The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

November 9, 2013

Police say talks stalled

Council: Negotiate with city manager

SHARON — Sharon police say contract negotiations are at a standstill but they weren’t able on Thursday to get city council involved in talks to replace the agreement that runs out Dec. 31.

Sgt. Jeffrey Wiscott, president of Rose of Sharon Lodge 3, Fraternal Order of Police, appeared at the council workshop with patrolman Ryan Chmura, vice president of the union that represents 26 city policemen.

“We appear to be at an impasse and we believe it’s time for everyone to sit down in one room,” Wiscott said. “There are only about seven weeks left in the year and I don’t think we are much further along than we were in June.”

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

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

It calls for raises over that time 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, are 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.

City Manager Scott Andrejchak, who didn’t address the contract discussion during the Thursday meeting, said Friday that firefighters and 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 wants those costs capped for police at $80 per pay period.

He added that the union wants 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 want 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.

Wiscott added that it’s up to the city to make an offer on unresolved issues and to submit a comprehensive proposal for union members to vote on.

He and Chmura came before council in an effort to move talks forward, he said.

“There’s either trouble with the message council is getting or how that message is getting to you,” Wiscott said without naming Andrejchak as the messenger.

“We appreciate hearing from you but you will have to negotiate with the city manager,” Ed Palanski, council vice president, said. “The city charter requires that.”

Councilmen Ed James and Tom Burke – a former police chief – didn’t talk about the negotiations. Neither did Councilman Frank Connelly, who was participating in the meeting by phone. Council President Vic Heutsche was absent.

After the meeting, Wiscott said police favor a negotiated contract but that possibility may be slipping out of reach with only about seven weeks left in the year.

“Our membership wants to negotiate a settlement; that’s our preference,” he said. “All we want to know is whether that’s possible or whether we should be preparing for arbitration.”

Andrejchak said no further meetings had been scheduled but that he had told Wiscott earlier by email that he is available for further negotiations.

“Negotiations are ongoing and that’s really all I have to say at this point,” Andrejchak said.

Text Only
Local News
  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • 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