LIBERTY Trustees approve pay raise for officers

The contract allows for an insurance committee to contain costs, the administrator said.
LIBERTY -- Township trustees have approved a 12-percent pay raise over three years for patrol officers.
The contract with the Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association was ratified Wednesday.
Retroactive to Tuesday, the contract calls for 4-percent wage increases each year through 2004.
Patrol officers, who before the agreement were paid $36,774, will receive $41,365 during the last year of the contract.
Darlene St. George, township administrator, said bargaining must be done with police sergeants and captains, who are also OPBA members but have different contracts from the patrol officers.
The department has 21 union members.
Township firefighters and road department workers are under contract.
Firefighters are members of the International Association of Firefighters, and road workers are members of Teamsters Local 377.
Insurance: St. George said that with the cooperation of the OPBA, an insurance rate committee will be established.
"I'm really pleased with that," the administrator said.
She explained that what has been happening is the expiration of the township's insurance and labor contracts don't coincide.
As a result, the same benefits are maintained without the ability to change them, and costs can't be contained.
In April, she said, the committee of both labor and management members will meet so insurance representatives can make proposals.
"The unions are committed to keeping costs down," she said, noting the employees will now have a say in how insurance coverage is structured.
Otherwise, St. George said, a third party or arbitrator will make a decision when there is a dispute. This would cause a loss of control by the township and its employees.

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