City says unions won’t take cuts
Chantal M. Lovell, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/23/2011 03:17:40 PM PDT

REDLANDS – Negotiations between the City Council and the city’s nine employee unions have come to a halt as city officials said it became clear some did not want to renegotiate their contracts to the terms proposed by the mayor and mayor pro tem.

Since February, Mayor Pete Aguilar and Mayor Pro Tem Paul Foster have been meeting with the city’s bargaining units in an effort to garner concessions from them as the city prepares for the 2011-12 budgeting process, Aguilar said.

Though all of the contracts are in place until at least the summer of 2012, representatives from each unit met with the council subcommittee in 20 individual and collective meetings to discuss the possibility of renegotiating the contracts before their expiration to try to find the city some savings.

The city published a news release this weekend announcing that some unions rejected the proposal for all employees to pay 4 percent of the employee share of their retirement, or California Public Employees’ Retirement System payments, in order to prevent “drastic cuts in service.” Currently, the city pays both the employee and employer shares of the benefit, for a total city contribution of 19.4 percent of payroll for nonsafety employees and 35.3 percent for safety employees.

“Each bargaining unit was told that this was an `all-in’ proposal, meaning every employee group would need to approve of the 4 percent payment of PERS for the 2011-12 Budget Year in order to reach agreement,” the release said. “This was done to ensure that every employee was treated equally, and contributed to the financial solution proposed by the Council to stave off further cuts in service.”

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