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Contract OK'd for 19 Penn Township police officers

| Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Penn Township police officers have a new five-year collective-bargaining agreement.

Commissioners approved the contract for the township's 19 officers this week. It is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012 and will extend through Dec. 31, 2016.

Negotiations have been ongoing since the summer of 2011.

β€œIt's a large weight lifted off of both sides to know that it's resolved,” said Chief John Otto, whose contract is separate from the agreement.

The officers' agreement calls for four annual $2,500 wage increases between 2013 and 2016, the same amount as the expired contract. Each officer received a $2,463.05 lump-sum distribution for 2012 and no wage increase for that year, according to information provided by Township Manager Bruce Light.

Otto said officers have approved the agreement.

Beginning in 2016, officers will have a 5 percent health insurance premium deducted from their pay. The 2012 lump-sum payments were part of the savings from the township switching insurers from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to Highmark, Light said.

Other changes in the contract include adjustments to longevity and holiday pay.

Officers hired before Jan. 1, 2013 will continue to receive 20 percent longevity pay after 20 years of service. For those hired after that date, the amount will change to 10 percent after 10 years of service, according to information provided by Light.

Longevity pay is typically an annual compensation for employees based on seniority.

Paid holidays will decrease from 12 to 11 in 2016. In that year, Lincoln's birthday β€” Feb. 12 β€” will no longer be considered a paid holiday, according to information provided by Light.

Township commissioners approved a contract extension for Otto in January, locking him in until Jan. 13, 2019. His salary for 2013 was approved at $92,317 and will be determined on an annual basis.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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