Friday, September 18, 2009

Zuma Dogg DETAILS From City Hall "Early Retirement" Deal That Was PASSED by City Council (No Loss of Jobs or Services, FOR NOW!)

Early retirement will be offered. Once you recieve your early retirement benefits, you will pay in an additional 1%, for life.

Union President Julie Butcher told Zuma Dogg that this is the first time EVER in history that this visionary measure has been taking. (Paying 1% into the system for life AFTER you retire.) Zuma wondered aloud to Julie, if the rank and file workers knew how much REAL economic pain is actually ahead, since they are being asked to give back. She tells me that everyone is now aware of the realities and that's why they are taking this visonary, first time step to protect the future of the whole (future brothers and sisters).

Moving $27 million in cash incentives from this year to next fiscal year.

"Job sharing" as in for working mothers will be offered. (Not clear on those details.)

72 hour pay period, which the city has resisted in the past. Julie notes, "If you are willing to furlough, you should be will to accept a 72 hour pay period."

Something that may not have been released in the media yet as an example of the $80 million in savings they say they have found includes accepting "days off" instead of money for overtime. (Not sure if people will want to accept that.) In other words, you work the overtime, and instead of getting paid more and getting a bigger check (more money) you can accumulate "days off." So savings will be based on how many people accept that. (I say not many.)


No fuloughs or layoffs.

Vouluntary Furloughs: Have always been offered and will still be offered.

NOW HERE'S A BIG PROBLEM. A city worker called me concerned because they read that the union membership will be asked to vote on the enitre package WITHOUT KNOWING THE DETAILS OF THE AGREEMENT. THEN, IF IT IS PASSED WITH A "YES" VOTE, THE DETAILS WILL BE RELEASED. (And if not, I guess we'll never know.)

To me, this says it is more than they feel most workers will want to agree too, which means it should make the prudent fiscalists at City Hall happy.

I spoke with CM Bernard Parks who tells me he is happy and wouldn't have voted for it if he wasn't. And another one of my City Hall indicators was happy.

And although people say this addresses both SHORT TERM -- AND LONG TERM issues, I think this is a band aid measure that is needed, for now...maybe DEPENDING ON WHAT THAT $80 MILLION IS ALL ABOUT. And the city office that called me nervous about not being able to see what the details are first may be a problem. BUT, I think it will be passed, but I have a feeling like the rest of there budget process, it will be too much unrealistic stuff that won't happen (not enough workers will take these "days off instead of money for overtime") -- AND, the city's revenue and econonomic condition will be MUCH WORSE than factored for in this agreement. BUT, they have "disaster" measures in case things get really bad and DRASTIC MEASURES need to be taken.

So for now, jobs and services will be preserved, the bond market won't freak out...this is good enough for now to keep the bond rating from tanking...and let's see what that $80 million is all about. But there should be a little bit of info that isn't seen elsewhere, yet. More to come.

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