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Note From Chief Bradley: MOFD and Firefighter's Union at Impasse

We'll be following up on MOFD negotiations with the firefighter's union this week, but wanted to present Chief Bradley's advance notice of an impasse in negotiations.

 

Moraga-Orinda Fire District Chief Randy Bradley says there are two proposals in front of the firefighter's union Local 1230 but that, so far, negotiations have stalled and no successor agreement for the Memorandum of Understanding which expired in Jan. 2010 has been reached.

In a release from Bradley forwarded to Patch on Friday, the chief says MOFD's priorities continue to be provision of service to the citizens of the district -- while addressing "unfunded liabilities caused by the spiraling cost of health and retiree health benefits, to limit health benefit costs, to move future employees to a more sustainable pension benefit formula, and to provide an overall level of compensation that is within the District’s financial constraints and budget."

A tall order. We'll be covering the progress of these negotiations in coming weeks.

Chris F. July 15, 2012 at 10:27 PM
I have said it before, Fire all of them and hire new appreciative fire department with pay scales and benifits that fit todays economy.
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop July 15, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Chief, time for innovation rather than duplicity. Exposing your "relentless, inspiring' attempts through the media is unethical and transparent in the world of negotiations. You want to impress, try suggesting new scheduling schemes, or in light of the already peculiar schedule format, let's talk about the elimination of overtime pay, everything is straight time. Having a scheme that pays one to sleep or to be endlessly trained in redundant subject matter has got to be difficult to defend. Anyone notice this "recession" is atypical in that the recovery will not be a simple reattachment to an endlessly upward growth condition. We have reached a cathartic economic anomaly in that the growth rate has stalled while realistic economic forces struggle to contramand the artificially manipulated real estate market and the fallout from the insane, unsecured investment gimmicks invented by unscrupulous 'bankers' playing with other people's money. Facebook, a company (sic) that produces and offers essentially NOTHING of value, had stutter-start IPO that, as a reality check of enormous proportions, is a trend just setting sail. Nearly 50 million (of 300) Americans struggle below at or below the poverty line and this relatively simple, unsophisticated part time job pays its lowest echelon nearly 6-7 times that in salary and benefits. And pays retirees numbers described in fractions of a million. This party better be over, and soon!
Steve Cohn July 16, 2012 at 08:50 PM
I am not sure what @ Kelley's point is (or the point of the posting he referred to). That firefighters are not getting credit for the amount they are putting into their own savings plan or that they are not getting paid enough? The Contra Costa Times data base (it is not a county data base) shows (for MOFD, the only agency I track) that the average firefighter gets $110,000 in base salary (including "other" which is a contractual addition to base) , $25,000 in overtime, and MOFD contributes $29,000 to the pension plan (27% of base). MOFD is paying each firefighter a total of $139,000 (base plus pension) plus giving them the ability to earn an additional $25,000 in overtime. The pension plan says that the employer plus the employee have to contribute about $55,000 to keep the plan solvent. This means that the employee must add 24% of base salary to the employers 27%. Is the cost of the pension plan, which is based on the benefits the firefighters negotiated, reasonable? (continued)
Steve Cohn July 16, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Based on the pension plans assumptions (retirement benefit of 3% of final year's wage for every year worked; retirement at 50; 6% salary increase per year while working; 3.5% cost of living increase after work ceases; 7.75% asset earning rate), a worker would have to put 40% of his salary into savings for 30 years to live off those savings for the next 30 years with a continued 3.5% annual benefit increase. But if asset earning rates dropped to 6%, that 40% contribution would have to be increased to 65%. Asset rates had been earning at the 7.75% rate up to 2008 but over the past 10 years they have averaged only about 6%. To make up for this drop, even assuming that they will return to the 7.75% level, takes a 50% ongoing contribution. And that is what is being made: 27% by the employer and 24% by the employee. If earning rates continue at 6%, as some think they will, that 50% is going to have to increase to 65% if benefits are not adjusted. It is expensive to only work half of your adult life and keep getting paid at your peak salary level for the second half. But even with their pension contribution, firefighters are still taking home $110,000 by covering their pension contribution with overtime pay earned by working approximately 20 days extra each year on top of the 122 days worked (excluding vacation and sick days taken). Again, what is @ Kelley's point. That this is not enough?
Janet Maiorana July 17, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Kudos to Steve Cohn. While we opine, Steve gives us facts we would never have been able to uncover. Now that we have the facts, it is up to taxpayers to step up to the plate and get involved. I hate to think what will happen if taxpayer do nothing.

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