A score of Sleepy Hollow village employees became the newest members Tuesday of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The new Teamsters span a broad array of workplaces and duties, from village hall clerks and other office staff to rec workers, crossing guard and the village’s parking-law enforcer. They join other village workers and municipal employees elsewhere in Westchester who have chosen Teamster Local 456 in Elmsford as their collective-bargaining agent.
The village board, unanimously and with minimal fuss, voluntarily recognized the union Tuesday as bargaining agent for the employees. If no competing union successfully challenges that designation in the next 30 days, the state Public Employment Relations Board would certify the Teamsters local, allowing the union and village to begin negotiating a contract.
Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio explained that there were three unions village employees were members of: police have their own, DPW are Teamsters, and four or five empoyees (from the office, the court and the rec dept.) were in a small union. This last union decertified itself and with about 20 new members formed a new union, "a white collar version of Teamsters," he said.
As opposed to making things more complicated, Giaccio says unionizing "really makes the rules very clear. The terms can be muddy otherwise."
He said the employees felt it necessary to unionize to protect their rights, though he didn't foresee this costing the village any more. Himself, the police chief, the treasurer, clerk, DPW foreman and building inspector are all management and therefore not allowed to unionize, though Giaccio noted he's happy not to, preferring his merit-based pay increases.