City subcommittee recommends changes to city pension calculations - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

City subcommittee recommends changes to city pension calculations

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Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013 10:45 am | Updated: 4:44 pm, Sun Nov 3, 2013.

Certain allowances and future unused sick and vacation time will not be included in pension calculations for city employees in the future if the City Council accepts the recommendations put forth by the City Council Pension Fairness and Spiking Elimination Subcommittee.

The subcommittee had its final meeting on Tuesday and voted unanimously to exclude communication and transportation allowances, retirement contribution reimbursement, public safety enhanced regular compensation payments, and unused sick time and vacation leave accrued in the future from pension calculations. Sick time and vacation time already accrued by current employees will still be included in calculations.

City staff will also continue to explore how to replace longevity pay with some other form of compensation, replace the current leave system, and explore differed compensation for future employees.

The changes would become effective when the current city labor contracts expire in July of 2014 or on Jan. 1, 2014 for middle managers and executives. Council members asked city staff to model how these changes will affect the city before they present the recommendation to the full City Council on Oct. 22.

“This has been the most difficult committee I have served on in my tenure with the city,” said Councilwoman Thelda Williams. “It sounds pretty phony to sit here and look in your faces and say you are appreciated. We know we are the best because of you (city employees.) The city provides services, services mean people. The fact is the more we dug into this and the more we looked at the charter I’m not sure how we ended up at this place over the years, but it really to me lacks transparency for our citizens. I’m not out to cut your wages. I think most of you deserve more. When that’s a possibility I will be in strong support to make sure that happens.”

The full council will review the subcommittee’s recommendations at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 at Phoenix City Council Chambers, 200 W. Jefferson St. All of the subcomittee’s meetings can be viewed online at phoenix.gov.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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