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February 21, 2014

City OKs union deals

JOHNSTOWN — Even bound by the restrictions of Pennsylvania’s Act 47 program for distressed municipalities, the city of Johnstown will be able to provide its police officers and public workers some extra money over the next three years.

Fraternal Order of Police, Flood City Lodge No. 86, and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 83 Local 630 recently agreed to separate contracts with the city that provide raises of 1 percent in 2015 and 2 percent in 2016. No base pay increases are included for 2014. However, all members of both unions will receive bonuses this year.

“We try to do the best we can for the city and of course for the employees in the city themselves,” said Mayor Frank Janakovic.

City Solicitor David Andrews added, “From the city’s perspective, we’re very pleased to be able to resolve these contracts. I want to commend the FOP and AFSCME.”

Act 47 provides guidelines for contracts that participating municipalities must follow.

“We’re sort of locked in with Act 47,” said Dan Zakraysek, the local FOP president. “We just basically have to come back and accept what the Act 47 committee gives us.”

In 2014, each police officer will receive a $1,091.42 bonus, which is extra money the city had anticipated needing for health care costs.

AFSCME members will get $915.58.

“I think it was a good contract, considering that we’re still under the recovery plan,” said Jared Campagna, Local 630 president. “Without (City Manager) Kristen Denne and (finance director) Carlos Gunby working out that health care, it would have been zero increase for this year.”

The agreements run from Jan. 1, 2014, until Dec. 31, 2016.

Both unions, which represent more than 60 individuals combined, have approved the deals.

City Council gave Denne permission to sign the necessary paperwork during a meeting on Tuesday.

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at Dave_Sutor.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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