New Castle News

TOP STORIES

February 14, 2014

County employees accept contract

NEW CASTLE — Two government bargaining units have come to terms with Lawrence County on their contracts.

The workers, members of Construction and General Laborers Union Local 964, voted Feb. 7 in favor of the proposed contracts, which will grant raises in each of the three years. The contracts cover 128 people who are members of the court-related and court-appointed employees bargaining units.

“There were two agreements. Both contracts were approved overwhelmingly,” attorney Domenic A. Bellisario, counsel for 964, said Thursday.

The court-related employees voted 46 to 1 for the pact. The court-appointed group voted 35 to 14, according to information from some members. Not all members participated in the vote.

The commissioners must ratify the agreement before it goes into effect. Meanwhile, the employees have been working under the terms of their previous contracts that expired Dec. 31.

The bargaining units include workers in the offices of the prothonotary and clerk of courts, sheriff, register and recorder, district attorney and public defender.

The contracts will provide workers with a 1 percent wage increase this year, a 1.5 percent raise next year and a 2 percent hike the third year.

The county has agreed to pay 100 percent of the workers’ health insurance benefits this year. Next year, if the increase in the health care premiums is greater than 7 percent, the employees will pay half of the difference, and the same condition applies for the third year.

County administrator James Gagliano, who represented the county in negotiations, said the contracts will be retroactive to Jan. 1.

They also include a two-tier salary schedule to give new employees more parity in wages, Gagliano said. According to the new hire wage scale, new employees will be paid $1 less than what the current employee was earning.

“The base rates are very low, and the commissioners are aware of that and we’re trying to change that where we can.”

He said the employees also agreed to new vacation terms for new hires, which will require them to work longer to earn the number of vacation days current employees have.

Of the negotiations, he commented, “They were professional. There was a lot of give and take.”

Negotiators for the union were Bellisario and Donald Mangino, manager of Local 964, along with stewards from each department. Representing the county, in addition to Gagliano, were Commissioner Steve Craig, human resources director Karen King and attorney Michael Palumbo of Pittsburgh, special labor counsel.

The county has four bargaining units, whose contracts all expired Dec. 31.

The new court-related and court-appointed contract terms differ from those of a bargaining agreement ratified last month for jail employees, who also are members of Local 964. Their terms includes a wage freeze this year and $500 bonuses for both 2015 and 2016, with no change in base pay rates.

The jail workers also agreed to pay 5 percent of their health insurance premiums.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
TOP STORIES
  • vote.jpg County has more than 10,000 inactive voters

    This week 59,360 people in Lawrence County were recorded as registered to vote. However, 10,061 people — about 17 percent — of them are in inactive status.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Earthquake.jpg Geologist: Ohio’s response to earthquakes ‘inadequate’

    A Youngstown State University geologist called Ohio’s official response to the 12 earthquakes that occurred last month in Poland Township, Ohio “inadequate.”

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg Wilmington board debates ‘free expression’

    Wilmington Area school directors weighed student safety concerns against free speech rights Monday. A proposed policy on student free expression and posting of materials drew concern from one board member.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • meehan.jpg Meehan named Neshannock superintendent

    Terence P. Meehan is the new superintendent at Neshannock Township School District. Board members voted 5-4 last night to fill the post that will be vacated June 30 with the retirement of Dr. Mary Todora.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • fire.jpg Fire guts Union Township house

    The state police fire marshal is investigating a fire in that broke out in a vacant Union Township house Monday. Union Township firefighters responded at 3 a.m. to 314 Smithfield St.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 08.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Community Easter morning service

    There’s a reason why most holidays last only 24 hours. It’s because when you’re finished celebrating, there’s still work to be done. The Rev. David Young reminded everyone who attended Sunday’s community Easter morning service at Lawrence Village Plaza of that.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • money.jpg Retirements, attrition to save district money

    A slew of retirements in the New Castle School District may result in savings in the 2014-15  budget. The school district plans to introduce its spending plan next month.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fletch1.jpg No Retreat: Teacher’s golden retriever proves to be a hero, fighter

    It was last fall, and my favorite time of the year to be in the woods hunting. On this day, I could hunt small game and turkey, though my primary purpose was a hike in the woods with my dog, Maggie. This year was special. I also had my five-month-old golden retriever, Remi.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Firefighters respond to gas leak

    New Castle firefighters responded to a gas leak Friday at the former Lincoln-Garfield school on Long Avenue. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Petrone said Columbia Gas received a call from someone in the 800 block of South Mercer Street about the smell of gas Friday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • ATV.jpg City residents register complaints about ATVs

    Some North Hill residents expressed annoyance and frustration over youngsters recklessly operating all-terrain vehicles through their neighborhoods.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

It’s been a unique week on the marriage front. Actress Jodie Foster married her longtime girlfriend, while a lesbian trio that wed last year, who bill themselves as a “throuple,” have announced they are expecting. What’s your take on alternative unions?

I’m against it. I believe in one man, one woman.
I’m OK with it. As long as they’re adults, they can marry whoever they want.
A lesbian “throuple?” Really? SMH.
     View Results