City Denies Firefighter Union Request for $1.3 Million Change to Contract

City Denies Firefighter Union Request for $1.3 Million Change to Contract

The city commission voted 3-2 to against the International Association of Fire Fighters’ (IAFF) request for a $1.3 million change to their recently negotiated contract with the City of Tallahassee.

At its April 11, 2018 meeting, the City Commission directed staff to provide additional information regarding the recently approved IAFF agreement and the fiscal impact of potential changes related to pension.

IAFF  leadership was requesting a rollback of the employee pension contribution rate to 16 percent for the remainder of the contract term.

IAFF cited concerns that the police officer agreements did not include an increase in the employee contribution rate and that it is not equitable to seek additional contributions from firefighters. See table below.

The current employee contribution rate is 17.47 percent (FY18). It is scheduled to increase to 19.08 percent in FY19 and 20.69 percent in FY20.

In addition, the City contributes 31.13 percent to the firefighter pension fund. This amount is projected to increase to 38.9 percent in FY20 based on the plan benefits and scheduled employee contribution rate.

In all, the firefighter pension plan combined (employer and employee) rate for FY18 is 48.6 percent and projected to increase to 59.53 percent in FY20. The pension plan is funded at 78 percent of projected future benefits.

This requested employee contribution rollback rate is projected to cost an additional $1.3 million in City pension contributions.

Arguing that the firefighter pension plan along with negotiated wages were considered in total, city staff his recommended no changes be made to the contract.

Additionally, city staff was concerned re-opening the contract negotiations would trigger the impasse resolution provisions should the parties be unable to agree regarding the terms of the pension re-opener.

 

COMPARISON OF PLAN CONTRIBUTIONS

Fiscal Year 2018

Plan Employer
Contributions  
Employee
Contributions  
Total
Contributions  
Police

 32.53% [1]

 13.69%[2]

 43.78%

Fire

 31.13%

 17.47%

 48.60%

General  

 18.43%

 5.0%  23.43%

[1] Employer contributions for police include an estimated 1.13 percent per year to reflect the cost of reducing the COLA from age 62 to age 55 for police officers hired on or after January 1998 and earlier than January 2001. Firefighters hired before October 1, 2017 are eligible for a COLA at age 52.

[2] Participants hired before October 1, 2014 contribute 11.25 percent.

11 Responses to "City Denies Firefighter Union Request for $1.3 Million Change to Contract"

  1. alex   May 6, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters and Teachers deserve all that we can give them for what they do for us and our children. They are much more valuable than city administrators, county administrators or school board administrators.

    Reply
  2. Taxpayer for public safety   May 6, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    I’d love to see the numbers of what firefighters pay into their fund (soon to be over 20%!) compared to what police and general city employees pay in.

    Reply
    • Staff   May 6, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      We added a table comparing contributions.

      Reply
  3. Snidely Whiplash   May 6, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    We all love our firefighters LEO’s EMT’s and all public servants who put their lives on the line for us. No one in their right mind will dispute that.
    Do they need a 1.3M raise? Well I do not know .
    However here’s what I do know; when we have corrupt leaders in local governments, as we do now, everything that may be correct and just seems suspect.
    I call on our firefighters LEO’s EMT’s and all public servants to stop supporting these corrupt leaders and stand up for what you know is right at the voting booth and to take a look at your unions to determine who they support with your union dues…chances are your union dues all go 100% to support our corrupt leaders in local governments.
    It’s just kind of hard to get behind a 1.3M increase for people who knowingly support corrupt leaders.
    But hey I understand you guys unions are smart enough to see that our corrupt leaders in local government are going to face tough upcoming elections that may put them out on the street. Because the upcoming elections may not be a slam dunk for local Hillary supporters, your union is likely knowingly trying to put the squeeze on our corrupt leaders in local governments for a 1.3M bribe for your continued support at the voting booth, and the subsequent increase of your union dues that will go as an increase in funding to corrupt local leaders. Can’t blame your union for seeing that and trying to exploit it.
    You all may very well deserve 1.3M or maybe more but do you understand what you look like to honest citizens in these corrupt times we are going through?

    Reply
  4. News Maven   May 6, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    1) Did the police contract get negotiated before the firefighters contract?
    2) If so, did the city negotiator give the firefighters incorrect police contribution percentages?
    3) I’d like to see a table comparing the percentage of funding for projected future benefits, going back at least five years. Seventy-eight percent sounds too low – especially if there’s a history of ever-decreasing funding. In fact, I think additional actuarial data might have to be provided to the PBGA since it has fallen below 80%.

    Reply
  5. Chuck   May 7, 2018 at 7:37 am

    You negotiated the deal you wanted and signed off on it. Next time do a better job of negotiating. It’s not fair to the taxpayers to fix your incompetence. We can send you a participation medal though.

    Reply
  6. james Anderson   May 7, 2018 at 11:03 am

    This is going to bankrupt the taxpayers going forward. Stop this.

    Reply
  7. Ada   May 7, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Does any portion of the firefighters pension come from the fire service fee? The fire departments used to be funded through the general fund until the city imposed the fire service fee. When the fire fee was imposed started out with collections at $20 million annually and currently collects $38 million. Seems excessive considering the city has built only one new fire station since enacting this fee.

    Reply
    • Diana S.   May 15, 2018 at 11:44 am

      Very good point! Where is that $20 – 38 million?!? This city is so corrupt it’s nauseating! Sure, all of us want the firefighters & police fairly compensated, but we hesitate to let COT get it’s filthy mits on any more money.

      Reply
  8. CORRUPT   May 7, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Does anyone here contribute 20% to their pension. Tallahasse Fire Fighters in the year 2020 will contribute over 20% to the pension fund. The city has also been collecting pension contributions from employees in the drop. When asked where the money is they are unable to locate those funds.

    Reply
  9. Under Contract   May 21, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Ask the union leaders about how this was forced on the fire fighters by the corrupt city manager that is no longer with the city. It was this or nothing. Get the whole story.

    Reply

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