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Chambersburg Borough Council approves contract with blue-collar workers

January 08, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. ? The Chambersburg Borough Council on Monday approved a contract for its blue-collar unionized workers and set the 2008 wage increases for those employees not represented by a union.

The approximately 80 members of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees local that work for the borough will get a 4 percent wage increase each year of the five-year contract. The increase is in line with the current contracts with the unions representing the police and firefighters, borough solicitor Thomas Finucane said.

The AFSCME employees covered by the contract represent highway, sewer, water, electric, gas and sanitation workers, as well as meter readers and building maintenance workers, Borough Secretary Tanya Mickey said.

The council also set the increase at 4 percent for the approximately 60 employees not represented by a union. Oyer said the nonunion wage and salary increases have "historically" matched the AFSCME workers since the 1970s.

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The nonunion personnel include the borough manager and assistant manager, clerical and other administrative employees.

Members of the AFSCME local approved the contract in a close vote Friday, Finucane said. It does include higher employee contributions to health care that will be matched by nonunion employees, he said.

Current employees will pay 1 percent of their health care premium this year, rising to 5 percent at the end of the contract, Finucane said. New employees will pay in 2 percent the first year, rising to 10 percent, he said.

Health-care coverage costs the borough about $2 million a year, Finucane said. The contract also includes adjustments on deductibles and prescriptions, he said.

The contract passed on a 9-1 vote with Councilwoman Elaine Swartz voting against. She said the increasing cost to employees for health care could make it difficult to hire workers in a few years.

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