Say this for the Santa Rosa firefighters union, they drive a hard bargain.
The contract extension announced this week does include a payment toward retirement benefits from the firefighters. But the payment will go toward the city’s share. What does that mean? It means the city still pays the full employee share, and that money counts as pensionable salary when retirement benefits are calculated.
Another provision looks ahead to the possibility, likelihood may be more accurate, that a change in state law will prohibit public agencies (such as Santa Rosa) from paying the employee share of pension contributions (for firefighters and rank-and-file police, but not other employees). If the practice is outlawed, the firefighters’ contract calls for the city to pay half. Huh? A raise equal to half of the employee contribution would be triggered by a law requiring the firefighters to pay their own share.
Heads I win, tails you lose.
– Jim Sweeney