Penn Hills approves labor agreements with police, public works, EMS
Penn Hills Council has approved separate labor agreements with its police, public works and EMS departments that include pay raises for those employees.
Union representative Vincent Tomko, vice president of the local chapter of the Professional Association of Paramedics, said he is satisfied with the EMS union's updated contract despite a long negotiation.
The union's contract expired in January 2017. Disappointed by the pace of the negotiations, the paramedics union affiliated with the International Association of Fire Fighters union.
Four people left the department, Tomko said.
Under the new agreement that expires in 2021, the employees who remain — 13 full-time and 11 part-time paramedics and three part-time emergency medical technicians — will receive a 3 percent wage increase this year and in 2019. In 2020, employees will receive a 2.75 percent increase.
The EMS division did not lose any existing positions, Tomko said. The contract places more restrictions on how and when employees can pick up overtime.
“We're essentially giving more accessibility to part-timers to receive overtime work and more hours,” he said.
The contract also establishes a requirement that at least one full-time employee must be present on all ambulance runs. Tomko said he viewed that as a win for the department.
“(Penn Hills Manager Moe Rayan) wanted to staff the ambulances however he wanted. We were scared he would eliminate positions,” Tomko said.
An attempt to get comment from Rayan was not successful.
Union representatives from public works and the police departments did not respond to requests for comment. However, Rayan, the municipality's chief negotiator, said at a recent council meeting that members of each department will receive raises.
Rayan said the police department agreed to a 2019 through 2022 contract with 2.5 percent wage increases for each of the first two years and 2 percent on each of the remaining years.
The contract for public works will be in effect from 2019 through 2023, and wage increases will range from 2.5 to 2.75 percent annually.
The council approved the labor agreements June 11.