.

City Claims to Have Reached Tentative Pact in Negotiations with Fire Workers

Representatives for the Redlands Professional Firefighters Association and the Redlands Association of Fire Management Employees could not be reached to comment Monday for this report.

A city of Redlands spokesman says city negotiators have reached agreements with two public safety employee associations that would result in significant annual savings for the city.

Redlands spokesman Carl Baker distributed a statement summarizing the agreement on Saturday Oct. 6.

Representatives for the Redlands Professional Firefighters Association and the Redlands Association of Fire Management Employees could not be reached to comment Monday for this report.

Messages left at the Redlands Fire Department on Monday were not returned.

The tentative agreement with the two associations must be approved by the City Council before it will take effect, Baker said in the Saturday statement.

"Although anticipated savings are only estimates and can be affected by a number of variables, City staff estimate savings from the two agreements could be more than $1 million annually, beginning in the first year of the new contracts," Baker said.

Representatives of the Redlands Professional Firefighters Association and the Redlands Association of Fire Management Employees and city negotiators drafted the agreements, Baker said.

The agreements are expected to be considered by the City Council on Oct. 16, Baker said.

"Among other provisions, the new agreements require employees in both units to increase their contributions to the Public Employees Retirement System packages," Baker said.

"The agreements also lower the percentage of service retirement benefits available for new hires in accordance with AB 340 to the state plan’s formula for public safety employees of 2.7 percent of the employee’s salary, for each year worked, based on the final 36 months of salary prior to retirement," Baker said.

"Employees would be eligible to retire with the full benefit at age 57," Baker said. "Beginning with approval of the agreements by the council, current employees will pay half of the 9 percent employee contribution under the Public Employees Retirement System for the first year and the full 9 percent after the second year.

"Employees hired after the agreement takes effect will pay the full 9 percent contribution," Baker said. "Savings are anticipated to be more than $330,000 in each of the first two years of the contracts. Additional savings could be realized in succeeding years as more new employees are hired."

The new agreement changes the formula for calculating overtime pay to include only actual overtime worked, Baker said.

"Currently Fire Department employees can include paid time off in their calculations of overtime if the employee works additional hours even if they don’t actually work more than the maximum 53 hours per week," Baker said.

"The new agreement excludes such calculations. While a number of other variables may affect the estimated savings, potential savings to the City, based on a limited sampling of past overtime use, are estimated at approximately $864,000 annually."

The City Council began negotiations with seven of the city's nine employee bargaining units in February, Baker said. Bargaining units representing Redlands police officers unilaterally exercised an extension of their existing contracts, Baker said.

Negotiations with the remaining bargaining units are continuing, Baker said.

Follow Redlands-Loma Linda Patch on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for the free daily newsletter here.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something