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Westmoreland County OKs stipend for court union workers

| Friday, July 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

About 300 members of the Westmoreland County Court Related Employees Union will receive a one-time payment of $750 or $350 in their paychecks soon.

County commissioners and the salary board on Thursday approved an arbitration award between the county and the union that represents court-related and court-appointed employees.

Under the award, employees will make contributions to health care costs.

The award grants the workers the one-time stipend in lieu of percentage raises in 2013.

Full-time employees will receive a one-time payment of $750, while part-timers will receive $350.

County human resources director Chuck Dominick noted that the one-time payments will not be counted toward each employee's base salary for future pay-rate calculations.

In addition, the agreement calls for annual pay raises of 2.5 percent in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Beginning in 2014, the employees will make various co-payments toward physician office visits, physical therapy treatments and prescription-drug purchases.

In addition, the employees will begin contributing a 20 percent share of any annual increase in health care expenses, Dominick said.

“Say the cost of for a family of four is $1,300 and it increases next year to $1,500. The employee would pay $40 toward that $200 increase,” he said.

The union represents court-related employees, mostly clerical, in the clerk of courts, prothonotary, recorder of deeds, register of wills, sheriff, jury commissioners', public defender's and district attorney offices. It also covers deputy sheriffs.

The contract will expire Dec. 31, 2016.

Workers last received a 2.5 percent raise at the beginning of 2012 under the former contract that expired Dec. 31, 2012.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or ppeirce@tribweb.com.

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