TU: Police union, Jacksonville back at bargaining table

The type of retirement plan the police/fire have is not sustainable and must be changed to another format.  Until they realize and accept the fact their plan is going to bankrupt the city and/or leave them holding an empty sock or make them hated by the citizens when we see zero city services (cuts in the very police and fire services these folks represent) and our taxes only pay for the retirements of those to greedy to bend to a retirement plan that is sustainable.  Most of the folks paying for the police and fire pensions get roughly half the retirement dollars of what the police and fire start with and also do not get a guaranteed 3% COLA.  Time for these folks to join the real world. 

In addition to the need to change the retirement plan, we have a mayor who is a union lover, so what are the chances he will negotiate in the best interests of the city??? He actually participated in union protests when he was running for office which gives him a conflict of interest as far as I am concerned, because he is not sitting on the opposite side of the table from the unions, he is sitting on the same side of the table and the residents have no representation.

The FOP is seeking a three-year contract along with a one percent pay cut.

Jacksonville and its police union are back at the bargaining table, with the union having offered to take a pay cut starting this year.

It's unclear what effect the talks will have on the 2010 fiscal contract that the two sides have been tussling over for two years.

"Both parties are interested in looking forward," said interim General Counsel Mary Jarrett, adding that the 2010 contract might still be imposed on the union by the City Council.

Local Fraternal Order of Police President Nelson Cuba, who approached the city with an offer several weeks ago, said he's looking for the previous two years to be "status quo," with the negotiations now aiming at a three-year contract starting this year.

The offer made by the union, Cuba said, includes a 1 percent pay cut and other options - including furloughs - that he said would save the same amount of money the city has been asking for since talks started in September 2009.

Insurance contributions are not included in the offer.

"The monetary value of our concessions will be higher than any other bargaining unit in the city," Cuba said.

Yet to be determined is if such a plan would be considered equitable compared to cuts taken by the city's other unions.

Under those contracts, negotiations reopen with the other bargaining units if the different groups don't have parity.

For the past two years, as they haggled over a contract for the 2010 fiscal year, the city has asked for a 2 percent pay cut and for officers to contribute to their insurance coverage.

The city is analyzing the union's offer, Jarrett said, with the two sides planning on returning to the table sometime next week.

Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2011-10-28/story/police-union-ja...

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