Pa. county approves 3% annual salary increase for COs

The contract gives the county right to hire up to 13 part-time COs, which will "substantially cut down on overtime"

By Jeff Horvath
The Times-Tribune

SCRANTON, Pa. — Lackawanna County Prison and Community Correction Center employees will receive annual raises of 3% for the next five years under a new contract commissioners approved Wednesday.

The contract between the county and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 87 Local 2736 runs through 2027, covers at least 200 county employees and includes an increase in employee health care contributions in 2024, county Human Resources Director JoAnn Decker confirmed.

All active union members covered by the contract will receive a one-time payment of $1,500 for 2023.

The contract also establishes that the county has the right to hire up to 13 part-time corrections officers at the prison, which Decker said will "substantially cut down on overtime." Language in the current collective bargaining agreement, which the new contract replaces, precluded the county from using part-timers in place of full-time corrections officers unless the officers were absent from work for a period of 30 consecutive days.

Along with reducing overtime costs, the change will reduce mandatory overtime for prison employees, county Chief of Staff Brian Jeffers said.

In terms of health care costs, monthly employee contributions for single coverage will increase in 2024 from $60 to $80. Employee contributions for family coverage will increase from $120 to $140 per month. Those increased rates will freeze from 2024 through 2027.

The contract also includes a slight increase in prescription benefits cost in 2024, among other terms.

"We think that the union was very fair from their perspective of what they wanted and what we wanted," Jeffers said. "We really got along very well in (these) negotiations with them. ... They understood that times are tough out there for everybody, but they're doing a heck of a job out there and they're under obviously a lot of pressure inside a prison."

Efforts to reach union officials Wednesday were not immediately successful.

Check back for updates.

Contact the writer:; 570-348-9141; @jhorvathTT on Twitter.


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