Cumberland Times-News

Local News

May 24, 2013

Raises for 911 workers for next 3 years

County’s emergency dispatchers cut a deal with commissioners

CUMBERLAND — CUMBERLAND — County emergency dispatchers will see increases in pay for the next three years under a contract signed by workers and Allegany County Thursday evening.

County commissioners ap-proved the agreement at their regular business meeting.

The dispatchers are represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

There are 24 members in the bargaining unit, said Brian P. Westfall, the county’s director of human resources.

“The contract provides ... for a wage adjustment (COLA) of 3 percent for each year of the three-year contract,” Westfall wrote in an email.

Allegany County already planned a 3 percent increase for all county employees in the fiscal year 2014 budget. That increase was the first in four years for county employees.

The 3 percent cost of living adjustment planned for county employees in 2013, would cost $442,237, Jason Bennett, the county’s finance director, has said.

“Both sides came to the table with the intention ... to quickly wrap up the agreement,” Westfall said at the meeting.

It was all smiles and handshakes as the document was signed at the commission meeting.

“This is my first contract with Allegany County. It all went very smoothly,” said Carroll Braun of AFSCME.

Commission President Michael McKay praised the work of the county’s negotiating team, which consists of a number of county department leaders.

The agreement includes a no-strike clause.

“During the term of this agreement ... and accordingly neither the union nor the employee will instigate, promote, sponsor, engage in or condone any strike, slowdown, sick out, concerted stoppage of work, or any other intentional interruption of work. The employer shall have the right to discharge or otherwise discipline any employee who violates the provisions of this article,” the contract said.

No-strike clauses are typical in contracts for government employees, county officials said.

The only method for resolving disputes under the contract are the grievance and arbitration procedures outlined in the agreement, according to the contract language.

A non-absence incentive is included in the agreement for each six-month period during that an employee does not utilize sick leave. The award is $75 or eight hours’ pay, whichever is greater.

Health insurance terms in the contract vary based on the date of hire.

Employees hired before July 1, 2006, pay 8 percent of the premium for whatever coverage level they choose. Employees hired after that date pay 2 percent for individual coverage and 22 percent for dependent coverage.

The savings that made the pay increase for next year possible was largely from savings achieved when the county refinanced its debt earlier this year.

That move saved about $1 million, county officials have said.

Increased revenues also helped. Most of the 1.5 percent increase came from property and income tax revenues.

Almost all of the $308,955 property tax increase can be attributed to the $295,000 payment in lieu of taxes agreement between the county and the owners of the Rocky Gap Casino Resort.

Income tax revenues have increased by $714,600, said Jason Bennett, county finance director.

AFSCME represents em-ployees in several county departments including roads, transit, corrections and the sheriff’s deputies.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at

Text Only
Local News
  • B-52 memorial service B-52 crew members honored at memorial service

    GRANTSVILLE — The family members of the Buzz One Four crew members involved in the 1964 B-52 bomber crash and residents gathered on Saturday to honor the memory of Maj. Robert E. Townley, Maj. Robert L. Payne, Tech Sgt. Melvin D. Wooten, gunner, who died in the crash, as well as the memory of Maj. Thomas W. McCormick and Capt. Parker C. Peedin, both of whom survived.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Truck fire closes I-68 Truck fire closes I-68

    CUMBERLAND — Smoke billowed above downtown as a tractor-trailer’s brakes caught fire and quickly spread to the truck’s trailer on eastbound Interstate 68 near the Industrial Boulevard exit at 4:02 p.m. Saturday, according to the Allegany County 911 center. No injuries were reported.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fun at the fair Fun at the fair

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents want Terrapin Run removed from county plan

    CUMBERLAND — Although the Allegany County Comprehensive Plan is a 266-page document, the only part of it that generated comment at a public hearing Thursday was the potential for construction of the Terrapin Run housing project near the Green Ridge State Forest.

    July 13, 2014

  • State recommends tight restrictions on gas drilling

    HAGERSTOWN — State regulators on Friday recommended some of the nation’s tightest restrictions on shale gas drilling, aimed partly at protecting drinking water from being contaminated by methane leaking from drill sites in Western Maryland.

    July 12, 2014

  • Castaway Castaway

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman sentenced in cancer fund scam

    SOMERSET, Pa. — A Somerset woman will spend a year on probation for selling discount fundraising coupon booklets she falsely told people would benefit a 4-year-old girl with cancer.

    July 12, 2014

  • Allegany County Transit buses won’t run on July 24 due to employee training

    CUMBERLAND — There will be no Allegany County Transit service July 24 to allow personnel to participate in an employee in-service training day. Neither fixed route bus service nor All Trans vans will operate.

    July 12, 2014

  • In Brief - 07/13

    July 12, 2014

  • Buzz One four crew members honored

    The family members of the Buzz One Four crew members involved in the 1964 B-52 bomber crash and residents gathered on Saturday to honor the memory of Maj. Robert E. Townley, Maj. Robert L. Payne, TSgt. Melvin D. Wooten, gunner, who died in the crash, as well as the memory of Maj. Thomas W. McCormick and Cap. Parker C. Peedin, both of whom survived.

    July 12, 2014

Must Read
News related video
LeBron: Move Back to Cleveland 'Exciting' Tiny Texas Border Town Weathers Migrant Influx Raw: Divers, Snorkelers at Undersea 'Concert' Raw: Kerry Meets With President Karzai Overseas Children Face Deportation Without Attorneys Arizona Mom of Missing Baby Released From Prison Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' CDC Addresses Lab Safety Problems Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court LeBron James Says He's Returning to Cavaliers More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande Soft Robot Fish Lead New Wave of Robotics Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Law Signed to Create NYC Municipal ID Cards 7 Killed in Mass. Apartment Fire Denver Gay Couple First to Get Marriage License Baby Hoped to Have Been Cured of HIV Relapses Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration