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FOP To Appeal Contract Awarded By Arbitration Panel

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – An arbitration panel gave a final award offer to Pittsburgh Police officers after a year of hearings and discussions about a new contract.

However, the head of the union said they plan to appeal the decision.

Pittsburgh Police officers have been working under the terms of a contract that expired in 2014. The new contract awarded by the arbitration panel would be retroactive, in effect from 2015 through 2018.

However, officers would only have pay raises beginning in 2016.

There are approximately 850 Pittsburgh Police officers, making the bureau the largest group of Pittsburgh city employees.

A new, four-year contract awarded by an arbitration panel for the officers' union- the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge One and the city, would give the officers pay increases of 1 percent in 2016, and 2 percent in 2017 and 2018,for a total of 5 percent.

The president of the local union, Robert Swartzwelder, issued a statement to KDKA noting:

"We intend to take the appeal all the way to the Pa. Supreme Court if necessary."

Swartzwelder said the union intends to file an appeal because of the percentage of the salary increases, competitive pay and other concerns including overtime.

Swartzwelder said overtime pay for officers is not in line with other unions. The statement reads:

"Pittsburgh Officers do not matter in the eyes of both the Mayoral Administration and Police Administration. All unions EXCEPT THE POLICE OFFICERS are paid overtime when they work longer than 8 hours per day... No other Union is required to work under those conditions".

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto released a statement calling the offer,"...fair - and legally required - contract in which neither side got everything it wanted. It is a balanced award that is consistent with the mandates of state law and the contracts signed by every bargaining unit in the city."

The new contract goes into effect immediately. Both sides have 30 days to appeal.

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