Shandaken ambulance drivers get a raise

The Shandaken town board held its reorganization meeting on January 3, reappointing town personnel to their jobs for another year. Town ambulance drivers received a wage hike of 70 cents per hour, and it was reported that engineers have begun to draw up specifications for the High Street loop of the Phoenicia water system.

The minimum wage in New York State has gone up, so the ambulance drivers are getting an increase from $9 per hour, the previous minimum wage, to $9.70, the new minimum. This increase was not provided for in the contract with emergency personnel, so town supervisor Rob Stanley said the town will be looking over the contract terms to ensure that changes in the minimum wage are reflected in pay increases specified for the future throughout the department. “There are no other employees making less than the new minimum wage rate,” said Stanley, “but in fairness, moving forward, we will have to address these increases, not only for the minimum wage employees but for all the employees who have been working diligently for the town for a number of years.” Because the hours of ambulance drivers are not extensive, their increase is not expected to affect the town budget.