The Longboat Key Town Commission approved a three-year contract with the Longboat Key Police Union at its regular meeting Monday, signaling the end of pensions moving forward for new hires town-wide.
Town staff and the 11 members of the Longboat Key Police Department Union reached an 11th hour agreement on a new three-year contract last month that includes a pension alternative the town originally proposed in March at the start of the stalled negotiation process.
“This is extremely important for our longterm financial sustainability,” said Town Manager Dave Bullock, who has also worked this past year to freeze pension plans for Longboat Key Fire Rescue and general employees at the commission’s request.
The contract includes a 401(a) retirement plan offer that includes a 3% pay increase and gives officers another 7% increase in take-home pay.
Commissioner Jack Duncan said the police union contract that calls for the current pension plan to be frozen (the other two pension plans have already been frozen), “a huge burden that’s being lifted.”
“The hemorrhaging is finally going to come to a closure,” Duncan said, referring to more than $27 million in unfunded pension liabilities the town’s taxpayers must pay back over time.
“The key element of risk associated with our pension program has been lifted and it’s important our citizens understand and appreciate what’s happening here.”
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].