Trustees approve contracts for police, firefighter unions

AUSTINTOWN -- The township has contract agreements with its police and firefighter unions.
Trustees approved the contracts after an executive session at their meeting earlier this week.
Township Administrator Michael Dockry said the contracts with the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Firefighters are for one year.
The contracts don't include pay raises but feature a $500 signing bonus for each employee, he said.
The health-care plan remains the same, with employees contributing $30 per month for family coverage and $20 per month for single coverage, he said.
Negotiations with the unions began in the fall. The police union includes 36 officers, and the firefighters union includes 17 firefighters, Dockry said.
The township will meet with its dispatchers union, the Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, Friday afternoon, Dockry said.
That union and the township are trying to get past differences with the help of arbitration. Both sides rejected a fact finder's report last month that suggested a 9.5 percent pay raise over three years and a 10 percent co-payment toward health care.
The dispute will move to a conciliation phase, and in that phase, the arbitrator's decision will be binding, Dockry said. He said the union requested the Friday meeting.

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