HERMITAGE — Months of negotiation have culminated in a new agreement between Hermitage officials and their police department.

Set to take effect retroactively on Jan. 1, 2019, the collective bargaining agreement between the city  and the Hermitage Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 82 was approved unanimously by the Hermitage Board of Commissioners.

Commissioner Louis Squatrito, whose son is a Hermitage police officer, recused himself from the vote.

Under the new agreement, police wages will increase 2.25 percent in 2019, a 2.50 percent in 2020, and 2.75 percent in 2021. Police officers’ health care contributions will be 15 percent of premium increase in 2019, 20 percent in 2020 and 22 percent in 2021, according to city documents.

In terms of the pay scale, an additional step was added to get from the beginning rate to top rate for police officers hired after Jan. 1, 2019. This increased the pay scale from five steps to six steps.

The agreement applies to all police officers in the Hermitage Police Department except for the positions of chief and the two deputy chiefs, City Manager Gary Hinkson said.

“We’ve been in negotiations since last fall,” Hinkson said.

The agreement is a three-year contract and is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2021. The previous agreement was also a three-year agreement and expired on Dec. 31, 2018.

Aside from Hermitage, the Hermitage Police Department is also contracted to provide police coverage to the boroughs of Clark and Wheatland.

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