Firefighters propose cuts

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

  1. Henry Apfelbach

    Henry Apfelbach Beach Lover

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    As for why we are not in FRS and are in this Chapter 175 plan let me address that with this. Every Homeowner in South Walton pays a 1.85% excise tax on your homeowner insurance. You would pay this regardless of what the local FD retirement plan is. You also pay a similar tax on your car insurance this money goes to fund these plans for police officers it’s called a Chapter 185 plan. With us being in this plan the money you spend does not just go somewhere else. They actually return that money to this retirement plan. So you should feel good that your tax money is here and not down in south Florida. Maybe the elected officials got this one right? Also, the only person making six figures is Chief Talbert who is making right at 113k/year. Sean Hughes was at around 103k/year but we all know where we are with that.
    I believe someone also made a comment about working 25yrs like (only!). I invite anyone to come do this job for 25 years and see what kind of toll it takes on you physically and mentally. That being said I love that fact that I get to help people and I feel like I make a decent living providing this crucial service to you. You will never hear me say I have it bad, all I have to do is look at the FD that I pay taxes too to see what bad is. I don’t think you want 60 year old guys crawling down the hallway of your house in hopes of getting you dragged out. Especially since our gear weighs 50-70lbs alone. I also don’t think you want a 60 year old police officer chasing an 18 year old fugitive. It is things like this that make this a young man’s Job. That is why these plans offer retirement at 25 years. I don’t hear you complaining about how full time military personnel can retire after 20 years. I will say something else it’s a travesty that they only get 50% of their salary after those 20 years. I don’t see how it’s a bad thing to make sure the people who protect us are taken care of later in life.
    I did find out one more thing regarding the life span assumption. It uses a table and does not mention any specific ages. I am now trying to track down a copy of that lifespan table.
     
  2. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    Yes you have the make up right but, 2 members are chosen by the Fire Board, 2 are elected by the pension participants ie every person who is a firefighter including those are in management, and the last is a compromise between the other 4.
     
  3. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    Fireboard, let me know
     
  4. Henry Apfelbach

    Henry Apfelbach Beach Lover

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    Bob H. I have never thought you were anti-union.
     
  5. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    I have attached the RP2000 mortality tables below.

    I have the ages for all from a previous public records request. The RP2000 tables for mortality are what was specified in the study.

    The entire report is to large to upload so I extracted the appropriate pages from the 181 page report.

    View attachment RP2000.pdf
     
  6. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    Never said you did Henry.

    I am truly a neutral observer. I may ask tough questions but believe we need all of the available facts.

    Can you tell me the head of the SWFD negotiating team during the last contract period ?

    It seems to be Mr. Stange this time.
     
  7. Henry Apfelbach

    Henry Apfelbach Beach Lover

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    Mr. Stange sat through the process last time. It usually works with the Chief being the head negotiatior. That was how it was last time. Mark Youngblood was Chief negotiator for our side and Chief Talbert was the head of their side. This time I get the feeling I am dealing more directly with Mr. Stange and get the feeling he is the head rep for their side, although Chief Talbert still has a major part.
     
  8. Henry Apfelbach

    Henry Apfelbach Beach Lover

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    Also, if you have the ages I would love to know how long I'm gonna live.
     
  9. 30ashopper

    30ashopper SoWal Insider

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    6.75% average. But your numbers don't jibe with the report Bob posted. They have:

    Year ending: return
    9/30/2010: 8.3%
    9/30/2009: 7.7%
    9/30/2008: -19.0%

    On top of that the balance sheet shows a net gain in investment assets of around 3.8%. I'm sure this stuff adds up some way but at this point it would seem we really don't have accurate numbers. Maybe someone should contact the Board of Trustees and ask them to join the discussion, they should be able to clear this up, I hope.
     
  10. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    42.27 years

    Hope you beat the statistical average.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  11. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    The numbers I posted came directly from the actuarial study.

    Hopefully it is correct.
     
  12. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    I thought I heard someone state that it was Mr. Abbitt
     
  13. 30ashopper

    30ashopper SoWal Insider

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    I don't think so based on what I'm seeing in terms of the liability of the fund and the current pay rates when you include base salary and benefits.

    Are you including pension benefits when you calculate those salaries or are you just listing base salary? Firefighters pay is ~50% base salary and ~50% pension benefits. You have to include both parts to get an accurate representation of what they make.

