Pa. arbitrator decides wages, benefits for Chambersburg Police Department

November 20, 2011

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — A state arbitrator has decided Chambersburg Police Department officers’ wages and benefits for 2011 through 2015.

“In Pennsylvania, under Act 111, when a municipality and uniform employees cannot agree on contract demands, the matter is sent to a state arbitration panel, who imposes an award on the parties,” a Borough of Chambersburg news release states.

Officers will not receive a pay increase for this year, but their wages will increase 2.5 percent in 2012, 3.5 percent in 2013, 4 percent in 2014 and 4.5 percent in 2015, the release states.

Police officers face increasing contributions to pension plan costs and health insurance premiums. According to the news release, members of the Chambersburg Police Officers Association did not contribute to those benefits through 2010.

The effect is that “an employee with wages and benefits valued at $75,000 in 2010 will see his net wages and benefits drop to $74,736 over the five-year span — a net reduction in costs for the borough,” the release states.

The borough expects to save $31,599 in 2012 under the arbitration decision, the release states.

For 2011, the average officer has wages of $57,013 and benefits valued at $37,017, the release states.

The municipality and union each had a representative assigned to the arbitration panel. Thirty-three people from the police department’s 37-person staff are represented by the officers association.

The Chambersburg Borough Council is scheduled to discuss the arbitration decision at its Nov. 28 meeting. It already passed a preliminary 2012 budget that would downsize the police force by not filling vacant positions.

— Jennifer Fitch

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