2020 Budget Request
Charlotte Firefighters Association Local 660 Budget Request
The following information will be presented to Charlotte City Council to supplement our key asking points for the 2020 budget.
Charlotte Fire Fighters Requests for consideration for the FY2020 Budget:
REQUEST: Fully fund the Public Safety Pay Plan (PSPP) ensuring employees are at the market value of each position based on the “Total Compensation Study” that CLTCC instructed City Management to conduct for the 2020 budget cycle. Current practice only considers “base pay” when surveying cities. Base pay provides a snap shot but other forms of compensation such as retirement contributions, longevity pay and holiday pay are not taken into account.
JUSTIFICATION: We are unable to provide justification currently. On January 22, 2019, we were informed by the city that their study has not yet been completed.
REQUEST: Keep Public Safety Pay Plan and Committee in Place
JUSTIFICATION: Benefits of a pay plan and Committee:
COUNCIL ACTION: Vote to keep the Public Safety Pay Plan and Committee in Place
REQUEST: Affordable Medical Insurance Benefits.
JUSTIFICATION: Since 2010, city employees have seen substantial increases in their insurance rates. Over the last 8 years, the “family plan” cost has gone up 69.5% along with almost a doubling of the “out of pocket” expenses. This is the option that is most often picked by our most senior employees. The biggest increase during this time period saw a 16.5% increase. These increases are further exacerbated with our senior employees receiving only market adjustments between 1.5% - 10.5% total during the same time period.
REQUEST: Reinstate Retiree Health Insurance Benefits for Employees
JUSTIFICATION: CLTCC members have stated on numerous occasions that they want Charlotte to be a “World Class City.” If this is the case than you should offer your work force “World Class Benefits.” Retiree healthcare is not only a critical recruitment and retention tool for the city it is also the right thing to do for your workforce who have sacrificed and dedicated their careers to carrying out your vision of making Charlotte a “World Class City.” Fire fighters can retire after 30 years of service or 25 years of service and 50 years of age, whichever comes first. Lack of health insurance benefits will force many fire fighters to attempt to remain on duty until the Social Security retirement age of 67 in order to qualify for Medicare. Firefighting is a physically and mentally demanding profession and as fire fighters age the risk of injury increases. The expected increase in injuries will likely result in increased cost associated with workers compensation claims and overtime expenses to fill vacancies caused by injuries. Science has proven that we are exposed to dangerous chemicals and byproducts of combustion. Having to work 17 years longer than is typical would greatly increase the risk of Line of Duty Death associated with common fire fighter illnesses, as well as insurance costs due to an increase in injuries and illnesses.
REQUEST: Correct “Sick and Vacation Payouts”
JUSTIFICATION: The city manager’s office acknowledged to the Union 14 months ago on November 30, 2017, that the formula used to reduce the hours worked by fire fighters at the time of their retirement was incorrect
and that it had in fact never been approved by CLTCC. While the manager’s office admitted the city was wrong, they waited 9 months before making a settlement offer to those in the lawsuit Kurzel v. City. To bring this matter to a close and trusting the city would correct the payouts for future fire fighters the complainants agreed to the settlement offer and CLTCC voted on and approved that offer in August of 2018.
In the 5 months since the sides agreed to terms not only has the city failed to deliver on its obligation to those in the lawsuit, city management continues to payout retiring fire fighters at the reduced rate that they know and admit is wrong.
COUNCIL ACTION: Bring the “Sick and Vacation Payout” Resolution brought forth by Local 660 and that the City Managers office agreed with to a vote so fire fighters can be paid out correctly after a spending a career serving the citizens of Charlotte.
REQUEST: Educational Incentive Pay for Fire Captains
JUSTIFICATION: Within the PSPP, firefighters and engineers are compensated for their educational experience when one obtains a college degree. Those with an associate degree receive an additional 5%, and those with a bachelor’s degree are awarded 10%. However, Captains are excluded from the Education Incentive program even though a degree is mandatory for promotion to Captain. City Human Resources have told us that the Educational Incentive is “baked-in” the captains pay however this is no longer the case since CMPD has changed its educational requirements for police sergeants. There are 2 points that prove this:
If the city truly values education than captains should enjoy the same incentive as other members of the department.
COUNCIL ACTION: Vote to approve educational incentive pay for fire captains.
REQUEST: Increase city contribution to Health Savings Account (HSA) and give employees opportunity to invest additional money
JUSTIFICATION: The Health Savings Accounts were a last-minute addition to the FY19 budget. While this is a good first step into creating some assistance with employees with no health care retirement benefit, the amount of $20 a week the city contributes is well short of what is needed. The 2019 maximums allowed are $3500 for a single and $7000 for a family plan. We are requesting that the City of Charlotte contribute the maximum allowed as well give employees the choice to be allowed to contribute. This will allow employees to have some control over their health care costs in the future.
COUNCIL ACTION: Pass a resolution allocating the funds to increase the HSA benefit and additionally allow employee contributions. We can provide additional data to justify the proposed increase once the compensation study is complete.
Page Last Updated: Feb 06, 2019 (05:04:00)