The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

December 14, 2013

Bring on the arbitrators

Negotiations between city, police at impasse

SHARON — Now that negotiations have broken down between the union for Sharon police and City Manager Scott Andrejchak, the process to hammer out a new labor contract is headed for arbitration.

“I have recommended arbitration to the city and have communicated that to our attorney,” Andrejchak said Thursday, declining further comment.

Sgt. Jeffrey Wiscott, president of Rose of Sharon Lodge 3, Fraternal Order of Police, was equally tight-lipped about efforts to replace the contract that expires Dec. 31.

“The FOP remains optimistic we can come to a resolution,  and we are open to further discussion on the issues,” he said Friday. “This is a lengthy process and as of this morning we do not have a contract in place for 2014 and beyond.”

Robert L. McTiernan, of Tucker Arensberg, Pittsburgh, is the city’s attorney and arbitrator for the police contract. He said Friday that the police have selected attorney Quintes D. Taglioli, of Markowitz and Richman, Allentown, Pa., as their arbitrator.

They will ask the Philadelphia office of the American Arbitration Association to provide a list of three names to complete the panel that will settle the dispute, McTiernan said.

“We each will strike one name and the remainder is the arbitrator,” McTiernan said.

The panel’s eventual award, requiring two votes for confirmation, will set the terms and date of the contract which is binding on both sides under state Act 111, the law that governs municipal contract negotiations. Until then, police will continue to work under the current contract, he said.

A contract that expired in 2010 was replaced with a three-year agreement. It was worked out with the help of an arbiter to cover 2011-13.

Police last month asked city council to get involved in negotiations they said were at a standstill but council declined to intervene in bargaining talks.

Wiscott attended that council meeting with patrolman Ryan Chmura, vice president of the union that represents 26 city policemen.

Wiscott asked lawmakers to help break the logjam but Vice President Ed Palanski said the city charter requires council to wait for a recommendation from the city manager before council can act.

Wiscott briefly outlined terms being discussed at that time in the proposal that would run from 2014 through 2017.

It called for raises of 2è percent next year, followed by increases of 2 percent, 2è percent and 2 percent.

Wiscott said police, who pay 10 percent of the premium cost for health insurance, were being asked to pay an increase of 1è percent next year, followed by 1 percent, 1è and 1 percent.

That would make policemen’s share of health insurance premiums 15 percent in 2017.

Employees represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union are on track to pay 15 percent of health insurance premiums. So are nonunion and management city employees.

Wiscott said the FOP wanted those costs capped for police at $80 per pay period.

He added that the union wanted the city to pay health insurance costs for surviving spouses of police who may be killed while on duty.

In addition to any negotiated wage increase, police wanted to reinstate longevity pay – a $100 payment for each year of service up to 20 years or $2,000 for employees hired from Jan. 1, 2008, onward.

That benefit was negotiated out of an earlier contract.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Better security Grant available to boost security in district courts

    County officials are looking to quickly upgrade security systems in the five district judge offices, not due to an increase in risk, but because current systems are antiquated and there is a short window to apply for some financial help with the costs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials split over selling older monitors

    What to do with a pile of older LCD computer monitors, keyboards and mice remains up in the air until the third, and often absent, county commissioner makes a decision.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police anxious to talk with victim

    Sharon police want to talk to a West Hill man about several other men who came to his house shortly before he was shot and critically wounded Tuesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • AED presentation Heart-friendly pool

    The Lackawannock-Shenango-West Middlesex Pool has some pretty obvious changes from when it was opened almost 46 years ago.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sharon man 'stable' after being shot in his West Hill home

    A Sharon man was in stable condition this morning after being shot by one of several men he had let into his West Hill home, police said.

    July 23, 2014

  • GJR killer not eligible for parole, court rules

    State Superior Court on Tuesday reversed a local judge’s decision that the sentence for one of two men who killed a night supervisor at George Junior Republic, Pine Township, was unconstitutional.

    July 23, 2014

  • Duplicated files, former worker confesses

    A Mercer woman accused of stealing customer lists, billing information and other data from her former employer headed off trial Monday by pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful duplication.

    July 23, 2014

  • Starved house Vandals vent their emotions

    Vandals kept police busy Sunday and Monday nights at a home in Greenville where the Mercer County District Attorney’s office said a boy was starved and beaten by his mom.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple, another man charged in thefts

    Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief against an East Palestine, Ohio, couple and another man in connection with two robberies in rural Mercer County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Taking stock Where’s the beef? Bull’s still missing

    Is it possible that an alien abduction took place in the Mercer area last week? A solid red, 2-year-old Watusi bull with 3-foot-long horns has been missing since July 14 with no trace of its existence left on earth.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buhl Day honorees

    The Buhl Day committee has chosen for this year’s celebration five honored guests whose volunteer work they feel best showcases the legacy of philanthropic work left behind by Frank and Julia Buhl a century ago.

    July 22, 2014

  • GC pair not hurt in accident injuring 2

    Two drivers were taken to a hospital after an accident at the intersection of state routes 965 and 173 in Worth Township, police said.

    July 21, 2014

  • WaterFire crowds WaterFire doused

    Sharon’s WaterFire wasn’t lacking either of its elements on Saturday. There was steady, day-long rain but the day concluded with the Shenango River ablaze.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Starved’ boy released from hospital

    A 7-year-old boy allegedly starved and beaten by his mother is out of the hospital and ordered out of his Greenville home by Mercer County Common Pleas President Judge Thomas R. Dobson.

    July 20, 2014

  • WaterFire walking tour Time traveling

    A group of more 50 people walked between the raindrops Saturday during an historical tour of downtown Sharon during the city’s WaterFire celebration.

    July 20, 2014 6 Photos 1 Story