Union labor contracts due

JOHNSTOWN – City government officials will have their hands full with labor negotiations later this year, as current contracts for all three city unions expire by the end of the year.

Mayor Michael Julius, City Treasurer Michael Gifford and the Common Council, and outside city counsel, will deal with labor talks for these three unions: Johnstown Police Benevolent Association, Johnstown Firefighters Association, and a Civil Service Employees Association bargaining unit representing city Department of Public Works and Water Department employees.

“They are all on the same timeframe,” Gifford stated.

He said all three city contracts expire by year’s end. He said that although there is “nothing current” on the table concerning union talks, the city and its unions will gear up later in the year for formal negotiations.

The city police union’s last retroactive contract was ratified by the council in July 2013. The 22-member Johnstown Police Benevolent Association at that time received a new contract that gave its members 2.7 percent average annual pay raises through 2016. That contract ran about six or seven years, and was achieved after an impasse between the city and PBA. Both sides ended up meeting with a state Public Employment Relations Board-assigned mediator in December 2012.

The roughly 25-member Johnstown Firefighters Association worked off extensions to a previous contract the last several years. For example, the Common Council in Feb. 2011 approved a two-year extension to the union’s pact that gave union members $1,000 raises, instead of typical percentage increases.

The local CSEA chapter represents over 25 employees from the DPW and Water Department.

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