Firefighters propose cuts

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Bob Wells, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    Bob How much is the medical stipend for FRS participants ?

    When does it start and is there any time limit on the payment?

    I believe the FF union is trying to negotiate a $600-$800 per month stipend to be paid until the participants normal SS retirement age. If a SWFD FF retired with 25 years of service wouldn't he receive between $7200 - $9600 per year until 67 years of age (most cases from what I see in the tables). If that employee were 50 years of age when he/she retired it would appear that the benefit would be somewhere between $122,400 and $163,200.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  2. 30ashopper

    30ashopper SoWal Insider

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    The district should refuse to negotiate any such stipend in my opinion.

    Another thing I noticed in the study, it assumed annual salary growth of 7%, but the fire department has averaged 9% over the last three years. This discrepancy adds an additional shortfall to the fund. I'd suggest who ever oversees setting up the constraints on the next report make sure and set the annual salary increase percentage equal to the historical average.
     
  3. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    Oh but excuse me, you have not or will you ever hear me say I have it bad, 30A. So does that mean you are going to run?
     
  4. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    To not negotiate in good faith is illegal. Hence negotiate to where both sides come to an agreement and feel they have come out with the best deal for both sides is not bad. Mr Abbit was the representative from the Fire Board that sat across the table from us when the raises and retirement was negotiated. When we walked out we felt as though we were treated fairly based on the numbers we presented. Our wages were based on the departments approximately the same size and providing the same level of services and the survey was performed by the same company hired to do managements wage survey. Since that contract we have forgone any negotiated increases except steps. When management came and expressed the needs for cuts there was an attempt by a South Walton Fire District Pension Board member to come up with we the Union believes as a viable solution. Since then we have attempted to propose other changes and address Managements concerns. So we are negotiating in good faith, and hopefully your representatives will also.
     
  5. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    I believe it is five dollars per year for life at retirement.
     
  6. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    So in FRS the retiree would draw $5 per year of credited service. 30 yrs of service = $150.00 25 years = $125.00. It also appears that they must prove they actually have insurance

    Comparison

    FRS - $150 per month - $ per year - $1500 per year
    FF proposal $600 per month - $7200 per year

    Is the proposed stipend for Insurance?

    If not what is it for ?
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  7. 30ashopper

    30ashopper SoWal Insider

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    Run for what? The BCC?
     
  8. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    Bob

    Do I have the right makeup of the pension board as follows:

    Three members that are members of the FF union
    One member that is a SWFD employee, but not a member of the FF union
    One member that is not affiliated with either SWFD or the FF Union

    Is this right ?
     
  9. 30ashopper

    30ashopper SoWal Insider

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    These folks aren't responsible for negotiating the pension agreement and issues like wage increases, isn't that the responsibility of the Board Of Fire Commissioners?
     
  10. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    Yes that is correct.

    The pension board are the body making investment decisions and are fiduciarily responsible to everyone for making prudent decisions in those areas.

    The FF union and SWFD negotiate the plan benefits, but the Pension Board should have as its primary objective the financial stability of the fund. That the contributions and investment return levels are sufficient to guarantee the benefits to the participants. IMO their primary concern right now should be increasing the funding % from 63 to somewhere in the 80% range.

    In my opinion - they should keep a hands off approach to the negotiations, should only provide data that would show the impact of the proposed plan changes on the financial stability of the fund and the costs associated with those changes.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  11. 30ashopper

    30ashopper SoWal Insider

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    Bob H., I am just dumb founded. I don't understand how a pension agreement like this (which I feel is totally lob sided and very unfair to taxpayers) came about here in Walton County. I also don't understand what's up with these salary increases we've seen since 2008. (I know you're not an elected official so don't take those statements as accusatory.)

    Is the commission on the take or something? Sounds like it's time to toss the whole lot of them out and start over with people who are actually concerned about the liabilities taxpayers currently face and the overall fairness of the whole pension agreement.

    I guess maybe it's time I get more involved, I never would have imagined something so egregious could take place here in Walton County.
     
  12. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    I am an elected official. I was elected to the South Walton County Mosquito Control District - Seat 3 in 2010 after being appointed to fill the vacancy created with the removal of the previous Seat 3 commissioner.

    I became interested in SWMCD when the WCTA discovered that the then director was making 123,000 per year supervising a staff of 12 full time and 4 part-time employee's. Our new director makes less than 70K.

    The salary increases were higher in 2006 and 2007 when the money was flowing like water out of a boot. All negotiated through collective bargaining. I believe the only raises seen in the last year were "educational step raises" (about a 4.1% increase in payroll) that are in the contract.

    Before someone accuses me of being anti union - I am NOT.

    I am not on the SWFD Board.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  13. 30ashopper

    30ashopper SoWal Insider

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    Woops, sorry. :) Didn't know who I was chatting with.
     
  14. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Still waiting to hear anything about the other cost saving measures proposed and not acted upon - like not taking vehicles home.
     
  15. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    Shouldn't make any difference should it.
     
  16. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    She doesn't want to put anything in an email. Wants to meet personally. Our schedules haven't worked out at this time.
     
  17. beachFool

    beachFool Beach Fanatic

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    >>>.We don't have enough information on this from this particular study. 2008 was an anomaly, as was 2010.<<<

    Conflating the market returns in 2008 with 2010 shows an astonishing lack of market history.

    In 2010, the US Total Stock Market Index returned 17.8%. From 1927 thru 2010, the Index topped 17.8%, 34 times.

    In 2008, the same index lost 36.7%, a figure exceeded only once from 1927 thru 2010.

    Regarding market returns, when I was on the board, I understood the actuary to say that generally accepted practices for pension accounting was returns are blended so that one year doesn't dispropotionally skew funding.

    I am not an expert on pension accouning and will defer to anyone who understand how liabilities are calculated.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2011
  18. beachFool

    beachFool Beach Fanatic

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  19. beachFool

    beachFool Beach Fanatic

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    >>>If we moved to a 401K style system the cost to the city to keep senior leadership would be substantially less so the district likely wouldn't let good folks go in times <<<

    401K plans are no panacea. People have no clue how much they are paying.

    http://www.law.illinois.edu/elderlaw/issues/vol_15/num_2/pdfs/Hutcheson.website.pdf

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/retirement/2009-08-24-401k-retirement-savings-fees_N.htm

    http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/benefits/Articles/Pages/HighFees.aspx

    The defined contribution options for government employees (457 plans) are worse.

    I like defined benefit plans but all parties need to understand what they heck they are promising or demanding.

    I will not be able to respond any posts, maybe over the weekend but likely I will be somewhere with my toes in the sand.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2011
  20. Henry Apfelbach

    Henry Apfelbach Beach Lover

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    Buzz, I am not a numbers guy but did some more research and the return history of the plan is from Oct 2003, To Oct 2004: 10.96% 04-05: 12.32% 05-06: 9.12% 06-07: 15.75 07-08: -17.77% 08-09: 4.99% 09-10 8.35%. I was told that at the halfway point in this year it was at a little over 9%. I recieved these numbers from the Fund Monitor The Bogdahn Group. Buzz, since your a numbers guy I will let you figure the average return. To that point though I am still missing the first couple of years and will endeavor to find them. The way it was explained to me is this needs to average 8% over 30 years for the assumption to work. Buzz, enjoy the sand.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2011

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