SAN DIEGO (CNS) - With a majority of City Council members backing five-year agreements with the city of San Diego's employee unions, council President Todd Gloria Wednesday tentatively scheduled a June 10 vote on the pact.
The tentative deals, announced Tuesday, would gradually restore most of a 6 percent pay cut to employees, in effect since 2009, by reducing furlough days and lowering health care costs.
The agreements still need ratification by the rank-and-file of six labor groups, after which council members would vote on final adoption. They gave the deals an initial go-ahead in a unanimous closed-session vote, city officials said.
Gloria immediately praised the tentative agreements soon after they were announced.
"Reaching this tentative deal is another demonstration of the collaborative mindset of the San Diego City Council," Gloria said. "Too often, labor negotiations are seen as partisan battles. This city council continues to put policy above politics, and the results benefit our citizens, our employees, and taxpayers."
Most city employees would see their take-home pay rise by 1.75 percent in each of the first three years.
The pay levels have not been set for the final two years, giving five of the unions a chance to reopen negotiations on that part of the agreement while hoping the city's fiscal condition continues to improve.
Public safety employees would receive higher pay increases in the first year -- 2.25 percent for firefighters and lifeguards, and 2 percent for police officers. The San Diego Police Officers Association opted to take 1 percent raises in the fourth and fifth years of the agreement instead of reopening talks.
"I ask our employees to ratify the agreement negotiated with the leaders of your organizations so we can all continue to work together to move San Diego forward," Gloria said.
Councilman Kevin Faulconer said the "landmark" deals begin to "responsibly restore compensation cuts."
Scott Sherman Lorie Zapf will both vote to adopt the deals, the council members' aides told City News Service. Councilman David Alvarez said he was in favor at Tuesday's news conference.
The offices of Councilwoman Marti Emerald and Councilman Mark Kersey did not immediately respond to an inquiry into their stances, though Faulconer's statement said Kersey stood with him.
The city's general fund, which pays for basic services like public safety and libraries, will save $20 million in each of the next two fiscal years if the agreements are approved, according to Mayor Bob Filner.
He said about half would go toward restoring the pay cuts. The mayor's budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1 used some one-time revenue to pay for ongoing expenses and shorted a liability fund, issues that would be fixed with much of the rest of the savings, he said.
A body found floating in the ocean about 2 1/2 miles off the coast of Mission Beach has been identified Monday, according to San Diego police.
A pedestrian suffered major injuries Monday when she was struck by a car while crossing a street in the El Cerrito area, police said.
Strong and gusty Santa Ana winds, low humidity levels and high temperatures prompted the National Weather Service to issue a red flag fire warning Monday in San Diego County.
A man led police on a short car chase and barricaded himself in a Mission Bay motel before officers were able to arrest him Sunday.
Authorities were searching for a suspect on Sunday following an attempted sexual assault in Little Italy.
For years, there have been reports of Sears death spiraling toward the corporate graveyard alongside other popular brick-and-mortar retailers.
Temperatures Monday are warm, above average for the coast but below average at the desert. Santa Ana wind event will produce low humidity and gusty winds.
Bike riders, scooter users and pedestrians -- and bad drivers -- in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach will be targeted for safety enforcement by San Diego police Sunday.
Just a few days ago thunderstorms rolled through San Diego bringing measurable rain to the county for the first time in months. But things are about to change as strong Santa Anas are headed our way.
An overflowing sewage line in Del Mar prompted authorities to warn visitors to stay out of the water at a section of the city's shoreline Sunday.