The Herald, Sharon, PA Published Thursday, December 18, 2003

Workers share cost of health care

By Patrecka F. Adams

Herald Staff Writer

Five Farrell city workers will pay a portion of their health-care insurance, making them the first city employees represented by the American Federation of State, County, Local and Municipal Employees to do so.

Robert Calvin, AFSCME staff representative, negotiated the collective bargaining agreement for next year, which ends December 2004.

"We negotiated a one-year contract to give us time to work on other options for hospitalization," he said.

AFSCME Local 200 represents a multitude of city and school workers in clerical, mechanical, dietary, sewer and street departments, as well as engineers and nurses from 14 counties in northwestern Pennsylvania, including some in Mercer: Sharpsville, Sharon, Hermitage, Farrell and South Pymatuning and Shenango townships. State workers, such as those for PennDOT and other agencies, also belong to AFSCME.

The five members who work for Farrell are clerical and street workers.

They will be required to pay about $40 a month for their health-care insurance, said LaVon Saternow, city manager.

Also for the first time, salaried, nonunion workers will be making co-payments, she said.

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