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.

Text Only
Local News
  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.

    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.

    July 25, 2014