Police, road unions agree to new terms

HOWLAND — Township trustees have approved new three-year contracts with both the police department and the public works department, which represents township road workers.

The agreement went into effect July 1 and grants a 1 percent pay increase in the first year for all full-time police, public works and non-bargaining employees. There are zero increases in the second and third years.

However, Township Administrator Darlene St. George said there is a reopener clause for wages in both the second and third years of the agreements.

George also said the township no longer will pay the employee portion of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System pension constribution. In the past, the township has covered the employees’ pickup, but after July 1, the township only will pay its portion and the employee contribution will be rolled back into the employees’ salaries.

The police union represents 19 employees and the road workers union represents 11 employees. The fire department contracts is still being worked on, St. George said.

Trustee Chairman Rick Clark said both unions recently approved the agreements, but he did not have the actual vote totals.

Trustees also approved police officers having Narcan on them to administer at emergency scenes. Narcan is an opioid overdose reversal drug.

Police Chief Nick Roberts said police officers often will arrive at an emergency scene before parademics or firefighters and need to administer Narcan to a patient.

”Being that this opioid epidemic is not going away anytime soon it is better to make sure our officers are equipped with that tool when they are on calls than to be without,” Roberts said.

Township firefighters and paramedics carry Narcan with them.

The township also is adding to its safety forces as Matthew Fulmer was hired as a full-time firefighter/ parademic to fill a retirement opening in the department. He will be paid $17.85 per hour and paramedic rate of $62.50 per pay plus benefits. Fulmer has been on staff since 2014.

Hired as patrolmen were Keith Peterson, effective July 1, and Jordan Wert, effective July 16. They will receive 85 percent of the hourly rate, and upon completion of field training, 90 percent of the hourly rate, and then after one year, 100 percent of the hourly rate and benefits, according to the resolution. The hourly rate was not available.

Also, the police department saw the promotion of patrolman Jeffrey Sescourka to sergeant, effective July 1. He scored highest on a civil service exam taken by several officers, Roberts said. Sescourka is filling a vacancy in the department.