Contract between commissioners, Steelworkers to be ratified today

Details of the contract are to be released today.
MERCER, Pa. -- Mercer County commissioners are expected to ratify a new contract today with the union representing courthouse employees, as well as bridge and soil conservation departments.
Ratification of the pact with United Steelworkers Local 1355-04 was to come at the commissioners meeting today.
Bill Boyle, director of administrative services, was mum on contract details when commissioners met for their agenda meeting stating they would be announced at today's commissioners' meeting.
Boyle said talks are continuing with employees of the E-911 Center and the sheriff's department, also represented by USW, who are now the only county employees without a contract. Last month, commissioners announced a settlement with Local 668 of the Pennsylvania Social Services Union which represents approximately 28 caseworkers and clerical staff at Mercer County Department of Children and Youth Services. Those employees received a 30 cent hourly wage increase for each of the four years of the contract, which is retroactive to Jan. 1.
Employees also agreed to pay an increasing percentage of their health coverage premium and received an increase in on-call pay and a stipend for employees who have reached the maximum salary for their position.
Commissioners also plan today to raise mileage reimbursement for employees driving their vehicles on county business from 32 to 35 cents a mile for the remainder of this year. The rate would then rise by one cent each year up until 2008. The rate was increased due to the rising price of gasoline which triggered a renegotiation of the rate with one of the unions representing county employees.

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