Reserve commissioners have approved a three-year contract with township police.
The Oct. 8 vote was 4-0, with Ron Neurohr absent. Officers had been working under terms of the previous contract, which expired in 2011.
"We wanted to assist with the township's budget needs," said Officer James Etherington, who acted as the union representative for Teamsters Local 249. The union approved the contract Sept. 17.
"The police department gave back to this community," said commissioner David Barie. "Negotiations were pleasurable with the union. I praise them [for] the givebacks."
Mr. Etherington said police now will contribute 10 percent toward medical premiums.
They had not contributed to health care coverage before.
"This will be a significant contribution to our township, well into the thousands of dollars," said township manager Bob Kipp. It is unclear what the actual savings will be, due to three categories of health plans available to officers and because rates for 2013 have not been released.
Over the next three years, officers' wages will be increased 3 percent, 4 percent, and 4.5 percent, respectively. This means a base salary for a full-time officer will be $50,531 in 2013, $52,552 in 2014, and $54,917 in 2015.
"It was a pleasure dealing with a great group of guys who truly care for the well-being of the community and the police department," said Mr. Etherington.
In other matters, commissioners approved payment to Triangle Pet Control Services in McKees Rocks to cover prior obligations. They are considering other options for animal control while the company tries to reorganize, possibly as early as this December, according to Mr. Kipp.
Triangle's animal control contracts with several communities around Pittsburgh have been called into question as the state suspended its license on Oct.1. Mr. Kipp's indication of possible alternative animal control services came in response to commissioner James Helfrich's question about the township's relationship with the firm.
Roxanne Tuinstra, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.