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Homestead rejects street workers pact

| Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 4:07 a.m.

Homestead council has rejected a three-year collective bargaining agreement with the street department employees' union.

The proposed pact with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was defeated Thursday by a 5-1-1 vote.

Council vice president Barbara Broadwater and Councilors Drew Borcik, Wanda Burwell, Zaneta Hines and Donald Turner were in the majority.

Burwell said there could be a better agreement for the street department.

“We're looking out for the workers,” she said. “By pushing this, maybe they will revisit it and we can get a better deal for them. That's the main thing. It's to help them, not to hurt them. They have to go back now and renegotiate.”

“For the little man working on the street for us, making a good deal of our money, they're not giving them anything,” Turner said.

Councilman Lloyd Cunningham voted in favor of the agreement. Council president Susan Titmus abstained.

“The street department and their union representatives and borough representatives sat down and negotiated it,” Cunningham said. “They came to a contract that they were all happy with. There's no good reason not to pass it, in my mind.”

Council approved an agreement with the Homestead Volunteer Fire Co. regarding financing the purchase of a 2003 Aerial Fire Truck, which cost approximately $307,000.

Councilors authorized sending Hines and Burwell to the Allegheny League of Municipalities Spring Conference at a total cost of $521.60. Hines and Burwell will attend for two days instead of four.

Council made several appointments, including Cunningham to a two-year term on the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone; Susan Andreko, Sharon Ford and Don Dais to three-year terms on the Zoning Hearing Board; and Mary Beth O'Hare to a four-year term on the planning commission.

A letter of credit from BNP Paribas on behalf of Bottom Dollar Northeast, LLC was approved by councilors. The discount grocery chain will open a store at 127 E. Eighth Ave. in the summer.

A motion to adopt a resolution amending the fee schedule to include a $10 fee for duplicate sewer bills was tabled so that council can gather more information.

Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or slee@tribweb.com.

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