CITY COUNCIL Officials to consider police and water pacts

All the pacts call for health insurance co-pays from employees.
YOUNGSTOWN -- City council will consider ordinances this week ratifying three-year contracts with police officers and water department workers.
The council session is set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in council's chambers.
The city's 124 patrol officers and its 66 ranking officers will receive pay increases totaling 9 percent over three years.
The water department's workers will get 8 percent pay raises over three years.
Contracts for both the Youngstown Police Association and the Youngstown Ranking Police Officers are from Dec. 1, 2003, through Nov. 30, 2006. The first year of the raises are retroactive because both unions worked without a contract when their old agreements expired Nov. 30, 2003.
Capt. Kenneth Centorame, president of the YRPO, said the 66 members' classifications are sergeant, detective, detective-sergeant, lieutenant and captain.
Ranking officers have received the 2 percent from Dec. 1, 2003, to Nov. 30, 2004; and will get a 3 percent increase from Dec. 1, 2004, to Nov. 30, 2005; and 4 percent from Dec. 1, 2005, to Nov. 30, 2006.
Centorame said the average age for ranking officers is 46 and the average experience for those officers is 15 years.
The yearly salary range for detective, sergeant, and detective-sergeant is $53,925 with 2003-04 raise added; $61,695 for lieutenants; and $70,629 for captains.
He said that from 2004 to Nov. 30, 2005, members will pay 3 percent of their health benefits, not to exceed $10 per month for singles and $20 per month for a family plan. From Dec. 1, 2005, to Nov. 30, 2006, the co-pay increases to 7 percent, not to exceed $25 per month for singles and $50 per month for families.
Centorame said the ranking officers also will pay for office visits and their pharmaceutical drug plan.
He said the new contract has "been a long process for us," but added the ranking officers have tried to be reasonable and fair with their requests.
He also said the police department, as a whole, hasn't hired anyone in three years.
"I believe we're doing the best job we can with what we have," said Centorame, who begins his 30th year with the department today.
A Youngstown Finance Department official said the percentage pay raise and health insurance co-pays for patrol officers mirror those given to the ranking officers.
The yearly salary for a beginning patrol officer is $33,772 with the 2003-04 raise added and the salary for an officer with four or more years experience is $47,167.
Water department
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2726 represents 82 workers in the city's water department. Their new three-year deal runs from Jan. 1 of this year to Dec. 31, 2007.
They will get a 2 percent wage increase this year; a 2.5 percent increase in 2006; and a 3.5 percent increase in 2007.
Employees in the water department include laborers and draftsmen.
A beginner laborer, who now makes $23,951, will make $24,430 this year, $25,040 in 2006, and $25,916 in 2007.
The contract provides for stronger management rights for filling temporary jobs, health insurance co-pays that mirror those in the police department and overtime paid at increments of one-tenth of the hour, which city officials said should result in overall overtime pay decreases.

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