Q: The local police say that they have presented alternate pension plans (that will help reign in the pension problems) to the beach staff. Why has the commission rejected these plans?
A: Because it isn’t as simple as presenting the deal to the commission; Florida collective bargaining laws require the union representing the police to bargain with city management, according to city manager Mike Bonfield. Once those two groups agree, the city sends the proposal to the commissioners.
So far, the union and city management haven’t agreed on any proposal. However, Bonfield said, “the union did propose going to the Florida Retirement System, which is another defined benefit program over which the city has no control. The costs to the city is approximately double of the defined contribution plan currently being offered.
“The city management team does not feel such a change would meet our objectives in the negotiations,” he added.
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