SD Police Officers Association takes step forward with landmark - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

SD Police Officers Association takes step forward with landmark health care deal

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Police Officers Association - for weeks the lone holdout among the city's employee unions - announced Monday the tentative signing of a landmark deal on health care for retired workers.

The 15-year agreement is expected to reduce city payments for retiree health by around $714 million in the next 25 years, partly by having employees make higher contributions to their plans.

"These agreements will allow us to put millions of dollars to work for the people of San Diego, improving services like public safety, parks and recreation, libraries and street resurfacing," Mayor Jerry Sanders said.

Projections by city financial officials show municipal contributions to pensions and health care for retired workers taking growing bites out of the revenue pie in the future, which would vastly reduce the amount of money left over for the general fund.

The new agreements are expected to ease the problem by millions of dollars annually.

"Our members are making huge sacrifices by accepting this retiree health care agreement, but we understand that we need to move forward and resolve this issue with the city," said POA President Brian Marvel.

"Employees, the city of San Diego and the taxpayers are all in this together and we are gratified to have come to a tentative agreement with the city following months of hard work on both sides," he said.

The delay by the POA stemmed from a lawsuit in which its leaders were considering an appeal. The agreement with the city includes a provision that the association will not pursue further action on the court case.

Its members will be voting in the next couple of weeks to ratify the deal, according to the POA's Emily Cox. The City Council has already approved of the agreement.

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