Tyrone Borough and Police hammering out contract

At the Tuesday, September 3 tyrone Borough Council meeting, Council approved appointing an arbitrator to negotiate with the International Machianists and Areospace Workers Association, which represents the Tyrone Police Department. The Tyrone Police Department’s contract for non-management officers will expire at the end of this calendar year and after two meetings early indications suggest that an agreement will not likely be reached soon.
Tyrone Borough Manager Al Drayovitch declined to comment on the collective bargaining process with the officers, as is the policy of the borough when negotiating contracts. Union Business Manager Pete Mathieu said Friday morning that the arbitration request was filed according to Act 111 in order for the union to meet filing deadlines. He also pointed out the major areas of concern for the officers in regards to the contract.
“Besides the typical wage concerns and our desire to protect the benefits — such as pension and medical — of the officers, we are also concerned with the current manpower of the force and the safety of the borough,” he said. “Currently there is only one full-time police officer, while another is on leave due to an injury. We’re not sure when he will be able to return to work.”
Mathieu noted that Tyrone Borough Council had indicated it would hire another full-time officer in 2002 and now there is less than four months left in the year — as well as the contract. “Not long ago there were four full-time officers. Now there is only one full-time officer on active duty. They said that they were going to hire another full-time officer and they haven’t,” he said.
Chief Joe Beachem is full-time, as well, but is not a part of the contract negotiations since his position is considered management.
Mathieu said that the union would continue to work with the borough to come up with a contract and said that the next meeting between the two entities would be September 29. Tyrone Borough and the union have met twice already, Mathieu said. “We’ve had two meetings where we gave them our proposal and they gave us their position.”