City unions come to tentative agreement on five-year labor deal - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

City unions come to tentative agreement on five-year labor deal

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The six unions that represent city of San Diego employees have tentatively agreed to a five-year labor agreement that is expected to save keep millions of dollars in city coffers, it was announced Tuesday.

The largest of the labor organizations, the Municipal Employees Association, announced the deal in a posting on its website, and it was later confirmed by Mayor Bob Filner. The MEA, which represents many of the city's white-collar workers, recommended that members ratify the agreement in a vote scheduled for June 5.

Filner has said that he believes the city could save around $25 million in each of the first two years if a five-year deal were to be reached with all six of the city's labor organizations. This kind of a deal was central to his mayoral campaign last year.

The tentative agreement will gradually restore a 6 percent wage cut imposed several years ago as ex-Mayor Jerry Sanders tried to right San Diego's financial ship. Public safety workers are expected to see the pay restore faster than everyone else to stem a loss of police officers to other agencies.

According to the MEA, the average pay increase over three years for its members will be 7.7 percent, with reductions in furlough days, added flex plan pay and changes to employee retirement contributions.

The MEA said it has the right to reopen the agreement after the first three years.

The proposed deal would also implement a key provision of a pension reform initiative passed by voters last year. The provision places a five-year limit on the type of compensation that workers can use to later figure their retirement pay.

The rank-and-file of all six labor groups need to ratify the contract, which would then be voted on by the City Council.

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