Latrobe OKs contract with union workers, adds police officer |

Latrobe OKs contract with union workers, adds police officer

Jeff Himler
Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
Newly hired Latrobe police officer Zachary Lukon, left, is sworn in by District Judge Michael Mahady as Latrobe Police Chief John Sleasman looks on at right at the Aug. 12, 2019, city council meeting.

Latrobe Council approved a new three-year contract with city workers represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The labor agreement, retroactive to July 1, provides a roughly 3% annual raise for the employees while increasing the amount they pay toward premiums for medical insurance.

“It averages out to about a 75-cents-per-hour increase,” city Manager Michael Gray said of the wage hike.

The terms of the agreement — including the addition of Presidents’ Day as a 12th paid holiday — apply to 15 public works and clerical staffers who are members of AFSCME AFL-CIO Council 83, Local 629.

According to Gray, Latrobe this year saw its costs increase by nearly 20% for employee medical coverage through UPMC.

At the request of member Jim Kelley, council tabled for further discussion the proposed appointment of an assistant city secretary. That new position would provide a backup for Roxanne Shadron, who recently was hired to perform the multiple tasks of director of finance and administration and open records manager in addition to city secretary.

“We just want to have more information about that,” Gray said of the proposed post.

Council hired Zachary Lukon as a city police officer to fill a vacancy caused by transferring another member of the city force to fill a new school resource officer position at Adelphoi’s Ketterer Charter School.

“He has a lot of law enforcement experience,” police Chief John Sleasman said of Lukon. According to Sleasman, Lukon was a K-9 officer, serving as a border patrol agent in the Southwest, for several years and was a police officer in Indiana County before moving back to the local area, recently working as a part-time officer in neighboring Derry.

Paving, parking approved

Council approved recent paving of two alleys that previously had a loose surface of various materials including gravel, broken bricks and road millings. One alleyway runs parallel to and between Spring and Weldon streets and extends from Ligonier Street to Raymond Avenue. The other alley parallels Sloan and Sylvan avenues and runs between Cherry and Cedar streets. The work was completed by Pro 1 Paving, which submitted a low bid of $12,500.

According to Gray, the city normally doesn’t pave alleys, but these two areas needed to be addressed to help correct stormwater runoff problems.

“Every time we get these heavy rains, the alleys get washed out,” he said. “All the material is going into the catch basins.”

Council approved changing parking along a section of Alexandria Street from a two-hour time limit to parking by permit only. Gray said parking for those with city permits will be allowed along the east berm of the street, between Spring and Weldon streets.

The change is meant to provide relief to residents there who lack off-street parking and have trouble finding spaces for their vehicles close to their homes, Gray said. “It used to be permit parking there a long time ago,” he said. “I think the main problem is people who don’t live there are parking there. People are parking up there to avoid the metered parking on Spring and Weldon streets further down.”

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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