News Item:
Latrobe police get tentative contract
12/31/2012
LATROBE, PA — Latrobe will start the new year with a tentative contract with its police officers.

The three–year deal would provide for 2 percent annual raises while requiring officers to pay more for their health insurance premiums, a city official said Thursday.

The Fraternal Order of Police Westmoreland Lodge No. 23, which represents 11 officers, approved the proposed contract before Christmas, said Alex Graziani, city manager. Latrobe City Council is expected to approve the new police contract at its Jan. 14 meeting.

The current three–year agreement expires on Dec. 31, with the new contract taking effect on Jan. 1 and continuing through Dec. 31, 2015. The contract doesn't cover Chief James Bumar, who remains a contracted employee.

For the first time in 18 years, the city and the FOP were able to reach a contract agreement without having to submit a labor dispute to an arbitrator, Graziani said after council's agenda meeting.

Officers Robert Derk, Robert Rummell and Matthew Sherer, who were involved in the negotiations for the FOP, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Graziani said the proposed annual wage increases to officers are within the consumer price index.

Under the contract, officers would be required to pay $25 per pay for their health insurance premium, up from $20 per pay under the current agreement.

The city was able to get the FOP to agree to lowering the annual longevity pay for officers hired under the new agreement, Graziani said. Instead of police officers receiving 1 percent of their salary for a maximum of 20 years of service, the annual longevity pay of newly hired officers will be 0.5 percent of their salary. It remains capped at 20 years.

Latrobe has a police force with an average seniority of 14 years and the average salary is $64,000, which includes overtime pay, Graziani said.

Under terms of the new deal, officers no longer must live within 10 highway miles of the border of Latrobe, said Graziani. Officers can live as far from the city as they wish.

The city's negotiators were assisted by the Pittsburgh law firm of Campbell Durrant Beatty Palombo & Miller, which specializes in governmental labor law, Graziani said. The city has not yet received a final bill from the law firm, he said.

Napsha, Joe. "Latrobe police get tentative contract". Trib Total Media. December 28, 2012. http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/3203628–74/officers–contract–graziani#axzz2GdUL1Wbi