News Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News Rancho Santa Fe

City, employees reach cost-saving agreement

SOLANA BEACH — In a move that could save the
city approximately $80,000, City Council unanimously approved an agreement with its employee association during a closed-session meeting May 26.
Under the three-year contract, which begins this July 1, a salary freeze will be in place for fiscal year 2010-2011. Either party can reopen negotiations in years two or three to increase or decrease salaries.
Association members also agreed to pay their entire employee portion of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or CalPERS, contribution of 8 percent over the three-year term.
Employees currently pay 1.273 percent. Effective July 1, they will pay an additional 2.242 percent for a total of 3.515 percent.
Beginning July 1, 2011, employees will pay an additional 2.242 percent for a total of 5.757 percent. As of July 1, 2012, they will pay another 2.243 percent for a total of 8 percent.
Association members will receive one additional floating holiday. Those who use less than 40 hours or five days of sick leave annually may convert that to vacation time.
A second-tier pension formula was added for employees hired after July 1 that establishes a 2-percent-at-60 benefit using the employee’s highest three-year salary average.
Management and unrepresented employees will also receive one floating holiday and pick up their full employee share of the CalPERS retirement contribution over the three-year period. They also agreed to the 2-percent-at-60 pension formula.
“With the City Council’s unanimous decision at the last meeting to pick up its full employee share beginning July 1, 2010, at least 65 percent of the city’s work force have agreed to pay their full employee portion of the CalPERS retirement contribution over the next three years,” City Attorney Johanna Canlas said.
“We’re extremely pleased that we were able to work out this arrangement with our employee group,” Mayor Tom Campbell said.
“We truly do appreciate their cooperation and their understanding of the financial matters that have been facing the city. I think this shows true leadership not only on behalf of the impacted employees but the city of Solana Beach acknowledging the fact that the public employees sector needs to start paying their fair share of pension costs,” he said.
“The willingness and understanding of our employee groups to agree to salary freezes for the next two years shows their commitment and their loyalty to our city.”