SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The city of San Diego and its unions have agreed to an interim retirement plan for most new employees, which will go before the City Council next month and end a temporary hiring freeze, city Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone said Friday.
The 401(k)-style plan stems from Proposition B, passed by 66 percent of voters in the June 5 election. Since only police officers can now enter the city's pension system, new employees can't be hired until a new retirement plan is adopted by council members.
State labor rules require the city to meet and confer with its unions to implement the provisions of Prop. B. Those talks began near the end of June -- when the city made its initial proposal -- followed by a counter-offer from labor, Goldstone said.
"We went back and forth a little bit," Goldstone said. "Late last week they made a revised proposal to the city that in my opinion only needed a few modifications."
He said the unions accepted his alterations, which mainly involved clarifying the language.
The proposed deal will go to the City Council on Sept. 10, with final approval set for Sept. 24, when the temporary hiring freeze will end, according to Goldstone.
He said city departments are still recruiting prospective new employees and doing background checks, but won't be able to actually make offers until the City Council signs off on the agreement.
When that happens, the provisions will take effect in two stages. Initially, employees will contribute 3.75 percent toward their retirement with a like match from the city, Goldstone said. Once the city is able to re-program its payroll system, the employee contribution will become pre-tax.
He said negotiations were generally positive, echoing a description on Thursday by Frank DeClercq, head of the firefighters union. The unions already have asked when talks can start on a permanent benefits package, he said.
"It's a significant milestone and accomplishment for the city and the labor groups," Goldstone said.
He said the hiring freeze probably won't impact service levels provided by the city, but it might have if it were to stretch past late September.
Implementation of the proposition could still be derailed by legal action by its opponents and administrative action by the state Public Employment Relations Board.
The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest combat ship on Saturday, the USS Tulsa, which eventually will be docked in San Diego.
More than 150 current and former service members and their families gathered on the USS Midway on Saturday morning.
Dozens of people on Saturday fell victim to a brunch scam that was supposed to take place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
One person was shot and seriously injured outside a Kearny Mesa restaurant Friday night - sending diners running for cover.
A man who might have died trying to surf in a rain- swollen Escondido runoff channel on Valentine's Day has been identified.
A small private jet inbound to San Diego International Airport suffered primary brake failure but was still able to land safely on Saturday, officials said.
Weekend conditions are looking cool and wet. Stronger, colder system on Sunday will bring a chance of snow to San Diego mountains.
Six hundred active duty military and veterans will get a unique and intimate concert at the Belly Up on Monday February 18th.
On February 14, 2018, Aalayah Eastmond was in class at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida when a gunman opened fire.
A San Diego family received a sweet surprise on Valentine’s Day after a fellow diner unexpectedly paid their $52.75 Red Lobster tab and left a sweet note for the mother.