Both sides like New Kensington police contract
New Kensington police have a new three-year contract that will offer them annual raises of about 2 percent.
Council earlier this month unanimously approved the contract, which is retroactive to the beginning of this year. It will expire at the end of 2015.
“It's a very equitable contract,” said Mayor Tom Guzzo.
Patrolman James Horwatt, who led negotiations for the police union, agreed: “It's absolutely fair to both parties. I give the mayor credit because the negotiations were professional, straightforward and civil.”
Including Christian Baker, the newest officer whom council offered conditional employment to this month, the contract covers 23 full-time officers. The union contract does not cover Chief Tom Klawinski.
The last three-year police contract, which wasn't ratified until nearly the end of 2011 and was retroactive to the beginning of 2010, included a wage freeze in the first year and annual raises of about 3 percent in the last two years.
“We understood the budget constraints of the city,” Horwatt said. “I think this is extremely fair.”
Health benefits will remain the same for now: the city will cover the cost unless insurance premiums increase by more than 15 percent a year, at which point employees will be required to kick in.
Guzzo and Horwatt said the union has agreed to review alternative health plans in the future to see if there are more cost-effective options, including perhaps a high-deductible plan. Guzzo said the city likely will bring in insurance representatives to discuss options with all three of the city's unions.
“We're very satisfied,” said Horwatt, a 20-year veteran of the department who has been involved with contract negotiations before. “This was the smoothest of all the negotiations I've been a part of.”
“I know the guys are happy,” Klawinski said.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 5 plead guilty to charges of luring, beating man at Harrison gas station
- Return of Verona’s Doughboy statue delayed
- Man shot in New Kensington
- Fire damages home in Kiski Township