Mayor Faulconer, Three Unions Reach Tentative Agreements That Lock in Pension Reform

Multi-Year Agreements Extend Current Contracts to Add Paid Parental Leave, Health Care Funding for Lifeguards, Skilled-Trades Workers and Deputy City Attorneys

Monday, May 16, 2016 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – Today Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer announced that the City has reached tentative multi-year agreements with three labor organizations that locks in voter-approved pension reform, provides increased health care funding and offers paid parental leave to employees for the first time, among other changes.
 
All three agreements have been ratified by an overwhelming majority of the members of each employee group and will go before the City Council next month for final approval.
 
“With these new agreements, we’re continuing pension reform while at the same time offering fair contracts that include benefits like paid parental leave,” Mayor Faulconer said. “As we grow our economy, we’re investing more in our neighborhoods by paving more roads, building new and improved parks, and keeping our libraries and rec centers open longer. These contracts recognize that these improvements are only possible thanks to the employees who deliver neighborhood services day in and day out.” 
 
The new tentative agreements are with the labor organizations representing the City’s lifeguards (Teamsters Local 911), skilled-trades workers (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 127) and attorneys (Deputy City Attorneys Association). All agreements are through Fiscal Year 2020 except for the Deputy City Attorneys Association, which goes through FY2019. 
 
“This is an exceptionally fair contract that will help improve operations and better protect our beaches and bays,” said Lifeguard Chief Rick Wurts. “For example, by converting the boating safety unit to a specialty team, we’ll be able to offer more extensive training and increase the capabilities of lifeguards who pilot fireboats. This agreement well positions the San Diego Lifeguard Service to continue to employ the best skilled, best trained lifeguards around.” 
 
Highlights included in each contract:
  • No across-the-board salary or pensionable pay increases in FY2017 and FY2018, locking in the fourth and fifth year of the five-year pensionable pay freeze consistent with voter-approved Proposition B*
  • 3.3% compensation increases in FY2019 and FY2020**
  • Parental leave of 160 hours paid time off for the birth, placement or adoption of a child, effective FY2017 
  • Bereavement leave of 40 hours for all full-time employees, with step parents, step siblings and grandparents, grandchildren, mother-in-law and father-in-law added to list of covered deaths, effective FY2017 
  • Increase in the annual tuition reimbursement benefit from $1,000 to $2,000 in FY2017 for education and job-related training 
  • Parking reimbursement increased from 50 percent to 75 percent for employees parking at the Evan V. Jones Parkade, Civic Center Plaza or Central Library
  • Increase in flexible health care benefits of $1,500 in FY2017 and $1,650 in FY2018
  • Specialty salary adjustments and special assignment pays to address recruitment and retention in FY2019 for the following positions: wastewater plant operators, fleet technicians, select deputy city attorney positions, boat operators, electricians, fleet employees with Class B license, mobile crane operators, greens keepers and nursery gardeners.
“This agreement is a move in the right direction and will help us continue to retain the highly skilled attorneys who work to protect the public’s best interest,” said Mark Mercer, President of the Deputy City Attorneys Association. 
 
The new agreements follow previously negotiated contracts for the Police Officers Association and the Municipal Employees Association, which represents white-collar workers. Now four of the City’s six employee groups representing City workers have contracts through FY2020, with the fifth – the Deputy City Attorneys Association – through FY2019. The five-year contracts the City reached with each of its employees groups in 2013 called for negotiations to be reopened this year.  
 
The City continues to negotiate with the leaders of the City’s firefighters (International Association of Fire Fighters Local 145) on a new contract substantially similar to those approved by the other employee groups. The Local 145 has an existing contract through FY2018 that would continue if a new agreement can’t be reached.
 
*Proposition B, approved by voters in 2012, allowed pensionable pay increases with two-thirds approval from the City Council.
**Only FY2019 for Deputy City Attorneys Association.