What Are The Benefits Of This Deal With The General Employee Union?

The Miami Herald reports that the city of Coral Gables has negotiated a general employee contract good through Sept. 30, 2012.  Is this right?  Just one year?  Given past experience, they should start negotiating the next contract right away.

The increase in pension contributions from 5 percent to 10 percent seems quite reasonable. Current employees continue with a defined benefits program that reduces the maximum by 7.5 percentage points for a 30 year employee.

The city can select a 401(k) pension for new employees, but this seems to be at the option of the city, if I understand this explanation.

It would be interesting to hear from management of their estimate of the total annual financial savings from this agreement.

But for the city what really counts are the agreements with firefighters and police; they make up the largest share of labor costs and unfunded benefits.

Under the labor agreement that passed on Tuesday:

• Both sides have dropped the unfair labor practice complaints.

• The union agreed to the pension reductions and increases in employee contributions that the city imposed in August.

• The city and the union will implement a cost-sharing agreement. If pension costs for the general employees rise, that means that the city and the union will split the additional cost. The same provision applies to non-union management employees as well.

• The city made changes to its disciplinary procedure and layoff rules in the contract.

• General employees can sell back their sick leave time starting in October.

via Gables strikes new deal with union – Coral Gables – MiamiHerald.com.

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

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