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City Inks Deal With Police, Employees
LA MESA – The City Council has made tentative agreements with its police and employee unions and will leave salaries unchanged from the 2010-11 contracts they have been working under.
These “status quo’’ contracts won’t raise salaries but will give these employees a $500 bonus with the possibility of another $500 if the city can end the year at least 2 percent under its expense budget.
Negotiations with the fire fighters union are continuing and are expected to be concluded prior to the council’s next meeting.
The agreements were praised by city officials as reasonable at a time when local, state and federal revenues are being threatened. Critics, however, faulted the city for not taking a tougher line on rolling back benefits, including pensions, that they say continue to exceed current private sector standards.
Russell Buckley, a regular commentator on pension issues, said the city is still not owning up to the scale of its problems.
“The changes made to this year's MOU's do nothing more to reduce our pension obligations,’’ Buckley said in a commentary filed to LaMesaToday.com immediately after the council action Tuesday. “ I'm disappointed! Our city has a $31 million unfunded liability to the CalPers pension system. Our pension payments, with Social Security included, exceed $6 million - and they are projected to increase in the out years.’’