Coming to terms on a new three-year contract with the city’s Teamsters Union appeared doubtful until the city agreed to allow current employees to keep their pensions.
That compromise by the city enabled the Teamsters to ratify a new three-year contract July 21. At a special meeting Tuesday, the Sarasota City Commission followed suit, approving the new contract by a 5-0 vote.
The three-year deal, which runs through September 2013, was solidified when the city decided it wouldn’t force employees to do away with their current pensions and enter a 401k defined contribution plan.
Current employees, however, can now opt to transfer to a defined contribution plan, in which the city would match 6% of the amount employees contribute to their retirement.
Employees staying in their current pension plans, though, have to wait 10 years to vest.
The city’s move allowed the Teamsters to compromise as well.
Employees agreed there would be no wage increases in the first two years of the contract. A possible 3% wage increase in the third year is only possible for employees if the city sees an increase in the city’s general fund assessed taxable valuation for fiscal year 2013.
Commissioners were pleased with the compromise on both sides of the negotiation table.
“I am so pleased with the compromise here and the extraordinary movement and collaboration on both sides,” said Mayor Suzanne Atwell. “This is the ultimate ideal compromise.”
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].