Following more than a year of negotiations, The City of Coral Springs and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 87 have reached an agreement on a new 3-year contract. Both sides were prepared to present their case to the City Commission at an Impasse Hearing Monday morning. After hearing both sides of the dispute, the City Commission was charged with making the final decision on the terms of the new contract. Instead, having reached an agreement over the weekend, Deputy City Manager Susan Grant and FOP Representative Scott Myers presented a joint recommendation for the resolution of the impasse.
The new deal provides for an average wage increase of 2% in 2013, 2% in 2014, and 2.5% in 2015. The new contract also restructures the police pension plan. The restructured plan makes the following changes for years of service after September 30, 2012: reduces the multiplier from 3.5% for every year of service to 3%; the Cost of Living Adjustment was changed from 2.5% per year beginning the first year of retirement to 1% per year beginning 5 years after retirement; the retirement benefit which is currently calculated based on the average of the last 3 years of service will be calculated on the last 4 years of service; normal retirement will increase from 20 years of service to 25 years; and the compensation used to calculate the final average salary will change from base salary plus up to 14.5% of additional compensation to base salary only. As a result of these changes, the City expects to lose $893,000 a year in “Chapter 185” state contribution toward the pension. The new agreement reduces the member’s contribution to the pension from 9.875% of pay to 8%.
Other than wage and pension changes all other terms of the contract remain unchanged.
The new pension plan is expected to save the City $3 million the first year alone and save $14 million during the first five years. The savings is expected to reach $32 million during the first 10 years.
“I was flattered and honored to work alongside the FOP representatives who remained cordial and professional during this very difficult process,” City Manager Erdal Donmez said. “At the start of the process our goal was to create a pension plan that was permanent, affordable, fair, competitive, and sustainable,” Donmez continued, “I am happy to report that we have met all of those goals.”
“Of course, the union is not happy to give up any benefits,” FOP Representative Scott Myers said, “but our members felt these changes were important to allow the City to meet its financial goals. This was truly a compromise with neither side coming away with everything it wanted.”