Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.
In exchange for a pay freeze, Irwin's two full-time police officers no longer will have to contribute to their pension or pay a percentage of their health-insurance premiums under a new contract approved by council last week.
The contract, approved Jan. 6, freezes the officers' pay during the first two years of the three-year deal and has a 3-percent pay hike in the third year.
The labor agreement eliminates the 5 percent the officers previously paid toward their retirement, as well as the $108 a month they contributed toward health insurance. The borough has two full-time and five part-time officers.
Council voted 4-3 to approve the contract after a lengthy debate over whether they were considering a revised version of the labor agreement that included the elimination of the pension payment or a previous version that required the 5-percent contribution.
Council members Robert Wayman, Peggie Watson, Phylis Theim and Joanna Jordan voted to approve the contract. Council members John Cassandro, Deborah Kelly and Gail Macioce voted against the deal, which is retroactive to Jan. 1.
Irwin police Chief Roger Pivirotto, who is not part of the bargaining unit that represents the police, said he was happy the two sides were able to come to terms on a new labor pact.
“The contract was agreeable to the officers and borough officials, so it's good for the community,” he said.
Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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