The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

June 11, 2013

Sunbury reaches three-year contract agreement with police officers

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

— SUNBURY — The patience of the Sunbury Police Department might have paid off because City Council approved a new contract on Monday.

City officers have been without a contract for nearly six months and Monday night, by a unanimous vote, the contract was passed by council.

The next potential hangup will be if officers accept it, but officer Steve Bennick, who was at Monday’s meeting, said he thinks a deal has been made.

Councilman Todd Snyder was happy the two sides reached an agreement.

“It’s good all the way around,” he said. “I’m happy with the results.”

One of the sticking points was a five-year agreement police were seeking. Neither Sunbury Mayor David Persing nor Councilman Todd Snyder favored the five-year length and also said they needed to rework 13 points of interest in the city’s counterproposal, Persing said.

The new contract will be a three-year agreement.

Officers will not get a salary increase in 2013 but in 2014 and 2015 they will receive a 2.5 percent raise.

A previous version had officers and the city at odds over comp time and funeral expenses. In the event an officer should die in the line of duty, the city should bear all out-of-pocket direct funeral expenses, according to the proposed contract. Snyder believed there should be a cap on the expenses and thanks to the efforts of council members and Persing, not wanting to go to arbitration, the deal was finalized.

“We want to thank our officers for working for the past six months without this being done,” Persing said.

“We are grateful and we are pleased we were able to reach an agreement.”