City workers get pay raise

Negotiations continue with the city's police union.
HUBBARD -- A factfinder has awarded nonuniformed city workers a 101/2 percent pay raise in a three-year contract.
In addition, members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1256 will not pay for medical benefits.
Fact finder Marc A. Winters ruled the 29 members of Local 1256 will receive a 31/2 percent increase retroactive to Jan. 1 and 31/2 percent each year in 2004 and 2005.
Both Local 1256 and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 132 began negotiations in December. The city doesn't negotiate with members of the Hubbard Volunteer Fire Department.
While Local 1256 agreed to fact-finding to resolve the issues, Lodge 132 continues to negotiate.
Safety Director Robert Paterniti said Friday that he expects police officers to ask the city for the same pay raise granted AFSCME members in the light, street, water and sewer departments.
Joseph Sheridan, Local 1256 president, said his membership has approved the fact-finder's report, and city council may vote on it Monday.
The city unions had asked for 3-percent wage increases in each of three years with no added cost by employees for medical coverge. That was rejected by the city.
Winters' report says the union asked him for 5 percent the first year and 4 percent in each of the final two years of a three-year pact.
The city offered 2-percent increases the first and second years and 3 percent the third year.
The city wanted AFSCME members to pay a $200 deductible for hospitalization for a single employee and $400 for family coverage with a maximum out-of-pocket costs at $600 and $1,200, respectively.
In report
Winters wrote in his report that although cost-sharing and cost-containment measures are continuing issues, he has never, in his 25 years of fact-finding experience, seen such "a wholesale set of changes in terms of monetary issues" as the city proposed.
Winters denied union proposals to increase vacations and to have Christmas Eve treated as a paid holiday.
AFSCME members can continue to take early retirement, but they must provide a six-month notice to the city.

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