By Denise Dick
A Youngs-town State University trustees committee has approved a new three-year contract with the police union that calls for no pay increase the first year, a 2 percent raise the second year and at least a 2 percent increase in the final year.
The trustees’ University Affairs Committee approved the pact Thursday. Atty. Leonard D. Schiavone opposed it. The resolution moves to the full trustees board for a vote June 13.
The pay increase the third year will be 2 percent or the same as the faculty union the same year, whichever is greater.
The pact, which runs July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2015, also freezes step increases for the life of the agreement.
In the second contract year, a beginning dispatcher will earn between $18.39 per hour and $21.56 per hour, up from between $18.03 and $21.14 per hour in the current contract.
A dispatcher 2 will be paid between $19.90 and $23.89 per hour in the contract’s second year. They now earn between $19.51 and $23.42 per hour.
A beginning police officer on probation will earn between $19.24 per hour and $24.27 per hour beginning July 1, 2013, up from between $18.86 per hour and $23.79 per hour this year.
Police officers not on probation will earn between $20.99 per hour and $26.47 per hour next year, increased from the range of $20.58 to $25.95 per hour under the current agreement.
Sergeants will be paid between $22.85 and $29.39 per hour in the contract’s second year, increased from between $22.40 and $28.81 per hour.
Effective July 1, the 24 police-union members will be on the same health-care plan as the faculty and classified unions, contributing 12 percent of the health-care premium the first year, 15 percent the second and a percentage determined by the university in the third year.
Chuck Wilson, senior staff representative with the Fraternal Order of Police - Ohio Labor Council, which represents the officers, said the union approved the agreement about three weeks ago by a substantial margin.
He said the police union has a good relationship with the university and although the contract includes concessions, members wanted to do their part.
“I think our membership realizes that the entire region — the entire state — is having difficulty right now,” Wilson said. “We didn’t want to see any more impact on the student body as far as finances.”
Also, as in the contracts with the faculty and classified unions, if an employee’s spouse is eligible to participate in a group medical or prescription-drug insurance program from his or her employer, the spouse must enroll in that program for at least single coverage.
The pact also removes the educational pay increment for all but those who attain an associate or bachelor’s degree. Previously, officers who completed 16 semester hours with at least a C earned 20 cents more per hour, and those with a one-year certificate in private security/public safety earned 25 cents more per hour.
Employees who already are receiving those increments will continue to receive them.
The educational increase is 35 cents per hour for those with an associate degree in criminal justice or other degree approved by the police chief and 60 cents per hour for those with a bachelor’s degree.
There are other changes in overtime allowances.
Paid sick time won’t count toward the 40 hours of work required before an employee begins earning overtime. No employee will be eligible to work overtime for at least 24 hours after the end of a shift for which he or she reported off sick.
During the agreement’s first year, the uniform allowance increases from $1,100 to $1,600, but it returns to $1,100 for the second and third years.