    They're firefighters. They put out fires. They chose the job. I take offense to what you're implying, I've worked my rear end off all my life, it's taken a toll on me but I don't expect the people I work for to write me a check every year for 25 years after I retire. The wear and tear goes with the territory you choose to be in.

    Which is why the contract stipulates firefighters can retire at 55. This discussion is about the current state of the fund, compensation, and benefits after retirement. Again I ask you to please stop hoisting our firefighters up on a cross.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

    75.6 for men, 80.8 for women.
     
  14. 30ashopper

    30ashopper SoWal Insider

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    I wonder if these percentages are before or after management expenses. Maybe Buz can clear that up after he gets back from the beach.
     
  15. idlewind

    idlewind Beach Fanatic

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    I think it is obvious that going with the state would be better for the taxpayers. As we sit the taxpayers are on the hook for all the unfunded liabilities for the local pension fund. If the firefighters were enrolled in the state system then the local taxpayer would be better protected.
     
  16. Henry Apfelbach

    Henry Apfelbach Beach Lover

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    I will say that FRS is one of the best funded pension plans in the country. It is solid. The cost to the district would be about the same. I think the last thing I heard was that if you were in FRS high risk your precentage of payroll owed was about 23%. That's pretty close to what the District is paying now.

    Is there more risk in our type of plan? I'm sure there is. One thing never mentioned on here is that of all the special taxing districts in the state of Florida you have the one with the lowest tax rate. You also have a fire department that provides one of the best levels of service. You’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.

    30a, so are you telling me that you think this job is pretty simple? You go put out fires? I guess in the simplest terms sure that's true but we also provide technical rescue, EMS and fire prevention. We also will come change your smoke detectors, get your cat out of a tree, get your dog out of a drainage pipe, and we try to help whenever possible. How this job affects a person is very different from one person to the next. Some guys might be able to do this job for 40yrs and some might only physically be able to go 15. I think 25yrs is a good average and after that time risking your life you should get rewarded. I have never done this job for the acclaim or money, but I will say that I have never thought of myself as a burden to the taxpayers. I feel like every one of us who work at SWFD comes to work every day and tries to do the best that they can. Our pay is on average with the rest of the state. Our retirement is not unheard of in the state. Even the City of Milton FD has the same plan with a 4% multiplier. I guess what I’m asking is are you the person who is going to stand up and say your against what firefighters stand for? It might seem that I’m getting personal but I just don’t understand why anyone would have an issue with firefighters, police officers, or the military getting a better than average retirement. That is your issue right? I think my current retirement is awesome. Do I think I have earned it? YES! I think every firefighter in the country has earned the best retirement that can be afforded. Of course I’m biased towards firefighters so I guess you have to take that with a grain of salt.
     
  17. Henry Apfelbach

    Henry Apfelbach Beach Lover

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    Bob H. Jack Abbit negotiated the contract in 2006 where we got the 4% mulitplier and 20% pay raises. He did that I'm guessing because the information that he was provided said that we could do it and we should do it. In that same contract he helped provide better staffing levels.

    In 2009 we got nor asked for anything that cost more money. We as a group management/labor agreed that economic times were tough and decided to stay status quo for as long as possible. The changes made were things like combining all our leaves into one bank of leave (that took a lot of time) no pun intended. We also from time to time realize issues with contract language that needs to be cleaned up or made to read more clearly. Mr. Stange helped that process along.

    I think we (labor) know that things have to change. It is just a matter of where we can make cuts and save the most money with the least impact on all parties.
     
  18. Henry Apfelbach

    Henry Apfelbach Beach Lover

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    30a, When I got the numbers I was told that they are slightly different from the numbers in the valuation study. The person who gave me the numbers did not know why they are different, but the numbers I have provided as best I can tell deal only with the investment portion of the plan. If we don't hear from Buzz I'll try one other person to see if they know why there is a difference.
     
  19. Henry Apfelbach

    Henry Apfelbach Beach Lover

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    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  20. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    Absolutely, I chose this career and I have no beef. That still does not make me say I should do the job for you for free. Your elected officials and our labor leadership sat down and decided what was fair through negotiations. I have no idea how old you are, what kind of work you do or what you are paid and what your retirement plan is like, but if you are making more money than me, living large on your retirement, living in a huge house on the beach, I am not jealous of you matter of fact, congrats, at the same time quit thinking that what we do is meaningless and some how we are less deserving of our wage and pension because we are public employees. You do what you do, we do what we do. So are you going to run for Fire Board or what?
     

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