withdraw it and apologize. I checked with the town bookkeeper the next day and found he lied. I wrote to Mr. Smith and informed him of this. Phil responded by suing me for "slander, libel, defamation of character, diminution of earnings capacity". He withdrew the suit two weeks before trial.

Anonymous said...

I think Farrar only made $25.00 per hour and he was FT. How does KD get paid so much and is he working too many hours for his training?

How do we find this out?

Anonymous said...

So Mark, Consentino misused his position of authority once again by trying to use the legal system to intimadate a taxpayer with selectmen approval. Have you ever put a total number to all the time they have done this to people in the last 40 + years?

Perhaps it's time to put the "LEGAL HIT" on them for a change.

BTW When did the taxpayers approve a SEWER SYSTEM for the town of atkinshame?

MAcciard said...

we do not have a sewer system

Anonymous said...

Sure we do! Everytime we flush the PD floods and Consentino ends up in the selectmen's office for their weekly meeting.

Anonymous said...

I think they Donnelly more for his personality, did you ever talk to farrar?

Anonymous said...

Yes, and he sounded just like Homer Simpson. I hear there is a reason for that. :)

Anonymous said...

seems more like a family guy.:)

Anonymous said...

Of course he is a family guy. He and Homer are joined at the hip! :)