Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Youngstown OKs pay raises for employees

Published: Fri, Dec 17, 2004

Union workers and managers will help pay for their health benefits.

YOUNGSTOWN — Some city employees and managers are getting larger paychecks, and some will get the boosts before the end of the year.

City council approved three-year contracts with the Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, which represents 14 dispatchers with the 911 emergency answering system, and Teamsters Local 377, which represents 34 street department employees.

The 911 dispatchers will get pay raises of 2 percent this year, 3 percent for 2005 and 4 percent for 2006. A dispatcher with three years' experience had been making $29,257 a year. This year that salary will rise to $29,842; $30,737 in 2005; and $31,966 in 2006.

The city will continue paying health insurance for the dispatchers this year and in 2005, but a 7 percent monthly copay begins in 2006.

There also is language in the new deal that says a dispatcher not regularly scheduled to work shall not be forced to stay over.

Street department

The street department workers also get raises of 2 percent this year, 3 percent in 2005 and 4 percent in 2006.

A truck driver, for example, who is making $33,238 will make $33,902 for the remainder of this year; $34,919 next year; and $36,315 in 2006.

The health benefits package is the same as for the dispatchers.

Contract language also says that whenever it becomes necessary through lack of funds or other justifiable causes to reduce workers, temporary or seasonal employees will be the first to be laid off.

Council also approved pay raises for all managers in city government. Management positions include the clerk of courts, deputy director of planning, health commissioner and deputy director of public works.

The raises begin with a 2 percent increase in 2005; 2.5 percent in 2006 and 3.5 percent in 2007.

For example, the deputy director of planning made $57,410 this year. That salary will increase to $58,558 in 2005; $60,021 in 2006; and $62,121 in 2007.

Managers have a 10 percent monthly copay on their hospitalization, dental and vision coverage. There also are $10 copays for office visits and $8 copays for generic prescription drugs and $15 copays for brand-name prescription drugs.

Police and fire chiefs

Police Chief Robert Bush and Fire Chief John O'Neill also are getting raises of 2 percent next year, 3 percent in 2006 and 4 percent in 2007.

Bush and O'Neill now both have yearly salaries of $78,499. In 2005, they will make $80,068; $82,470 in 2006; and $85,768 in 2007.

The city also has agreed to pick up a larger portion of contributions toward pension benefits for managers.

In January 2000, the city picked up 8.5 percent of the statutorily required contributions to the Public Employees Retirement System as a fringe benefit for managers.

Council approved an amendment Wednesday that increases the city pickup to 9 percent effective Jan. 1, 2006, and 9.5 percent on Jan. 1, 2007.

Finance department officials were unavailable Thursday to say how much the raises will add to the city's general fund budget over the three years.


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