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Liverpool PBA puts breaks on pay raise

Village mayor applauds PBA's gesture, link to community

Playing a guessing game with the Onondaga County Sales Tax Agreement has put added stress on village budgets. Not immune to the sales tax change, Liverpool will now receive less than half of what it has in the past.

Taking note of the budget strains, the members of the Liverpool Police Department have decided to put their community before their paychecks, said LPD Police Chief Bill Becker.

In view of the budget restraints, the Liverpool Police Benevolent Association, the union which represents the village officers, sent a May 31 letter to village officials offering to forgo their scheduled pay raises.

"By this gesture, the PBA and the officers want residents to know they are a part of the community," Becker said. "The community means more to them than dollars and cents."

Mayor Gary White applauded the PBA's move.

"It's a real sincere expression of community," White said. "The fact that they took it upon themselves to take this step shows our residents how dedicated a group our police department is."

The LPD has five full-time officers, another nine part-timers, and an administrative clerk.

As an administrator, Chief Becker is not formally represented by the PBA, but his $68,000 salary normally increases in direct proportion to the annual increases negotiated for his top officers.

Becker supports the PBA's offer to forego the salary and hourly pay increases they'd been scheduled to receive this year. That means the chief won't get a pay raise this year either.

The PBA has also indicated it would be willing to negotiate future salary and hourly rates, although contractual agreements have already been made.

"It's gratifying that the police department wants to work with the village and come up with solutions to this financial bind," said the mayor, a former deputy chief of the Syracuse Police Department.

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