Summit Hill council approves new pact with union workers
A five-year contract covering two unionized employees was approved last night by Summit Hill Borough Council.
The pact affects the two work force employees. It calls for a two percent wage increase per year and offers New Year's Eve as a paid holiday.
It also raises disability pay to $400 per week, from the present amount of $300 per week. Jesse Walck, a member of the council, said this increase costs the borough only $140 per year for the combined employees.
The two workers are represented by the Teamsters Union.
In another personnel matter, the council debated whether the borough's newest full-time employee, Ronald Yuricheck, should be permitted to respond to fire alarms during the day. Yuricheck is an active volunteer with the borough's fire department.
Mayor Paul McArdle brought up the topic, stating, "Yuricheck is a paid worker and a firefighter. Should he be allowed to take off during the day to a fire alarm?"
Council President Michael Kokinda said he supports Yuricheck's firefighting responses, noting, "Last week we had a working fire with flames through the roof. It was nice" to have quick response.
"If we tell him we're not going to pay him when he's on the fire truck, then we're losing a service," Kokinda added.
The council agreed to allow Yuricheck to respond to serious fires in the borough during the day, but not to participate in the aftermath clean-up.
"I feel we should put something in writing," said councilman Bill Chapman.
It was noted that during the day, it sometimes is difficult getting fire crews together because many volunteers work.
One councilman asked, "Does anybody have a problem with him leaving work?"
"As long as it's not abused," responded another."
Chapman commented, "Even if it's a legitimate fire, he shouldn't spend four hours afterwards cleaning up. Once the fire is over, go back to work."
Councilman John O'Gurek suggested that something be placed in writing regarding Yuricheck's daytime responses.
Yuricheck was hired last month to replace long-time employee John Kosalko, who retired.
He previously worked for KME Equipment in Nesquehoning, which allows its employees to leave work and respond to working fires in their respective communities.