TOWN of OSSINING — November 9, 2021 — With the General Election now past, I would like to take a moment to express how thankful I am for the opportunity to serve another term as Ossining Town Supervisor. I look forward to continuing to work with all of our Town constituencies as we build a more sustainable and equitable Ossining in every sense of those words.
Regarding equity. The Town of Ossining’s Tentative Budget for 2022 makes some key investments related to equity, in a few ways.
First, the Town recently negotiated a new contract with its CSEA bargaining unit, which contains nearly two-thirds of its unionized workforce. The new contract adds parity adjustments for some titles that were determined to be underpaid in comparison to similar positions in other municipalities. Although the Town of Ossining has traditionally been more conservative in budgeting than other municipalities, it is important to ensure our staff is equitably compensated for their work, especially in a unit that is mostly composed of women and people of color. Thank you to the leadership of our CSEA unit for their research on this issue, and for proposing a solution which we believe to be equitable and also cognizant of our budgeting challenges. For Town employees who are not represented by a union, the Town has applied a similar parity analysis approach to salary increases in 2022. The new contract with CSEA also adds Juneteenth as a paid holiday, and the Town intends to provide the same to the members of its Teamsters unit.
We have also dedicated funds to support Ossining’s annual Juneteenth celebration, and to support the work of the Community Equity Task Force. For those who do not already know, this Task Force is composed of leaders from municipal government, the library, local schools, faith communities, student groups, and the community at large, and is intended to address issues of inequity that persist despite our best efforts. We want to continue to look at how we can better serve all residents, and ensure that our diverse community also enjoys equity, inclusion, and justice. Stay tuned for more to come from this group. If you would like to get involved, go to the Email Alerts signup page of our website, enter your name and email address, and then click “Manage Subscriptions” to add yourself to the Community Equity Task Force list.
The statement that “budgets are moral documents” has been made often enough that it has almost become cliche. However, I take this sentiment seriously. It is important to dedicate resources to the things we say we value, if we are to live out those values.