SHARON Workers will get 3% raises

Officials said all three unions agreed to increase their prescription co-payments.
SHARON, Pa. -- All unionized city employees will get 3 percent annual increases in new contracts presented to city council Wednesday.
Council unanimously passed the first of two required readings on the agreements, which take effect Jan. 1.
They cover police, firefighters and nonuniformed employees who are members of Local 2692 of the American Federation of State, County & amp; Municipal Employees union.
The police have a three-year pact, while firefighters and AFSCME workers have four-year agreements.
All three unions have ratified the terms. Final council approval will come Nov. 19.
Paying for it: Michael Gasparich, finance director, said the new contracts will raise city costs by about $93,000 a year in each of the first three years.
When Councilman George Gulla asked where that money will come from, Gasparich replied that the decision will be up to council, but that it will have to be added to the general fund budget.
That's the equivalent of nine-tenths of a mill of property tax in Sharon. One mill generates about $103,000 in revenue and costs the average residential taxpayer about $17.
All three unions agreed to increase their drug prescription co-payments from $1 for any drug to $5 for generic and $10 for name brands, a move Gasparich said will save the city somewhere between $40,000 and $100,000 a year.
It's something the employees agreed to do to show they realize the city is having financial difficulties, he said.
The estimated $93,000 cost increase caused by the new contracts is based on a minimum drug savings of $40,000, Gasparich said.