Council to Hold Special Meeting

Pension Reform Task Force will present recent findings

The Alameda City Council will be holding a special city council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at city hall about pension reform and labor contracts.

The Pension Reform Task Force (PRTF) will present findings and recommendations on the new pension contracts for public safety employees and also asks for public input about the upcoming public safety labor negotiations. Both the city and PRTF are asking the public to weigh in at the beginning of the negotiations rather than in the middle of the process.

Currently, the two sides — city council and public safety employees — are in phase two of a ninestep process to achieve a contract agreement.

The first phase was for one of the parties, the city or the employees, to notify the other side they wanted to negotiate the existing contract, or memorandum of understanding, prior to its expiration. The current phase is where the public is brought in to comment on the desired changes on the memorandum of understanding. The next phase is in which the employer and employees discuss ground rules for negotiations.

Much of the debate is over how much employees pay for their pensions and how that affects the city. Under the CalPERS system, pension contributions consist of an employee share (as a percentage of qualifying pay) and an employer share. In many cities, the taxpayers fund the employee share, but not in Alameda. Alameda's city employees pay the entire employee share, as well as a portion of the employer share.

On Feb. 15, safety employees started paying 2 percent of the employer's contribution to CalPERS, increasing their contributions from nine percent of their qualifying earnings to 11 percent.

Beginning Jan. 13, 2013, miscellaneous employees will pay 1.868 percent of the employer's contribution to PERS (the maximum allowed under California law at the time the memorandum of understanding was signed), increasing their contributions from 7 percent to 8.868 percent. Tons of other issues will be discussed at the meeting.

To learn more about the negotiations, visit cityofalamedaca.gov/ city-hall/public-information-aboutcity- budget.

Contact Ekene Ikeme at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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