Springdale police OK contract with 11% raise

| Friday, Jan. 20, 2012

Springdale Borough police this week agreed to a three-year contract that pays them an average annual wage increase of 11 percent.

Borough officials said the steep increase is meant to bring their earnings in line with police in neighboring communities.

Three full-time officers — Jeremy Liotta, Sgt. Mark Thom and John Wall — are covered under the deal, which is retroactive to Jan. 1.

Wall, however, will be leaving the borough for a full-time post with the Harmar Police Department. Harmar's supervisors hired him Thursday.

Councilman John Molnar said Wall will be replaced.

The officers' $18 hourly rate will jump to $24.50 in the contract's final year, Molnar and Councilman Jason Fry said.

The change will bring the officers' base salary to $42,640 this year, up from $37,440, under a 40-hour work week.

Full-time Chief Joe Naviglia Jr. is covered under a different contract but by state law receives the increase given to the other officers, Molnar said. His base salary will jump from $47,840 to $52,000 this year, Molnar said.

"I think it's a very good deal," said Teamsters Local 205 Secretary/Treasurer Carl Bailey, who represents the union. "The borough is trying to compensate these officers comparable to those in surrounding municipalities."

As a comparison, the base salary in the Harmar Police Department is about $54,000 this year, according to terms of the contract township officers agreed to last March. New hires in the township start at 80 percent of the base salary, or $43,200.

With the addition of Wall and one other full-timer, Harmar will have eight full-time officers.

Cheswick Mayor Daniel Carroll said the starting salary for a full-time officer in his borough is $22,000. Cheswick has two full-timers, Chief Robert Scott and Officer Cindi Busch, who make substantially more than the base rate because of their tenure and rank.

In New Kensington, the base salary for a full-timer is $43,627. There are 22 full-timers in the city.

Springdale police will make a greater contribution toward their health care. Molnar and Fry said the police will contribute 3 percent of their salary, up from 1 percent under their previous contract.

Molnar said the borough was able to save about $34,000 in insurance costs by switching carriers. The officers will continue to have Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage, he said.

The borough added an incentive to the contract that pays a $1,000 bonus to officers who live in the borough.

Wall, the department's local union representative, couldn't be reached for comment.

Additional Information:

Contract details

The new contract for Springdale Borough police expires Dec. 31, 2014.

It offers an hourly wage increase of $2.50 in the first year and $2 in each of the last two years, borough officials said.

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